Maldives – What to Know Before Traveling

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Maldives is a collection of thousands of small Islands identified as 26 atolls. It has around 298 square kilometers which provide homes to around 450,000 people. It is identified as the world lowest country with average 1.5m above sea level. Here are some important facts for the first time travelers to this Island Nation, Maldives.

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Visa

Maldives offers On-arrival visa  for all nationalities. You can check further details from following link. Entry to Maldives.

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Weather

Maldives generally has a constant warm weather along the year but the northeast monsoon affects from May to October creating a wet season and making the November to April dry season a famous holiday attraction.

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Transport

Main transport method of Maldives is boats as it is the most feasible and cheapest option. They are called “Dhoni”s and normally they are used to travel in between residential islands. But there are few Resort Islands which has facilities to accommodate domestic flights, which is the most expensive transport option. If you are in a hurry, but little light on budget there are speed boats to be rented for a price in between. Most hotels provide airport pickup and drop services using speed boats free of charge.

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Communication

Almost every resort Islands to budget hotel provides free wifi. There are two service providers called “Dhiraagu” and “Wataniya”. Since the islands are small, you can survive with hotel wifi. But if you are planning to visit Male town or Hulumale, it is better to activate roaming or buy a sim from local service provider.

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Culture

At Present Male is an Islamic country and there language “Dhivehi” is somewhat similar to “Sinhala” (Used in Sri Lanka). Maldivian culture is bit conservative, but women play major roles unlike in other Islamic countries.

Drugs and Liqueur are prohibited in residential islands. Also there are certain limitations to beach wear in residential areas. But they have adapted well to tourism, which is their main income; making liqueur available in resort islands and cruise ship floating restaurants. Also there are public beaches in residential Islands which allows bikinis like swim wear.

Generally the Maldivians are friendly and fluent in English. Other than tourism, fishing related exports play a major role in their economy.

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Food

As this is an Iisland nation, fish is the most common food item. They are famous for Canned fish and “Maldive fish (Umbalakada)”. Other dishes are somewhat related to the cuisines of surrounding countries. Most western food items are available in all restaurants.

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“Do”s and “Don’t”s

  1. There are many items prohibited in Maldives, Therefore make sure you check this list beforehand. (Note that Pork is considered a banned item as this is a Muslim country)
  2. Do not engage with marine life (Fish or Corals) while snorkeling or Diving.
  3. Dress modestly when visiting residential islands and non – bikini beaches, Take off footwear before entering a home or a religious place.
  4. Do visit Local Markets in Male, There are lots of fresh produce for cheap prices.
  5. Change your USD at the airport or in the hotel (If the service is provided) to local currency if you are planning to visit residential islands like male or hulumale. You can use USD for purchase items, but the exchange rates used by the vendors will be very disadvantageous.

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Must Do Activities

  1. Snorkeling
  2. Para Sailing
  3. A Sand Bank Visit
  4. A resort Island Visit
  5. Visit to the Local Markets in Male

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