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Maldives

Stunning white beaches, unparalleled luxury, and an incredible underwater world, Maldives has always been first on the list of every vacationer. Home to unbelievably beautiful beaches, the land prides itself for being home to the best beaches of the world comprising of 1200 islands. Some beaches are known for white powdery sand, others for cyan blue water that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

Just like the land, the world under too is equally mesmerizing. Water sport enthusiasts can vouch for some of the best diving and snorkeling spots that take them close to the marine life. Every part of the ocean astonishes one with dazzling corals, colourful tropical fishes and little caves. Go deeper and you will find turtles, sharks and the Whale Shark, which is the largest fish in the world.

Maldives since the last 10 years has developed immensely in the field of tourism. Apart from the high-end resorts and hotels, even locals have now got permission to build their own guesthouses. This is good news for backpackers who wish to visit the islands of Male and Ari that are still depended upon ferries and speed boats as a mode of transportation. Towards the higher end, Maldives owns the world’s most reputed and luxury hotels that are in tough competition with each other. Whether amenities, tour or cruise packages, every part of it has managed to allure a visitor to make Maldives the world's top tourist destination.

Maldives - A Melting Pot of Cultures
Maldives is blessed with rich history and culture. It is home to people from various parts of the world like Sri Lanka, Persia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Africa and India. This makes it a vibrant mix of cultures, traditions and languages. Maldives has Dhivedi as its main language and English as second. National religion of this country is Islam.

Cities of Maldives
Maldives has numerous cities each having its own uniqueness and charm. Each and every city is unique in its own way. From the point of tourist popularity, Male is visited for adventure, diving, beaches and is the first choice for honeymoon. Hulhumale is for snorkeling, scuba diving and is thronged by water sport enthusiasts. Maafushi attracts honeymooners with its bikini beaches, corals and water sports like snorkeling and diving.

Attractions of Maldives
Being endowed with unparalleled beauty of nature, Maldives is home to 1200 islands and 26 atolls. It is replete with exotic islands, sandy beaches, deep blue seas, coral reefs and plethora of water sports. While here, tourists will be spoilt for choices with world’s most luxurious accommodations and the vintage resorts that add on to this beautiful paradise. For sightseeing, one can choose Male’s Old Friday mosque, built in 1656 with coral stone. Awe inspiring architecture and intricate woodcarvings are what makes it a popular destination. Museum lovers may pick the National Museum of Maldives that exhibits remarkable artifacts in its galleries. These galleries showcase Maldives history, specially the ancient and medieval periods. Among the beaches, the stunning white-sand beach of Dhigurah is popular for diving and beach holiday.  Maldivian national hero Mohammed Thakurufaanu’s childhood home Utheemu Ganduvaru is now a museum and largely visited by history buffs. Other places worth visiting are Thulusdhoo Island, China-Maldives Friendship Bridge, Himmafushi, Thoondu Beach, Eedhigali Kilhi for bird watching and the dazzling white Thoondu Beach.  

Festivals of Maldives
Celebrations and festivals of Maldives are deeply rooted to their cultures and heritage. Islam being the major religion, Eid is the most popular festival. Muslims offer special prayers, wear new clothes, have together for feasting, and also exchange gifts. The National Day, the first day of Rabee-ul Awwal is marked with grand parades and marches. 26th July is the Independence Day when the country sees a lot of dances and parades with decorated floats and traditional dances.

Cuisine of Maldives
Being in the lap of Indian Ocean, people of Maldives are obsessed with sea food. Fish forms a part of Maldivian diet alongwith Garudhiya rice (fish broth served with rice, lime, chili and onions). Other cuisines to relish are Mas huni (shredded smoked fish with grated coconuts and onions) and Fihunu mas (barbecued fish that has been basted with chilli). Cuisines here are a blend of Arabic, Indian, Sri Lankan and Oriental influences. Being a beach country, coconut plays a great role in all the recipes.

Shopping in Maldives
Male, apart from being a water sport lover’s paradise is also a heaven for shopping enthusiasts. Each and every city has bustling shopping hubs that are mostly open till 11 in the night. Majeedhee Magu is a popular shopping hub and is flooded with numerous shops. They sell everything from perfumes, cosmetics, jewellery, watches to electronics. Fish lovers can take back some of the fresh produces which are available in canned form. Local fish markets can also be visited for all kinds and sizes of fishes. Tourists can also buy souvenirs like sea shell products and wooden flower vases. Street shopping can be done in Chaandhanee Magu, which is abundant of gift shops, t-shirts, miniature boats and other craft products.

Nightlife
For night animals, there cannot be a better place than Maldives, if they wish to party harder. The country has the plushest party grounds that offers high music and one can dance till midnight. Underwater Party at Subsix is known for its pulsating ambience and also mouth watering delicacies. Jazz nights & live bands at Kurumba is a haunt of every party lover who visits Maldives. Everything from DJ night, live bands to jazz shows are available.  Jungle cinema at Gili Lankanfushi has an open air theatre that provides an open air theatre experience. Bandos beach is for night fishing and also barbeque added with folk dance and music.

Water Activities in Maldives
Maldives is a paradise for thrilling water activity seekers. Visitors here are spoilt with a plethora of options to dive into the underwater world. This is perhaps the best place to partake in scuba diving to explore the multihued under ocean. Surfing enthusiasts land here to enjoy surfing in the pristine clear beaches. If you wish to experience a relatively less secure adventure, then a submarine ride is must for you. Unveil the hidden secrets of the underwater with diving and snorkeling. Those who love fishing can catch some of the rarest species Tuna, Sailfish, and more. A banana boat ride with friends and family add to extreme enthusiasm and excitement.  

Best time to Visit Maldives
The country has November and April as its best months to visit. Peak season being December to March. Monsoon come from May to October, and reaches at its peak around June. For underwater activities December to March are the best.

How to Reach Maldives
Male International Airport located in the Hulhule Island has international flights to New Delhi, Sri Lanka, Kuala Lumpur and all other key cities of South East Asia.

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