The Maldives: a magical country of 26 atolls forming an archipelago of over a thousand islands. Travel to Maldives and relax while exploring spectacular reefs, laze on idyllic beaches, swim in turquoise lagoons, and enjoy the swaying palm trees and clear sparkling seas of this tropical paradise.
The heart of the Maldives is a tiny 1.6 square kilometre island named Male, the capital of the Maldives. Visit the Islamic Centre and the beautiful Friday Mosque located in this tiny island city. Shop for souvenirs at Chandani Magu and the Singapore Bazaar – aptly named because apparently, many of the goods sold here are imported from Singapore!
In the afternoons, watch fishermen come in with their catch at the Fish Market and sample the many varieties of tea, curries and "short eats" at the ubiquitous teashops.
For many tourists, an ideal Maldivian experience boils down to choosing the perfect resort. There are about 100 self-contained resort islands, from luxurious to rustic, laid-back to adventurous. Popular resorts are located in the central atolls and it pays to compare package offers when planning a holiday in Maldives.
For travellers on a budget, try staying at a guesthouse on a local island. Encounter real Maldivian life and its Islamic culture - no alcohol allowed, and women have to swim in a burqa. It's a truly fascinating cultural experience.
An alternative to island living is the "life aboard". Join a multi-day snorkelling or diving safari to explore the deserted islands, remote reefs and rotting wrecks during the day, while at night, experience sleeping on a boat.
Whichever the holiday accommodation, the true beauty of the Maldives lies in its crystal-clear waters! Most tourists spend their holiday exploring the incredible variety of corals, fish, turtles and shells that live in the beautiful reefs.
Getting around Maldives
After landing at the Male Airport at Hulhule, travelling by boat or seaplane are the only ways of getting around the islands. Most resorts provide their own airport transfer for their guests, which are usually included in the package price, but be sure to check first. Otherwise, private seaplane charter can be exorbitant.
To get around islands, take the brightly coloured taxi dhonis or speedboats. Charter boats can also be hired for fishing and sailing - enquire at any resort or local island.
Most islands are too small to bother with any form of road transport. Only in Male are motorbikes, bicycles, and taxis available. However, they are rather unnecessary as it is possible to walk across the entire island in half an hour.
Do's and Don’ts in Maldives
• Do bring sunblock, sunglasses, and a hat for protection under the sun.
• Do dress modestly when away from the resort. Especially on islands inhabited by locals, it is best that shoulders and knees are always covered.
• Don't consume alcohol outside the resort islands as it's prohibited.
• Don't bring home any black coral or turtle shell products. Some species are endangered and protected by law.
Did you know…?
"Short eats", or hedhikaa, are snacks eaten between meals. These finger foods come in sweet and savoury forms, and are mostly made out of fish, coconut and starches. Try them at any resort buffet, or better yet, at the communal tables of teashops to enjoy meeting the friendly locals while partaking of local delicacies.
The living islands of the Maldives are actually made up of atolls, some of the most complex natural structures on the planet. Built over thousands of years by tiny sea-creatures called coral polyps, these ribbons of reef encircle a shallow lagoon, forming a habitat with a rich biodiversity of fish and marine life.
Visit Maldives now and experience is beautiful and wondrous landscape first-hand. Search for the cheapest flights and air tickets to Maldives on Skyscanner Singapore.
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