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Find the Sunny Side of Life in the Maldives

Here’s what to know about the sunshine nation if you’re already dreaming of your next holiday.

With its deep blue seas, turquoise reefs, white sandy beaches and palm trees, the Maldives is a perfect tropical paradise. This sunshine nation is made up of 1,190 coral islands formed around 26 natural ring-like atolls, making it a geographical wonder as well. 
 

THE LAY OF THE LAND

Ninety-nine percent of the Maldives is made up of sea. Each atoll in the Maldives is made of a coral reef encircling a lagoon, with deep channels dividing the reef ring. The islands take their place between the two rows of atolls and each island has its own reef encircling the island lagoon. These reefs are alive with countless types of underwater creatures and vibrant corals, and they protect the islands from wind and wave action of the surrounding vast oceans.
 

THE CULTURE

Since the islands appear in between the trading route of the Indian Ocean, settlers and visitors from everywhere have come in contact with them for as long as history has been recorded. This has left a marked effect on the Maldivian people, the language, beliefs, arts, and attitudes.

Maldivian arts are a great example of how different cultures have intertwined there. The music played with the local bodu-beru (big drum) resembles African drumming. The dhoni (a unique Maldivian sailboat) is an art form itself built with skilled craftsmanship and is similar to the Arabian dows in many ways.  Then you have the intricate details found on the wooden beams in antique mosques, which are a representation of Southeast Asian architecture.

Maldivian people may look different, depending on where their atoll is situated, and have genes passed on by South and Southeast Asians, Africans, and Arabs. The language, Dhivehi, differs in dialect in some regions in the south. Religion (Islam dominates) and superstition have a lot of significance for the islanders.
 

THE DANGERS OF GLOBAL WARMING

Most of the island nation lies less just over three feet above sea level and scientists have warned it could be uninhabitable in less than 100 years. In 2009, ex Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed wanted to show how dependent the Maldives is on its natural environment and attract international attention to the dangers of global warming.  He made headlines by conducting a 30-minute underwater cabinet meeting just north of Male dressed in full scuba gear.  
 

Here are 9 things to do while you’re out there:

Dive

Over a thousand species of fish, from tiny shrimp to magnificent mantas, inhabit the Maldivian waters. The monsoon tides create a collection of small marine creatures and microscopic plant cells, which in turn creates a hub for all kinds of underwater species lured by so much food. The result leaves you enraptured for a lifetime.
 

Visit the islanders

Experience the life of an ordinary Maldivian by visiting an inhabited island. The quiet fishing villages offer lots of tree-shade, swings, and the traditional wooden island gazebos. Some islands are also good places to buy local handicrafts.
 

Night fishing

Fishing is in Maldivians’ blood. Experience why with the satisfaction of catching and cooking your own fish during a night reef fishing trip. Many resorts offer trips that leave early enough to enjoy the sunset. The boat crew will show you how to use the lines, hooks and sinkers.

While that fish you caught gets grilled, make sure you take time to enjoy the surrounding raw, unspoilt vegetation. At night, the stars above come alive while waves wash up tiny lights of phosphorescence.
 

Relax and unwind

Spas in the Maldives are the ultimate getaway cocoons. Traditional healing methods, which have been passed on for generations as family secrets by healing experts. as well as most of the ones you are familiar with, are yours to revel in. Or you can quite simply lie on the beach and feel the stress draining away.
 

Seaplane Photo Flights

 

A seaplane photo flight offers you a sightseeing sensation that gives you the opportunity to enjoy your holiday experience from the sky. Plus the excitement of landing and taking-off from the sea is truly memorable.
 

Watersports

Spend the day snorkelling and meeting glances with wide-eyed fish or feeling the wind in your hair on a windsurfer or catamaran, or perhaps while you’re jet-skiing or water skiing. Surf enthusiasts can hit the massive swells the southwest monsoon creates from June to September.
 

Get romantic

There are endless ways to let the magic of the islands amaze you on your holiday as a couple. Try dinner under the stars, an adventurous getaway to an uninhabited island all by yourselves or just lazing around in your bungalow watching the endless turquoise waters.
 

Dolphin/sunset cruise

Experience a fun search for dolphins while viewing the best sunsets the islands offer. Wild dolphins jump and do their friendly tricks, even swimming with the boat as you stream across the ocean. Take your cameras so you can show off back homeTop of Form.Bottom of Form

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