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Lord Buddha preached his suttras at the mango Grove. Visit the once
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Resorts in the Maldives woo tourists with promises of 'the last
paradise on earth', and if your idea of paradise is a pristine
tropical island with swaying palm trees, pure white beaches
and brilliant turquoise lagoons, then the Maldives will not
It's also a major destination for scuba divers, who come for
the fabulous coral reefs and the wealth of marine life. But
it's not a place for low budget backpackers or amateur anthropologists
who want to travel independently and live as the locals do.
Tourism in the Maldives is carefully managed. The lack of local
resources makes it necessary to import virtually everything
a visitor needs, so it can't really compete on price. The strategy
has been to develop a limited number of quality resorts, each
on its own uninhabited island, free from traffic, crime and
The tourism strategy also aims to minimise the adverse effects
of tourism on traditional Muslim communities. Tourists can make
short guided visits to local fishing villages, but must then
return to their resort. To stay longer or to travel to atolls
outside the tourist zone requires a good reason, a special permit,
and a local person to sponsor the visitor.
When to Visit Maldives
If you're looking for a few extra hours of sunshine then you
should visit the Maldives between December and April, which
is the dry season. This is the high season, however, and resorts
can be fully booked and prices are higher than the rest of the
year. The Christmas-New Year period is the busiest and most
expensive part of the high season. Between May and November
it's still warm, but the skies can be cloudy, humidity is higher
and rain is more likely. This is the low season, and there are
fewer tourists and prices are lower. The transition months of
November and April are said to be associated with increased
water clarity and better visibility for divers.
Attraction in Maldives
About 2km (1.2mi) long and 1km (0.62mi) wide, Malé is
small, quaint, and densely settled. Though not spectacular,
it is quite unique as a capital city. It's clean and tidy, with
mosques, markets, a maze of small streets and a certain, sometimes
sleepy, charm all its own.
Malé is packed to the edges with buildings, roads and
a few well-used open spaces. Officially, the population is around
65,000, but with foreign workers and short-term visitors from
other islands, there may be as many as 100,000 people in town
- it certainly feels like it.
The vast majority of visitors come to the Maldives on package
tours, staying at one of the 70-plus resort islands. Most resorts
are in the three atolls closest to the capital - North Malé
Atoll, South Malé Atoll and Ari Atoll. Despite their
apparent similarity, however, they differ considerably.
Judging by the brochures, all the resorts are beautiful and
are blessed with white sand, blue sea and swaying palm trees,
and they all promise great diving. But they can vary distinctly
in their comfort, cuisine, clientele, character and their suitability
for various excursions and activities.
Seenu (Addu Atoll)
This is the 'second city' of the Maldives, and the resort here
is the best base from which to visit traditional Maldivian island
communities. The Addu people are fiercely independent, speak
differently from folk in the capital and at one time even tried
to secede from the republic.
Tourist development in Addu has been slow to start, but a resort
has been established in the old RAF buildings on Gan. Gan is
linked by causeways to the adjacent islands, and it's easy to
get around them by bicycle, giving unmatched opportunities to
visit the local villages and see village life.
Off the Beaten Track
Baa Atoll is famous for its handcrafts, which include lacquer
work and finely woven cotton felis (traditional sarongs). The
small, isolated atoll of Goidhoo has long been a place for castaways
and exiles. The French explorer François Pyrard, found
himself here in 1602 after his ship, the Corbin, was wrecked.
This solitary island in the middle of the Equatorial Channel
is something of an anomaly in the Maldives. It is exceptionally
fertile, producing fruits and vegetables not grown elsewhere
in the country, like mangoes, oranges and pineapples. The people
are said to be bigger and healthier and to live longer than
In South Nilandhoo Atoll, the island of Kudahuvadhoo has one
of the mysterious mounds known as hawittas. They are probably
the ruins of Buddhist temples, but have not been thoroughly
investigated by archaeologists. Thor Heyerdahl explored the
island and commented that its old mosque had some of the finest
masonry he had ever seen, surpassing even the famous Inca wall
in Cuzco, Peru. He was amazed to find such a masterpiece of
stone-shaping art on such an isolated island, though it had
a reputation in the Islamic world for finely carved tombstones.
There are regular flights to Colombo (Sri Lanka), Thrivandrum
(southwest India), Dubai (United Arab Emirates), and Kuala Lumpur
(Malaysia), as well as many charter flights from European centres.
Malé International Airport is the only international
gateway; departure tax is 10.00. There are regular cargo ships,
but they don't usually take passengers. The Maldives is not
popular with private yachts because the reefs are so hazardous
and cruising permits are restrictive and expensive.
Maldives Tour Package
: 4 Nights / 5 Days
Best Time To Visit : All year round.
Best Buys : Handicrafts.
Day 1 : Male - Island Beach Resort
Arrive Male and transfer to your island resort by speedboat.
Dinner and overnight.
Day 2 : Island Beach Resort
Breakfast. Day free to explore the island beach
resort. Dinner and overnight.
Day 3 : Island Beach Resort
Breakfast. Explore any one of the beautiful islands on your
Dinner and overnight.
Day 4 : Island Beach Resort
Breakfast. Day free to enjoy water sports or just laze around
and enjoy the scenic beauty of the beaches.
Dinner and overnight.
Day 5 : Island Beach Resort - Male
Breakfast. Transfer to the airport.