The Maldives is an island country in the Indian Ocean, southwest of India and Sri Lanka. The Maldives is also the smallest country in Asia, regarding population and land area. It is a tropical country with warm monsoon-like weather all-year-round. The capital of Maldives is Male. This is, probably, where you will first arrive.
The official language of the country is Dhivehi, although the population also understands English well, due to the high development of tourism. It is one of the most geographically dispersed countries in the world. The early settlers in the Maldives were Dravidian people from the Indian subcontinent.
The Maldives Republic consists of a group of 1,192 islands, which together form 26 atolls. It is situated at a very low altitude. In fact, the average altitude of the country is about 1.5m which makes it the “lowest-altitude” country in the world.
The majority of the population of the Maldives is Muslim. There are various old mosques you can find in Maldives, along with the tombs of various saints. Most of the culture of the country feels the influence of the Islamic tradition.
The currency of the Maldives is Rufiyah. The exchange rate is around 12,75 Rufiyah for 1 dollar. Most resorts and islands accept US dollars, but you should have small denominations. The largest resorts also accept Euros, pounds, yen, and other popular currencies. However, you should check this matter with a resort. Also, some resorts work on a signing system, when you sign for all items and then pay with a credit card or cash at check-out.
It is still better to take cash with you, rather than a credit card or traveler’s checks. It would be difficult to find a bank or an ATM in resort areas of small islands. However, there are some in Male and on some bigger islands. Some resorts can also cash your traveler’s checks, but they will charge you a huge commission.
In Malé, it is not difficult to find a taxi. Car rental is also multiple. Or you can book in advance via Internet. However, it might not be necessary. On most islands, it doesn’t take longer than half an hour to cross on foot. And there are only roads in Malé and a couple of other islands.
June 9, 2016 12:00 am 2 Comments