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South Asia - Maldives

Maldives is an archipelago of 1,192 coral islands grouped into 26 coral atolls (200 inhabited islands, plus 80 islands with tourist resorts) in the Indian Ocean. The country embraces travelers from around the world to visit and enjoy the Maldives resorts, allowing them the freedoms holiday makers require, without compromising the islands' deep Muslim faith. The Maldivians are greatly interested in global climatic changes and sea level rise, as the country's highest point is about 8 feet (about 2.4 meters) above sea level.

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An Introductory video to the Maldives - the sunny side of life - Courtesy of A group of snorkelers and divers hovering and swimming with a majestic whale shark in Maamigili dive site located at the South Ari Atoll in the Maldives - Courtesy of

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Travel Information  Travel Information

Practically all visitors arrive at Male International Airport. The airport is served by a wide array of flights to China, India, Sri Lanka, Dubai and major airports in South-East Asia, as well as an increasing number of charters from Europe. British Airways now flies directly from London Gatwick to Male 3 times a week (Sunday, Tuesday and Friday), and Singapore Airlines flies daily direct from Singapore to Male, with late night timings. There are no regular passenger boats to the Maldives. Even yachts usually steer clear, as navigating around the reefs is hazardous and permits are expensive.

Getting around in the Maldives takes three forms: boats, sea planes (air taxis) and private yachts. The boats are the Maldivian equivalent of a car, while planes and private yachts are mainly reserved for tourists.

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History: The early history of Maldives is obscure. According to Maldivian legend, a Sinhalese prince named KoiMale was stranded with his bride--daughter of the king of Sri Lanka--in a Maldivian lagoon and stayed on to rule as the first sultan.

Over the centuries, the islands have been visited and their development influenced by sailors from countries on the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean littorals. Mopla pirates from the Malabar Coast--present-day Kerala state in India--harassed the islands. In the 16th century, the Portuguese subjugated and ruled the islands for 15 years (1558-73) before being driven away by the warrior-patriot Muhammad Thakurufar Al-Azam.

Although governed as an independent Islamic sultanate for most of its history from 1153 to 1968, Maldives was a British protectorate from 1887 until July 26, 1965, which is now annually marked as Independence Day. In 1953, there was a brief, abortive attempt at a republican form of government, after which the sultanate was re-imposed. Following independence from Britain in 1965, the sultanate continued to operate for another 3 years. On November 11, 1968, it was abolished and replaced by a republic, and the country assumed its present name.

Weather: The weather in the Maldives is usually picture perfect: sunlit days, breezy nights, balmy mornings, and iridescent sunsets. The temperature hardly ever changes - which makes packing for your holiday an easy task. With the average temperature at about 30 degrees Celsius throughout the year, the sun is a constant on most days. However, rainfall increases considerably during the April-October southwest monsoon, particularly from June to August.

Customs/VISA: Everybody gets a free 30-day visa on arrival, provided that they have a valid travel document, a ticket out and proof of sufficient funds, defined as either a confirmed reservation in any resort or US$25/day in cash. This can be extended up to 90 days at Male, but you'll need to indicate where you're staying for that long. Importing alcohol, pork or pornography (very broadly defined) into the Maldives is forbidden and all luggage is X-rayed on arrival. On the way out, note that exporting sand, seashells or coral is also forbidden.

Currency: Maldivian Rufiyaa (MRF) is the official currency of the Maldives, however US$ is widely accepted throughout the hospitality industry and in Male.

Famous People: Mohamed Nasheed, ousted president of Maldives, who is the focus of the 2011 movie The Island President.

Immunization: Visitors to the Maldives do not require any vaccinations or medications against Malaria before travelling to the Maldives unless they are coming from a yellow fever infected area.

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Dining  Restaurants and Dining

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Accommodations  Hotel and Accommodations

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 Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru - Image coming soon! Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru

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Random User Comments

Dave D. wrote about Dominica:

"Dominica was another stop on our Caribbean cruise. Here's an excerpt from my blog post about our day in Dominica:

The bus departed from the pier at 10:30am and we were en route to our first stop up in the mountains for a hike to a waterfall. As we drove through town, it looked really poor - more than the other places we've visited. During our history lesson of Dominica we learned that the island is 99% volcanic rock and 1% limestone, that there are 17 dormant volcanoes and 365 rivers - one river for every day of the year, and during leap years they find another river, was the joke.

The bus stopped after the 45-minute drive through the mountains, and we were at the entry point of the rain forest for the walk to Spanny's Waterfall. A few people stopped to use the facilities but the rest of the group began their walk through the rain forest - great tour guide, just leaving us to navigate on our own. The walk was roughly 20-minutes and was a pretty substantial hike through the mud. We saw a lot of interesting and colourful plants along the way, but surprisingly no bugs. The waterfall was absolutely beautiful. Could have spent a lot more time there.

Back on the bus, we made our way down the mountain and to Mero Beach, which is a black sand beach. The drive down the mountain was a little easier to handle than the drive up. Baron sure did like to grind the gears, and take the turns pretty fast. The beach was pretty interesting, seeing that I've never been to a black sand beach before. The water looked really murky, but was surprisingly clear - the black sand makes the water clarity deceiving. Because we were with the tour group, we didn't have to pay for the chairs/umbrella, and we were given a free drink at the bar.


Group Tour to Trappist Monastery (2 Days and 1 Night)
Isla Margarita Resort - Group Tour to Trappist Monastery (2 Days and 1 Night)

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