The Maldives lies southwest to the coasts of Sri Lanka and India, in the India Ocean.
Consisting in more than 1,200 islands grouped in 26 atolls, it is one of the most disparate country in the world. Many of these islands are uninhabited. The islands inside the atolls are linked between them by sand banks, offering local populations and tourists a unique spot to admire the ocean. But besides the white sand, one of the Maldives best attraction is it’s preserved marin ecosystem. The oceanic wildlife diversity will amaze you.
While the Maldives climate is rather warm and moist, the sea breezes makes the temperature more pleasant with an average of 30° C (86° F).
Malé, the Maldives capital city, is at the opposite of what we think is the Maldives. During the presidency of Ibrahim Nasir, most of Malé’s fortifications and the royal palace were destroyed to allow a heavy urbanization. With one third of the Maldivian population living in the city, the government was forced to take drastic measures and decided to fill sand banks in order to create new islands near Malé.
Hulhumalé, and Hulhulé are the first two artificial islands, and more are planned to be created. In order to ease transfers from the airport located on Hulhulé to the main island, authorities decided with the help of the Chinese government to build a bridge between the two islands. It is set to be open in 2018.
In the heart of the city center lies the Islamic Center, probably Malé’s top architectural building. It houses the Grand Friday Mosque, a library, and the Ministry of Islamic-Affairs.
- The Maldives are a muslim state. Therefore, it is strictly forbidden to enter the country with alcohol or pork and, of course, to drink or eat those on inside the country.
- Swimwear is prohibited in all the capital city island, Malé.
- Topless is forbidden, but local authorities tolerate bikinis on some beaches.
- When wandering in the villages, men and women have to be properly dressed.
- The Maldives currency is the maldivian rufiyaa but all the guest houses and shops accept US Dollars, so be sure to make arrangement before you go as there is few or no ATM or change office on the islands and credits cards are not always accepted.
- The Maldives oceanic ecosystem is very fragile. In order to protect it, please don’t touch any corals or fishes. Feeding the fishes can also badly impact the wildlife.