While many dreams of visiting the crystal clear oceans and white sandy beaches of the Maldives, this dream often comes with a hefty price tag. With the tourism industry raking in billions of dollars each year, it is no surprise that people associate the Maldives with resorts and hotels by the beach instead of the beautiful islands the country has to offer. While the experience may differ between a resort and an island, who is to say that the resort experience is better?
Thoddoo is one of the Maldives' many beautiful islands, located approximately 67 kilometres from the capital city Male' and part of the North Alif Atoll. The island is easily accessible, with daily speedboats travelling between Airport/Male' city and Thoddoo, you can reach the island in about 1 and a half hours. Due to the close proximity to the capital, the island is also a budget-friendly spot that is worth exploring.
Famous among Maldivians for the delectable watermelons of the island, Thoddoo is definitely an agricultural gem that is yet to be widely discovered by Maldivians and tourists alike. With a small population of an estimated 2,000 people, the main source of income for most on the island is from the farmlands and guesthouses. With recent developments in the guest house industry, more and more people have started discovering the beauty this island has to offer. There is no shortage of beautiful guest houses on the island, indicating the island's tourism development. With lower prices than resorts, the visual beauty and standard of these guesthouses leave little space for complaints.
Ironically one of the first things one will notice about this island is the beauty of the beach; with sand so white it looks untouched and waters so blue it is truly nothing less than mesmerising. While on the island, the sunset also adds to the beauty as it is extremely colourful, making it memorable for those who do not get that view in their everyday life.
When discovering the beautiful beaches of Thoddoo, it is hard to miss the local vendors located nearby offering a wide range of local delicacies produced freshly from the farm crops. Ranging from fresh fruits to local Maldivian snacks and even coconut palm toddy (Ruku Raa) is freshly available at all times on this island.
Being an agriculture-based island, it would be a crime not to visit the farmlands in Thoddoo. While the island may be famous for watermelons, you can harvest a variety of different fruits and vegetables straight from trees, making it an unforgettable experience for anyone who wants an escape from all the stress of life. If you're interested in history and culture, you should also visit the Buddist ruins of Thoddoo dated back to when the Maldives used to be a Buddhist country. As the ruins were abandoned on a side of the island, they are in a beautiful location filled with wild plants.
Due to the natural beauty and friendly nature of the people of Thoddoo, this island should be on everyone's bucket list because it is well worth a visit.