Capital city of Maldives is Male. It is spread over an area of nearly 3kms length and 2 ½ kms width. Total population of Maldives is 3 lakhs. Maldives are a best example of living near the sea. All these island look like a chain in Indian Ocean. So these are called Maldives. Though there are nearly 1190 islands, people live in only 201 islands. These are called Coral islands. Only passport is needed to visit Male. There is no necessity to have a visa.
As there was no place available to construct an airport in Male, it was constructed in another island which is nearby. Maldives has five more airports but the air port near Male is the international airport. Time of Maldives is half an hour behind Indian Standard time. Motor boats are available from Airport Island to Male.
Maldives are at a height of 1 ½ kms from the sea level. If there are any natural calamities like Tsunami these would be the first to disappear. People of Maldives should be praised for the way they made this place such a comfortable place to live. Watching Shopping malls, small streets, foot paths, citizens who strictly follow the traffic rules is pleasurable. Male Island that has one lakh population has thousand of motor cycles and cars. Language of people of Male is Dhivehi. Dhivehi sounds like a combination of Tamil, Malayalam and Sinhala languages. Tourism is the main means of lively hood for Maldivians. All the people here can swim. Currency of Maldives is Rufiyaa.
South Indian food is available here. All the ingredients needed for south Indian cooking are available at some Malayali shops here. But the prices are a bit high. Fishes are available in abundance here. No item is made without using fish. Drum stick trees, Mango trees and song of cuckoos remind the visitors of Andhra Pradesh.
Special feature of these coral islands are the coral debris around the islands. These act as a natural barrier against sea. They protect the island from erosion due to waves. Maldives has been divided into group of 26 islands. These are called Atolls. Each atoll consist 30 – 40 islands.
One of the Atolls in Maldives is ‘Baa’. An island by name Kuda funafaru has island hotels that offer packages to tourists. Model of transport in Male is boats. Ocean looks as a mixture of green and blue colours up to a distance of 1 km into the sea. After that distance, sea appears in dark blue colour.
Maldivian air taxis are available to travel from one island to another. These are very small. Only 20 persons can travel in these air taxis. Air taxis takeoff and land on water only. There are many resorts in these islands. Ferries are used to reach the resorts. The resort at Kuda funafaru is called ‘Zithali’. Employees of these resorts receive the guests very well. These resorts look like a wonderful world with sweet coconut water, green trees, white sands and blue and green sea water. Tourists are taken to the water bungalows from the reception in Buggies, small motor vehicles. Water bungalows are constructed on the sea water. Tourists can enjoy to their hearts content in these islands. But the food available here is sea food and European cuisine. Vegetarians will have to satisfy their hunger pangs with fruit juices, bread and cornflakes.
As Maldives are situated at the equator, sun rays fall straight and bright on these islands. During day time, we cannot directly look at the sand. Foreign tourists enjoy the sun tanning here. Many small islands around Male like Hulhumale, Villingili are also can be visited.
Another important island in Maldives is Sun Island. Foreign tourists visit this island in large numbers. This is a good picnic spot. Scuba diving, water skiing facilities are available here. Thousand of varieties of fish can be seen here.
Sting ray fishes
Stingray point in Sun Island bustles with activity at 9.00pm every day. Stingray fishes look like lotus leaves. They have poison at their tail part. All these fishes reach stingray point in large numbers every day at 9.00pm. Resort staff feed these fishes with small fishes and meat pieces. Many other species of fishes also come here.
Another view point on Sun Island is Whale sharks point. Whale sharks appear in groups near Thai restaurant. Each whale shark is 4 – 6 feet long. Mouth of these fishes look like shark and the body resembles whale. Many tourists gather at these view points to watch the fishes. Whale sharks look ferocious.