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Destinations:

Male, Maldives

Overview
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Attractions
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Dining
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Shopping
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Male Overview

The Maldives are usually referred as the “pearls” of the Indian Ocean, and with good reason. This tropical paradise is an enormous archipelago consisting of over 1,200 islands, 200 of which are populated and 88 that are dreamlike sea resorts, surrounded by colorful wild flowers and crystal clear aquamarine waters, boasting the most amazing marine life in the planet; the ultimate vacationer’s paradise.

The Maldive Islands were a sultanate, (a territory ruled by a sultan) and gained their independence in 1965, when their name was changed to the Maldives. In recent years, the Maldives have become a popular exotic resort and spa destination. Water transport is the most popular mode of transportation between islands, and the newest form of transportation, the liveaboards, actually act as floating resorts. These are vessels specifically designed to accommodate travelers on board and provide diving, cruising and other activities. It’s a fun alternative to staying on island resorts.

One of the most popular reasons for visitors coming to the Maldives is the incredible diving and snorkeling opportunities; the warm temperatures throughout the year, as well as the underwater visibility exceeding in some instances 50 meters, makes Maldives a prime destination for divers. Maldives are also a great destination for big game or regular fishing and surfing.

Restaurants in the Maldives are usually housed in hotels or resorts. Cafes known as hotaas are great places for savoring Maldivian cuisine. Maldives cooking is generally spicy though milder than food of neighboring Countries. Popular dishes include fish, prepared with ingredients like coconut, lime, onion and chili. Sweet, sour, hot and spicy food is traditional. Sweets are made from flour, sugar and essence and black tea is the usual ending to every meal. Maldives are mostly Islamic, so alcohol is only served at resorts. With the import of Western foods like bread, pasta, margarine and jams, dining in the Maldives resorts has changed in nature, though Maldivian meals are still offered.

Shopping in Maldives is quite different from other vacation destinations. There aren’t any malls, but unique shops offering electronic items, perfumes, chocolates and cosmetics. You can also find beautiful shops displaying garments imported from Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and Dubai. Most souvenir shops offer beautiful lacquer works, woven mats from dried coconut leaves and jewelry.
A special gift, traditional of Maldives, is dhoanis, or models of local vessels, usually made from wood and oyster shells.

The Maldives are a great vacation destination for everyone. You can choose to relax in the sun or you can take part in the many activities available. Big game and night fishing is one of the most popular activities as is surfing.

The most visited Maldives islands include: Baron and Kurumba, close to the airport, boast large health clubs and restaurants; Male, the capital of Maldives; Farukolhufushi, known to have the best food; Waadhu, more secluded but with lots of character; and Bodufinolhu, known as “Fun Island” and a favorite of divers. However, many less populated islands are great places to see local wildlife.

Once you experience the beauty of the Maldives, you won’t want to leave.
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