The Maldives is a country lying on a group of atolls in the Indian Ocean. The highest point of the Maldives archipelago is 2.4 meters, it is recorded on the southern Addu atoll.
The capital is Male. It is located on the atoll of the same name. The official language in the Maldives is Dhivehi. The accepted religion is Sunni Islam. The climate is tropical. In this state, the temperature is hot throughout the year. The air warms up, on average, up to 20-30 degrees. Rain is the main source of fresh water (there are no lakes or rivers in the Maldives).
The population of the Maldives is 396 thousand people, mainly from the Middle East and South Asia. Of the nearly 1200 islands of the Maldives, only two hundred are inhabited. The rest are for tourists. Interestingly, on the so-called tourist islands, the tourist will not have direct contacts with money - the payment system for the services provided is as follows: their cost is added to the invoice that is paid upon departure.
The Maldives is one of the oldest states in the world. Only very, very little is known about the early history of this country. We can say that a legend flies between the islands. It says about the existence of ancient white-skinned people. These people were tall, their eyes were blue, their hair was dark, and their nose was aquiline. The same legend brings to us the name of these people - the open air. But this is no longer a legend. Facts (namely, ancient pottery fragments) say that these very open spaces lived around 2000 BC. Where did these people come from? Again, this is unknown. But there is a guess on this question. Perhaps the open spaces belonged to the Aryan civilization, which appeared in the Indus Valley around this time.
The Maldives is an unusually beautiful country. This can be judged even by its name. Indeed, in translation it means: "mahal" - a palace, "diva" - an island. And this is no coincidence. The Maldives has over a thousand coral islands. Large and small, they are scattered across the waters of the Indian Ocean. Most of the islands have banana and palm groves. For nature lovers to come to the Maldives is tantamount to getting into a fairy tale.
Male is the only densely populated island in the Maldives archipelago. It is located almost in its center. Surprisingly, the island of Male is rather small: it is only two kilometers long and one in width. However, not the entire area of this small island is built up with various buildings and covered with roads. So civilization has left extremely few open spaces for the fastidious gaze. On this island (one might even say an island) is the capital of the Maldives, which has the name of the island of the same name - Male. For all the densely populated island, it remains very neat and clean, pleasant to the eye. Male often gives the impression of a quiet provincial town. However, modern buildings and other components of "civilization" are also present here. It's just that Male has absorbed the unique aroma of a unique city. By the way, the dimensions of Male Island (two kilometers in length and one in width) are not original. With the help of new technologies, its size has been doubled thanks to the introduction of land restoration projects. The islands close to Male also play an important role. For example, one of them is the location of the Maldives airport.
It is very difficult to get lost in Male. For this, indeed, you should try hard. But seriously, all the streets of Male overlook the three main roads of this city.
Male is an interesting city. Firstly, a tourist can get acquainted with stunning ancient monuments, although there are not many of them here. This is the head of a Buddha statue (from Toddu Island), which dates back to the pre-Islamic period, and a wooden panel dating back to the thirteenth century. The latter is all covered with ancient writings. Various markets are a separate attraction in Male. For example, the never empty market for vegetables and fruits, where the islanders flock (including from other atolls). But the fish market is empty until lunchtime. This is the job of a fisherman. In the morning he is busy fishing. But after lunch, life in this market is in full swing. The fish processing process has been turned into a real art here. A tourist can also be advised to visit the Singapore Bazaar. It is actually a collection of various stores. In them, a vacationer can buy a variety of souvenirs and gizmos (so-called trinkets), as well as items of local folk crafts. Tired of wandering around the shops, a tourist has the right to sit in one of the many teahouses, and maybe even listen to the stories of local residents.
The small town of Male will provide travelers with a huge amount of entertainment. And this is actually the case. Evening fishing is one of the most exciting and interesting. The catch depends a lot on the tourist and a lot on luck. You can go on such fishing by renting a boat with special equipment. And for those wishing to appreciate the taste of hunting for commercial fish, trips are organized on specially designed boats far beyond the territory of the atolls. Indeed, there would be desire and opportunities, and a lot of impressions are guaranteed. Another interesting activity can be a small boat trip with a glass bottom. Photos of the underwater world will for a long time remind the tourist of the time spent in the Maldives. Riding water bananas, water skiing, catamaran, etc. also provided for those who wish. Everyone can have fun.
The most popular form of transport in the Maldives is bicycles. And motorcycles. The explanation for this is very simple: after all, any of the Maldives can be crossed in a maximum of two hours. True, taxis are still used to move around Male, and here you can rent a car for trips.
The Maldives are distinguished by high prices for travel services. After all, the main sphere of the economy is serving tourists. By the way, this type of activity brings the country 28% of GDP. A married couple can very easily spend about two thousand dollars a week. By the way, the amount of the bill (which, as indicated, is paid before leaving the Maldives) should be known in advance, as well as the fact that a credit card very often cannot pay it right away in one day (there is simply a certain limit of the amount that can be withdrawn from it for once). A tourist who decides to go to this particular state with such a beautiful name as the Maldives must understand that the road itself will not be cheap.
Addu Atoll in the Maldives archipelago is huge in size. Relatively, yes. Compared to the rest of the atolls, it is quite large - its total length is about forty kilometers. This atoll consists of 7 islets, which are located in a semicircle around the lagoon. The two islands that make up the Addu Atoll have their own highways. For a country like the Maldives, this is a real luxury. This atoll is also notable for the presence of a fresh lake on one of the islands. Let it be small, but insipid. Moreover, this atoll is ideal for diving enthusiasts. The main underwater attraction is the British frigate sunk in the waters of the island of Ghana (at a depth of 20 meters). About twenty species of marine life settled in the hollows of this ship with holes. So the underwater trip promises to be very exciting.
