A Must-visit Paradise: Maldives

May 26, 2020

Have you all watched your friends visiting a beautiful place, probably a mountain or a beach? Or got a little jealous watching them sun-bathing, or doing scuba diving?

Well, the solution to all your cravings is a place worth visiting: Maldives. With alluring and radiant Sun, beautiful reefs and atolls, clear sand beaches, palm trees, coconut trees, mouth-watering food and some amazing resorts and restaurants, Maldives can be your next dream destination. So, take a look at this travel guide, before you pack your bags and set on this tour! 

The place and a brief history

The Maldives, as is mistakenly understood is not just one island but almost 1000 islands together making the Republic of Maldives. It is a small nation in South Asia lying in the Arabian Sea, with its capital city being Male.

The first residents of Maldives were named as Dheyvis. The archipelago wasn't a republic right from the beginning but was inhabited in almost 5th century BCE by the Buddhists who had come from South India and Sri Lanka. They were mostly the Tamils and Sinhalese people.

With a gradual pace, Islam as a religion was adopted here, owing to the Moroccan Traveller- Ibn Batuta, who had visited the place once and resided here around the 13th- 14th century. The Maldives islands were also an attraction enough to have been occupied by the Portuguese around 1558. Later it was captured by the Dutch and British, the latter having occupied it till 1965.

Today, Maldives stands as a republic under Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.


How to reach?

Maldives can be reached by air or sea. However, the sea routes aren't much explored and developed, and people prefer going by air only.

Within India, any direct flight from Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, or Kochi, etc. will drop you at the Male International Airport, also called Velana International Airport.

The flight will take almost 7- 11 hours to reach and will cost from Rs 9000- 13000. On reaching, you can take any taxi to reach your hotel.


Where to stay?

Maldives is famous for honeymoons and a couple of holidays with special packages for them. But, families can also stay at various hotels. There are 105 Island resorts in the Maldives. However, some hotels have an upper limit for kids being a minimum of 5 years old.

There are many five star and five-star deluxe resorts and spas for a luxury living. For budget travelers, there are budget resorts too, with a room rate of about Rs. 15000- 30000. Thomas Cook also provides packages like breakfast only, half-board, etc. for such travelers.

Some budget resorts are:

● Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives
● Angaga Island Resort & Spa
● Paradise Island Resort & Spa
● Biyadhoo Island Resort 

Places to visit

1. Male

The capital city of the Republic is sprawling with hotels, spas, resorts, and various automobiles. There are many Indian Markets also located in Male. The 17th century Friday Mosque and gold-tipped Islamic Centre are chief attractions. The Male Market is also good to buy items.

But the most exciting place in the North Male atoll, which was earlier called Mahal owing to the royal dynasties over there. It is the largest in the whole city.

2. Banana Reef

This reef is the most surreal site to visit. Located in the North Male atoll, it is the most popular diving site. It was the first site to get recognition for this sport. It is in the shape of a banana and has some beautiful marine life, corals, and hanging caves.

Surely, a place to drool over!

3. Alimatha Island

This island is located on the eastern edge of Maldives and is located in the Vaavu atoll. It is mainly known for being the hub of adventure sports like snorkeling, boating, and canoeing. Couples and families should definitely visit it once.

However, the presence of clear beaches and spas also makes one crave for the Ayurvedic massages over here.

4.Whale Submarine

It is actually not a place in the Maldives, but a submarine in which you get to explore the underwater life of the Indian Ocean in 45 minutes.

You are in a marine drive sort of thing and get to see fishes, sharks, whales, etc. 

5. Huvadhendoo Islands

These islands are known for their soft sandy beaches and purely help in detoxifying the body. There is a kids club over here where children can enjoy.

The luscious greenery and flowers on this place and some amazing cuisines served, will make it a memory to cherish.


6. Bioluminescent Beach

This virgin beach located on Vaadhoo Island is the perfect hub for honeymooners to go on a romantic night skywatch.

The glowing phytoplanktons on the beach produce an exuberant view.

Besides this, visitors can go on Maafushi Island which was destroyed in the 2004 Tsunami which has some amazing guesthouses. 


Commute and Transport

Maldives has a well-connected system of transport and roads and lagoons. There are scooters and cars that move on roads. 

The most commonly used transport by tourists is Air taxi or Seaplane, which is a kind of plane.

Visitors can explore the beaches of this place on boats as well. Taxis are also available and most commonly seen in the cities of Male and Addu.

However, an interesting transport vehicle is the local boat of the place called Dhoni, which is bought by some tourists in its mini version as a souvenir.


Shopping Options

There are umpteen spots to shop that provide various aesthetic items and souvenirs. Some of them are the following:

● Male Local Market: It has some shops that sell miniature ships, boats, brooms, seashells. It also sells local delicacies and coconut milk.

● Majeedhee Magu: It is the main road in Male. The place is popularly known for its electronics, textiles, some local accessories. It also has international brands available. Good for shopping crazy people! 
● Thundu Kunaa: This place is exclusively concerned with the sale of traditional Maldivian mats made by the women on the Island. The mats can be used for a wide range of purposes- sitting, praying, eating, etc.

● Chandhanee Magu: It is also a street market that exclusively sells the miniature version of dhonis. Many international tourists buy the Dhoni and carry it back home.

Besides this, the Male Fish Market is also quite famous with some amazing varieties and breeds of fishes like salmon, pomfret, etc.  

Some items you can buy:
● Sarongs( dress)
● Dhonis
● Fish products
● Coral Shells, jewelry
● Cosmetics



Adventure sports to try

● Snorkeling
● Shark feeding
● Boating, canoeing, rowing
● Scuba diving
● Surfing
● Night fishing, windsurfing, parasailing, etc.


Foods and delicacies 

While in the Maldives, don't forget to try the traditional Dhivehi Cuisine which comprises of Coconut, fish and sweet potatoes, etc. The Maldivian food is more or less similar to the South Indian or Sri Lankan, and they eat a wide range of curries like chicken curry, Tuna curry, etc.

Alcohol is strictly banned outside but can be consumed only in pubs of resorts owing to the nation being strictly Islamic. 

Altogether, a single trip to the Maldives will be a lifetime memory. So what are you waiting for? Go and visit the paradise.

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