Local sand art performer Afu opens guest house in artists’ paradise

Image One of the Maldives’ most talented sand art performers has opened a guest house in Baa Atoll – the atoll of artists. Kethi Lodge Maldives is an affordable four-bedroom guest house aimed at ordinary backpackers, but will undoubtedly appeal to artistic types. Already open a number of months, the owner Afu and his business partner have already welcomed quite a few guests. And they are hoping to attract even more when from next month a small art gallery will showcase the work of local artists living on the island. As well as being an interesting attraction to tourists, it will help aspiring artists to showcase their talents to an international market and allow tourists to take a little bit of the Maldives back home with them. “I must admit, it is a bit of an experiment,” said Afu. “I had the idea to have a gallery as I feel it will do some good for local artists, but I still don’t know how it will turn out. I am still setting up the gallery area and it will probably be ready by mid next month. “From time to time I may drop by to relax. I may even perform on special occasions.”

Culture vultures can discover the island’s charms and heritage and there are island excursions available to nearby Dharavandhoo. This offers another chance to get up close and personal with the locals. The guest house will also also arrange trips to Thulhaadhoo the most famous place in the country for island crafts painted in lacquer. As well as being famous for art and Buddhist relics, Baa Atoll is a UNESCO biosphere reserve and the resort is just 20 minutes boat ride to most famous whale shark and manta ray points in the Maldives -Hanifaru Bay The guest house itself overlooks the sea and you step straight out on to the beach weaving between local craftsmen building boats. There is another beach at the far end of the same island. Being a local inhabited island, walking around in bikini is not allowed. However, on request tourists can be taken by boat 20 minutes away to a local sandbank or a picnic island to bathe in privacy. Kethi Lodge offers a range of packages including snorkelling, diving, art excursions, fishing and local picnics, but we can offer you a discount on a full package when staying at the guest house. Getting to Baa atoll is easy. It is a 20 minute flight with Maldivian Airlines from Male’s Ibrahim Nasir International Airport to Dharavandhoo Island, which has its own airport. The island is easy to reach and has one of the best diving and snorkelling spots anywhere in the country. There are regular ferries and speedboats too taking approximately two and a half hours. We can arrange the booking depending on your arrivals. The guest house is listed in Agoda and on booking.com. For more information contact us with your requirements on backpackmaldives@gmail.com or visit http://www.kethilodgemaldives.com/  directly quoting BackpackMaldives as your source to apply a special discount.

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