The national cuisine is based on the culinary traditions of India. To a small extent, he adheres to Arab culinary traditions. The most popular dishes are seafood, rice with the addition of hot spices and various spices. Traditional dishes include fish (boiled, smoked, dried). The most famous fish dishes are: a fish pie (with the addition of onions and coconut) called badgia; kimia - fried fish rolls, rihaukuru - fish paste. And the basis of the Maldivian cuisine is still boiled tuna with rice, which, of course, is seasoned with peppers and sauces. But meat is not included in the daily diet in the Maldives. It is either included in some special dishes, or it is eaten on holidays - mainly chicken. The number one dessert is coconut. For example, the Bondi sweet made from it, which is very tasty white coconut sticks. This is followed by sweet fruit and rice dishes.
Tea is the main drink in the Maldives. It is consumed with a lot of sugar and milk. But the usual black tea is not popular among the locals. And this is despite the fact that it is almost everywhere. It's just that the Maldivians are not used to drinking it.
In the Maldives, expensive coffee. This drink is becoming more and more widespread in this state. True, the matter is complicated by the fact that the product is imported. So, dear.
In the Maldives, you can taste palm juice. It is brewed by the locals and called raa. The sap, which has a sweet taste, is extracted from the top of the trunk of the palm tree. From fermented palm milk, the locals make an amazing-tasting low-alcohol drink called gaa, which can be tasted in Maldivian tourist resorts.
The Maldives is an ideal holiday destination for water lovers. It is the sea that has gathered around itself the largest part of the entertainment centers of the amazing country of the Maldives. Diving and surfing are very popular in this state. The explanation for this fact is the reefs, which are found in significant numbers around the numerous islands. These beautiful creations of nature are ideal for underwater photography and diving. Surfing has gained the most popularity in the resorts near Male. Surfing cruises are also made to remote atolls, however, it is better to worry about booking these cruises in advance. For those who wish, sailing, water skiing, parachuting into the water, etc. are also provided.
Scuba diving is the main entertainment in the islands of the Maldives archipelago. Simple calculations showed that about 60% of all holidaymakers in the Maldives have tried diving at least once. And there is a sense to dive under water. The diving centers have many marked underwater attractions. Each of them has its own name. A tourist who has decided to dive will have a unique opportunity to inspect unusual corals and fish invisible to the human eye from the shore, to explore the skeletons of once sunken ships. Diving with whales, sharks, sea turtles is also present in the Maldives. Any resort boasts a private diving school and offers its services to any tourist. But even on your own, wearing fins and a mask, you can plunge into the underwater world near the coast. He is beautiful here too.
The Maldives is ideal for fishing. Perhaps only she is able to compete with diving. The result of fishing does not at all depend on whether a person has experience in this matter or not. Often, newbies are lucky. Night fishing with a trip to the open sea takes a special place in fishing. All that a fisherman, eager to get real pleasure from the caught fish, has is a fishing line wound on a plank and a bait on a decent hook, that is, the bite in this case is controlled manually. And how nice it is to feel that at the other end of the line something big has pecked on the bait - it could be tuna, and barracuda, and mackerel, or something else. You will definitely not regret such fishing! And there will be something to remember.
The Maldives is a great beach destination. Tourists who are a little "tired" of active pastime or simply unwilling to take an active holiday can satisfy themselves by relaxing on the beach: either under the hot sun or in the shade of greenery. Here you can enjoy the surrounding beauty. After staring intently at the horizon, you can discover more and more islands of the Maldives archipelago. An alternative to relaxing directly on the beach is walking cruises around the islands. Their duration is different. For example, you can take a two-week cruise on yachts, many of which have diving equipment and experienced crew member instructors. A tourist who sets out on such a cruise will be fed with freshly caught fish dishes. If this menu is not to your liking, then there is always the opportunity to have a luxurious snack during stops on the shore.
Barter relations prevail on the islands of the Maldives archipelago. And this despite the fact that tourists from all over the world come to the Maldives. Moreover, until now, this country is characterized by the conclusion of marriages at the behest of parents. Fishing is considered the main activity for men, and housekeeping for women. For a large number of Maldivians, a dwelling made of coral debris with a sandy floor is normal.
The population of the Maldives is true to the ancient traditions of this country. First of all, this applies to those traditions and customs that are to some extent related to hospitality. After all, the traditions of hospitality in this country are passed down from generation to generation. In this country, a person who has come to rest is a long-awaited guest. A tourist should understand that having come to visit the Maldives, he must comply with local laws and not contradict local beliefs. The elementary rules of this country are, for example, a ban on the consumption of alcoholic beverages in public places (it is even forbidden to bring alcohol into this country with you), catching corals (collecting them and taking them out with you is a criminal offense), as well as fishing in the vicinity of the coast. (unauthorized fishing and spearfishing are prohibited). In addition to these rules in the Maldives, there is a custom according to which women should strive to go out into public places in outfits that cover the body as much as possible. And male tourists are not allowed to come into contact with Maldivian women.
Tipping is not accepted in the Maldives. Officially, it is. But unofficially, if the service is worthy of additional reward, it is still customary to leave a certain amount. True, it should be intended for a specific person who served the tourist. There are even approximate rates: for a hotel employee - ten dollars, for a waiter - 5%.