"Maldives - A Paradise On Earth" Top 5 Page for this destination Maldives by fashionapple
Maldives Travel Guide: 1,550 reviews and 5,314 photos
I dedicate this page to friendly and helpful people of Maldives who welcome every tourist in their country with beautiful smile.
The Sanskrit word, Maladiv, means a garland of islands. Maldives is just like a string of "pearls" scattered over a carpet that is the deep blue Indian ocean. Maldives consists 1190 tiny islands enclosed within 26 natural atolls. The atolls are formed from coral structures, separated by lagoons.These islands are said to have formed on top of layers of coral that grew over the peaks of a submerged ancient volcanic mountain range in the Indian Ocean.
Only 200 islands are inhabited. Each island is completely encircled by white sandy beaches and coral reefs. All beaches have light and dark blue shades by nature. Here you get a chance to see some of the most incredible underwater life. Coconut palms and various tropical plants grow in abundance on most islands and present a lovely setting. About 90 islands have been dedicated as self-contained tourist resorts with all modern facilities. The guest rooms in most of the resorts are situated at the waterfronts. Hence you will have a private beach where you could relax with all the privacy that you may desire.
Since the reefs that surround the islands are rich with colorful fishes, the waters around the resorts would be ideal for snorkeling and scuba diving. International diving schools are found in most of the resorts. International as well as a la carte menus are available in most of the resorts. A number of resorts employ chefs from Europe and Asia so that the particular tastes of the guests from these regions could be served.
Maldives International airport located on Hulhule Island, 2 km east of Male', is the only international airport in the country. Major international carriers like Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Sri Lankan airlines etc. have regular flights for Maldives. Domestic flights to far away islands and resorts are operated by Island Aviation, Trans Maldivian Airways and Maldivian Air Taxi.
Travel on most of the islands takes just 30 minutes on foot. Bicycles and motorbikes are popular modes of transport in Male' and some other bigger island. Taxis charge Rf. 15 if hired on the road and Rf. 10 if hired via telephone. Dhoni (local motor boats) is the cheapest mode of transportation between islands. Speedboats are much expensive. Tourists are issued 30-day tourist visas on arrival at Male' International airport. They are supposed to fill up the health , arrival and destination cards and submit them to immigration authorities.
Import of pornographic material and alcohol is strictly not allowed but resorts serve alcohol for foreign tourists. Export of sea turtles and black corals is not allowed. Tourism in the Maldives is carefully managed. Tourists can make short-guided day trips to local fishing villages but later they must come back to their resort.
All major credit cards are widely accepted. ATM withdrawal facility for credit cards is available in Male'. Ruffiya is the local currency but US dollar is accepted every where. As per official rate 12.75 Ruffiya = 1 US Dollar. All 100% population is Sunni Muslim. Literacy rate is 98%. Total area of country is just 823 kilometers out of which 99% is sea. Total population of 300,000 is a mixture of Indian, Sinhalese, Arabic, and African influence.
66,000 people live in capital island Male' that has total area of just 1.77 kilometers. Male' is a city of high-rise buildings, government offices and paved roads. Male' is relatively green and pleasant. Office timings are 7.30 am - 2.30 pm in the government sector and generally from 9 to 5 in the private sector. Weekend falls on Friday and Saturday. There is break of 15 minutes five times a day for prayers and at that time all shops are closed.
Maldives is a crime free and safe destination. People are very friendly, hospitable and peace loving by nature. It is very easy to feel comfortable and relaxed with a Maldivian.Women have equal access to education and jobs. They hold key positions in the civil service and the private sector. Tradition is valued though not at the expense of development and modernization.
Maldives won independence from the British in 1965. It has been a republic since 1968 when Maumoon Abdul Gayoom became the President. He has been re-elected five times since then. India and Sri Lanka are the immediate neighboring countries. Major industries are tourism, fisheries, garments, boat building, building construction and handicrafts.
The Maldives' economy has been growing at an annual average of 8%. The GDP per capita currently stands at around US$ 2,300.00. IDD facilities are available on all resorts and card phones are available on all inhabited islands. Dhiraagu, the Maldives Telecommunications Company also provides mobile telephones for daily rental. It is also the Internet service provider.
English is also widely spoken language but national language is Dhivehi. Maldives enjoys typical tropical climate so cotton clothing is recommended. There are two monsoon seasons from May to October and then from November to April. In inhabited islands it is recommended that women wear modest clothing.
Soccer, basket ball, swimming and bodybuilding are popular sports. Maldives is very expensive destination. It is not a place for low budget backpackers. The room rates at resorts usually range between $ 150- 500 per night. Transportation cost to your resort could be even higher than the room rate. Best buys include handicrafts and souvenirs like reed mats, wooden boxes crafts, coral rings, seashells and hand painted traditional shirts.
In a nutshell, Maldives is a land of warm, crystal-clear lagoons, where tropical breezes blow through the coconut palms and the sun sets on a turquoise ocean-a place blessed with an abundance of nature at its finest. Welcome to Paradise, welcome to Maldives!
- Pros:Crystal clear water, lovely beaches, coral reefs and amazing marine life
- Cons:Very expensive destination. Not recommended for budget travelers
- In a nutshell:Maldives is a paradise on earth!
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