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The Maldives is a tropical country that is located in the Indian Ocean. It is made up of 1200 islands with 26 atolls, all with magnificent sand, white beaches and crystal clear waters. The Maldives has a territory spanning almost 300 square kilometres, and it is one of the world’s most geographically dispersed countries. The Maldives is also the smallest Asian country by land area and population as it only less than 500 thousand inhabitants.
The Maldives history started with a 1400-year-long Buddhist period that is the foundation of the country. Buddhism probably spread to the Maldives in 3rd century BC during the time of Emperor Ashoka’s expansion. During this time, the country developed and flourished in their cultures that still survived until today. The Maldivian language, scripts, architecture and even the ruling institutions, customs and manners were originated during the time of Buddhist Kingdom. In the 12th century, Islam came to the Maldives and the last Buddhist King converted to Islam. He adopted the Muslim title of Sultan Muhammad al Adil. The Islamic dynasty lasted until 1932. The Maldives became a republic after the death of its last elected Sultan.
Today, the Maldives is one of the most dreamed vacation and honeymoon destination. Not only its beautiful stretches of beaches but also its equally astounding coral reefs have been attracting millions of people each year. The Maldives is also popular with its luxury resorts, one on each island, scattered throughout the republic. Though it is usually considered as one of the expensive places to go on for a holiday, Maldives is the budget-friendly place, only if you know where to get the best deal.
The easiest way to travel to the Maldives is by flying in. Airports are scattered throughout the whole republic. There are three international airports in the Republic and the main one, the Velana International Airport, is located in its main island, in Male. A return flight ticket from Malaysia to Maldives start as low as RM 980. Do note that if arrived at Male late in the afternoon or after 3.30 PM, you will be required to stay overnight there, as there is no more sea boats or seaplanes transfer.
Sea transfers are usually not included in the hotel or accommodation package and they can be very expensive. Make sure to call and plan for the sea transfers. Sea transfers from the Male start from $150 up to $300, which are extremely expensive but there are public ferries that cost just around $2 per person though it will take a lot longer than the sea transfer service. There is also an option to take a speedboat and this will cost around $40 per person. Speedboat is faster and more reliable than the public ferries.
The best time to go to the Maldives is during the offseason, where there will be fewer tourists and things are cheaper. The offseason is usually from May to November. During the offseason, the weather will be high in humidity with cloudy skies and high chances of rain.
Payments in the Maldives use USD even though the republic has its own national currency.
There are great activities that can be done in the Maldives apart from lounging and enjoying the beaches and the clear waters. Islands are hopping, snorkelling and enjoying the rich cultural walk among others. These are the among the recommended activities that can be done while travelling to the Maldives.
The Maldives is very popular for its stunning underwater world, with the most beautiful coral reefs, a variety of marine lives and such. Snorkelling is the best way to enjoy this especially for those who do not have a diving license. The reefs of the Maldives are famous for reef sharks, turtles, stings rays among others. One snorkelling session usually lasts for around three hours and covering three places around Male or Hulhumale. The snorkelling sites vary depending on the weather and current conditions. To join the snorkelling activity, sign up at any tour shops by the Male Jetty. The price is around $90 per person.
Maldivian Private Cooking & Islamic Culture Experience
What is the best way to know a culture? By enjoying their food, of course. This Maldivian Private Cooking is one the best way to get more intimate with the Maldivian culture. This experience is done in a small group of four people. Start with getting the ingredients at the local market that will be turned into a typical and delicious Maldivian meal be it for lunch or dinner. The local market sells the very fresh tropical fish and farm products that are locals and maybe, there are ingredients that you never see before. This ‘class’ will also show how to handle and cook like a local. This ‘class’ will cost $70 per person and it already includes the price of the food items that will be bought at the market.
Male’ Fish Market
Catch a glimpse of Maldivians everyday life by visiting the fish market. It is the commercial epicentre of the republic’s most important industry, which is fishing. To get the best and most fresh catch of the day, make sure to come around in the afternoon as the fishermen came back their daily trips to the ocean. Tuna is the most popular fish for sale but there is plenty of another type of fishes and seafood.
Hukuru Miskiiy is also known as the Old Friday mosque and it was built back in 1656 which made it the oldest mosque in the country. This beautiful old mosque has an exterior that is made out of coral stone and featuring intricate designs with inscriptions from the Quran. The Hukuru Miskiiy is free to enter but for a non-Muslim visitor, permission is required from an official. There are plenty of officials around the mosque. Do make sure to dress conservatively to visit the mosque. The best time to visit the Hukuru Miskiy is from Sunday to Thursday before the noon prayer starts.
Seafood, the especially fish, is the most important staple in the Maldivian diet. Their dishes will incorporate fish in one way or the other. The flavours of Maldivian cuisine is a mix of Arabic, Indian, Sri Lankan and Oriental influences thanks to the travellers and settlers from those areas that built the Maldives. The dishes are also will have coconuts in them as part of the main ingredients or side, or even in the form of drinks. Foods in the Maldives are halal as most of the population is mostly Muslims.
One of the Maldivian's staples, garudhiya is a miso-like fish broth with chunks of smoked tuna, garlic, onions and chillies. This hot broth is usually paired up with Roshi, a flatbread that resembles a chapatti, or plain rice. The Garudhiya is enjoyed throughout the day, for breakfast, lunch or even dinner, usually with the whole family and friends.
Another tuna dish. A strip of tuna meat is marinated in a blend of herbs and spices before stuffed with the same ingredients and covered with strips of coconut leaves. This tuna ‘package’ is then simmered in a coconut broth to create a curry dish and it will be served with crispy coconut rice.
Hulhumale is a reclaimed island in the Maldives republic. The island is a perfect place to enjoy the Maldives, away from the tourists-filled island. Enjoy the simple life of Maldivians, their culture and tradition. Visit a boat building yard and learn about the eco-environment. Spend a day travelling around Hulhumale to enjoy the essence of the Maldives that is not available on the main islands. It is a perfect place to relax.
With the flight and hotel ticket package available at Traveloka Malaysia, you can visit Maldives more easily and cheaper. Choose a variety of tour packages that we offer, and modify as you like to get the combination you want.
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