The island of Ukulhas is among the 1190 islands of Maldives.
This is where I stayed for quite some time. I wanted to be acquainted with the paradisiac beaches, whilst trying to escape from resorts a bit, in order to go for a more affordable option and have a more authentic experience. Usually, when this country is mentioned, the only subject ever mentioned is its luxury trips. Instead, I wanted to find out the life of the Maldives’ local inhabitants.
Ukulhas is located in the Alif Alif Atoll and, to get there, one needs to catch a boat right from at the airport or from Malé, the capital of Maldives. This distance has approximately 77 km. There are also regular hydroplane flights between some islands, but not for this one. At least I didn’t see any.
The island is really tiny, with approximately 1025 by 225 meters and just 900 inhabitants. By the end of my stay in Ukulhas, I already knew a good share of its inhabitants and other travellers who were roaming around the place. Not many. And that is great J
The mosque can be found precisely where the harbour is, where the muezzin calls to prayer five times a day. I’m left with the feeling that his ritual is what defines the life rhythm of its inhabitants.
The great majority of them seems to be already used to the presence of travellers. Up until recently, foreigners were actually not that welcomed there. And that is why most of its accommodation facilities, where travellers can find some lodge, are really recent. Some were only built a couple of months ago. And, from what I was told, a foreigner who wants to open some sort of accommodation must establish a joint venture with a local, at all times.
In the harbour, there is also a children’s playground, really well equipped, open only on Fridays and Saturdays.
We can quickly access the island’s main lane from this area, which serves the island’s 1025 meters. We can watch the sea at any given point throughout this street, on both of its ends. Most of the island’s small shops can actually be found there, giving us the opportunity to purchase some items. There are not many of them and they tend to a bit expensive. In Ukulhas there are many mangos and coconuts, but since no one actually does their harvesting, the few that are available are expensive.
Several smaller streets intersect the main lane. Wandering throughout the island is quite interesting, walking on its streets and watching the everyday life. Going to the mosque, strolling through the streets, catching the hours when the temperatures go down a bit, doing bike tours just to feel the wind touching our face.
The beach is an absolutely mandatory place. I had never seen anything like that before. The sand is fine and golden. The sea is warm, having many corals and fish, and a stunning turquoise color. I spent several hours in this sea.
I loved the color of the sea when I arrived on the beach in the morning, under the light of a forceful sun and, by the end of the day, bathed a breath-taking sunset. Just pure magic and perfection. It´s possible to enjoy the beach in several ways, like scuba. See here the best masks you can use.
Usually, there were local women and children around, eating, walking and in the water. Most of them presenting a wide smile on their faces.
Ukulhas is a simple island, with friendly people and with a great beach. For those who are fond of hot temperatures and a warm sea, as well as some authenticity, it’s perfect. I loved it.