Millennium Post

Azure blue maldives

Azure blue maldives

Do you love intense azure blue waters and milky white beaches? One such exotic destination to explore lies near the southern tip of the Indian subcontinent – Maldives. The archipelago of Maldives is dotted on the equator south of India's Lakshadweep group of islands. Maldives is indeed a paradise for those Sun 'n sand loving folks who are looking for views out of this world both above and below the sea. The feast for your eyes begins right from the air when your airplane descends over the runway situated in Hulhule Island, where you can see atolls of varied sizes scattered amidst the vastness of deep blue Indian Ocean.

The Maldives is a tropical nation in the Indian Ocean composed of 26 ring-shaped atolls, which are made up of more than 1,000 coral islands. It's known for its beaches, blue lagoons and extensive reefs. Maldives is famous for its luxury island resorts situated on select, isolated islands, catering to the extravagantly rich and famous. They look mesmerising, with beautifully constructed water villas suspended over the ocean. No wonder it is consistently voted the most beautiful beach destination in the world. Most of the resorts are owned by European companies managed with high standards of luxury. There are fewer options for the budget tourist, but some islands do cater to package tours and there are several hotel options in the capital, Male, and neighbouring Islands which are affordable. You may also find great discount deals online in some of this luxury resorts during the off-peak season.
The islands are popular for snorkelling and scuba diving due to the warm water, high visibility and diverse marine life, including manta rays and spotted whale sharks, which can grow up to 12m long. Other popular water activities include swimming, surfing, sea kayaking and jet-skiing. Travel by boat or seaplane is common on inter-island trips from Malé to uninhabited islands or small fishing villages, many of which offer guest-houses or homestays. The most typical travel accommodations are luxury spa resorts and overwater bungalows on wooden stilts. In all the hotels, there are many fun-filled activities on offer, including once in a lifetime experiences like snorkelling, exploring the pristine underwater coral reefs in glass-bottomed boats, and going parasailing. Sandbar (small patches of white sand in the sea) visits, dolphin sighting trips, and visits to national parks are other highlights for kids. Maldives ranks amongst the top five destinations in the world for dolphin watching. Maldives is home to over 20 different whale and dolphin species. If you are lucky, you can visit reefs where large colonies of sharks may be visible. If you are cash strapped there are single day combined activity trips, which work out cheaper. Most beaches offer normal water-sport activities like banana boat rides. In case you are more adventurous, you may get a lift in a local fishing boat to witness how they catch giant tuna fish with their ingenious techniques. It can also be a thrilling experience to take a seaplane sortie from the airport to a luxury resort island for $100 which can offer you a bird's eye view of these islands. A tourist submarine is also available for visitors to explore the vibrant underwater marine life.
The capital, Malé, has a busy fish market, restaurants and shops on the main road called Majeedhee Magu, and the 17th-century Hukuru Miskiy (also known as Friday Mosque) made of carved white coral. The capital is home to all the government offices and important business centres. The city is crowded with buildings and narrow lanes. It is clean and traffic is manageable, with two-wheelers mostly on the roads. The ground floor of all the buildings are either shops or office spaces whose owners live on the top floors, so you won't find independent houses like in our spacious country. You can view the President's office and other historical buildings, well-maintained boat jetties, the vegetable market, the old mosques and the Tsunami memorial. The artificial beach in Male is another attraction where children can play safely without fear of high waves. And one can also hit the well maintained open air gym near this beach free of cost.
The cost of living in the city is high due to expensive rentals and since all goods and products are imported from other countries. The local economy just thrives on tuna fishing and Tourism which explains the expensive nature of the place. In order to explore the city, cabs are affordable or if you are a fitness freak, walking the length and breadth is possible in a couple of days. Islands like Hulhumale, Villingili and Himafushi, are popular islands nearby and are connected by govt-run ferries. If you can shell out a little more, the journey can be enjoyed via adrenaline pumping speed boat rides. Being surrounded by waterways, plenty of colourful boats of different shapes can be seen everywhere. The boat parking enclosure made by segregating sea water is a must-see. The local Maldivians are tourist friendly. The populace also has different nationalities ranging from Indian, Bangladeshis and Sri Lankans, mostly working in the resorts. Besides their native language of Dhivehi people can speak English and Hindi, thanks to the regular screening of Bollywood movies in Male's sole cinema theatre. Many Indian food joints are available like Evening Cafe, Athamma Palace and Curry Pot. Locally made artefacts of shells and driftwood and curios from across the world are on sale. You can enjoy night-time activities such as a delicious seafood dinner al fresco on the beach under the setting sun and the Maldivians' favourite activity – Night fishing. Using hand lines and raw fish as bait, you can catch glowing fish under a beautiful starlit sky. Luxury resorts also have famous spas and you can enjoy an aromatherapy massage on the beach.
Tourist season is between September and February when charges are quite high. Visa is issued on arrival for Indians if you have confirmed hotel stay with a minimum spend of $100 per head. The hotel keeps your passport and you cannot travel independently between the islands, it must be organised through the hotel.

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