Maldives is renowned across the world for being one of the premier sites for scuba diving, snorkelling and other water sports. The blue waters, white sand beaches and rich coral life make it an absolute treat. I can personally vouch for this one as being one of THE most beautiful places that I ever laid eyes on!
1. The Guinness World Records has acknowledged the country to be the flattest country in the world with a maximum elevation level of 2.4 metres above the sea level only!
2. Unfortunately, this paradise on Earth is sinking due to the adverse effects on the environment.
3. In fact, recent studies have indicated that the country as we see today may have originally been volcanoes 60 million years ago. These sunken volcanoes developed into the atolls over thousands of years.
4. For the present day problem, Maldives has been working greatly to increase the awareness regarding the threats global warming can pose on the environment. Therefore, in 2009 they held an underwater cabinet meeting! Now that’s how you effectively highlight a problem.
5. It is one of the only countries in the world where the Earth’s biggest fish, the whale shark can be seen throughout the year. In fact, adventurers even go for shark diving to see them up close!
6. Even before you land in the country you will get excited as your flight is approaching because from up above, you’ll be able to see the ocean lined with specs of island and atolls below, showcasing the many shades of blue the country will treat you too. Maldives actually has 1190 islands and 26 atolls!
7. Of these only 200 islands are occupied and about 100 are used as hotels or resorts. The majority remain uninhabited while 99% of the 115 miles in the country just being made up of water.
8. The word atolls actually comes from the Maldivian language, Dhivehi, which has a word called “atholhu” meaning the ring-like formation of coral islands surrounding a lagoon. It is the only word from this language to have had an influence upon the English language. It seems fitting that it was this word after all the country has some of the most breath-taking atolls seen by mankind.
9. Some island shapes get changed! With seasonal currents and strong winds, at times a few of the islands have changed changes and some sandbanks have even disappeared.
10. The traditional Maldivian boat may have actually been inspired from the Arabic traders’ boats. Interestingly, the name of the boat is Dhoni! A number of captains of these traditional dhonis are yet to have converted to GPS systems and navigation tools, still dependent on their boat’s bow, astronomical position of stars and well, their acumen for making their way through the waters.
11. In the medieval times, cowry shells would be used as units of money. Today, they can be seen being used to ornate Maldivian coins.
12. Traditionally, the locals would use corals to build their houses, however, seeing the environmental concern the practice was legally prohibited. Still a few of the remaining old coral houses can be seen at times.
If you’re visiting Maldives, don’t look out for multiple sites or different places to see. The beauty of Maldives is visible from the moment you set foot in the country, it is in its waters, its beaches and islands. And the best way to make the most of your trip to this beautiful country is to soak yourself up completely in that. From the moment you dip your feet in the water, you’ll be greeted by tiny fishes swimming close to the shore. When you swim further in, even before you do snorkelling, you’ll find yourselves in their company as you move in the water. Sandy beaches lined with green trees and four shades of water merging into one another for as far as you can see, that is what makes Maldives a living dream!
1. Go scuba diving. Whether you haven’t done it before or whether you’ll be diving for the first time, the marine life in Maldives is a delight and you have got to see it and experience it with your own eyes. It is ranked as one of the top destinations in the world for scuba diving and rightfully so. Some of the best dive sites are: Maaya Thila, Okobe Thila, Banana Reef, Fotteyo Kaandu, Kuda Rah Thila, Kaafu Atoll, etc. Don’t worry, all resorts/hotels have tie ups to take you for different scuba diving sites as it is the key bread and butter source over there.
2. Go snorkelling. While scuba diving can be an expensive experience and one that you may not want to incur again and again, you can rent some snorkelling gear and indulge yourself to observing the marine life as much as you want. It is also a great way for beginners to get comfortable with aquatic sports/activities. I actually spotted a baby shark while snorkelling in Maldives!
3. You could even go for a dolphin watching tour to see the adorable species jumping and swirling around from the depths of the water.
4. While travellers end up staying on island resorts, if you wish to get a glimpse at the lives of the locals you could opt for a tour that takes you to the Maldivian settlement. Folks even opt to visit the fishing village of Naalaafushee.
5. Other water sports to try out are surfing, water flying, fun tubing, parasailing and paddle boarding if you have an adventurous streak and are looking to try out some more fun activities during your stay. Some folks even give fishing a shot!
6. Make sure to catch the sunset as often as you can. How can you possibly miss it in a place this gorgeous?!
Lay on the beach. Soak in the sun. Jump into the waters. Swim for as long as you can. Spot the fishes. Gaze at the many shades of blue. Laze in a hammock or a swing or a sunbed. Sip on a fruity drink. Eat tropical fruits and fresh produce. Read a book. Enjoy your favourite playlist while you look at the view.
Maldives is a chance for you to indulge in that island life that you’ve heard so much about. It isn’t a destination that you need to burden with packed itineraries or plans. It is simply for you to let yourself be mesmerized by its gorgeousness and enjoy a laidback vacation. And if I sound as if I’m writing a love letter right now, I won’t deny it one bit because this place is truly that dreamy. Sigh. Until I see you again, Maldives!
How to Reach:
From Cochin and Bangalore, you can catch a direct flight to Male and reach within 4 hours.