Shopping in the Maldives
Lacquered black boxes with yellow, green and red flowers, mats made from local natural palm fiber, miniature traditional fishing boats, scary shark jaws, tender coconut oil, multi-colored shells, sarongs, crafts made of wood and coconut “monkeys” are brought from the Maldives.
Note: according to allcitypopulation, the population of Maldives is 543,620 (2021).
Fans of exotic outfits will be interested in national dresses with embroidery around the neck. Fans of large-sized souvenirs should pay attention to traditional drums, including a rather big “bodu-beru”: it is 100% authentic and will give you many unforgettable minutes in the process of being transported to your homeland. From edible souvenirs, it is worth buying such an amazing thing as coconut sausage.
The best choice of souvenirs is in Male, where there are many shops and shops. By the way, you can also profitably buy high-quality foreign-made diving equipment there.
Prices for souvenirs in the Maldives bite, and bargaining is not accepted.
Cuisine and restaurants of the Maldives
The cuisine of the Maldives has borrowed a lot from Indian and Sri Lankan gastronomy: spicy curry sauces, an abundance of spices, the use of a lot of fruits in cooking, and an almost complete disregard for vegetables and herbs. Everything here revolves around two products: fish (especially tuna) and rice, served in different variations with all sorts of gravies and sauces. Among the ways of cooking marine life: grilling, in oil or breading, smoking, drying and boiling. Snack options: the same fish, only in the form of a filling for a variety of pies, butter balls and a fair size kulebyak. Often they are fried to impossibility. Any meal is completed with unleavened bread “roshi” or crispy flatbread “papadu”.
It is also worth trying rice dishes with the addition of fish curry and coconut milk. At the Male fish market or in all kinds of supermarkets, you can buy canned fish (tuna is a favorite among the local public and visitors), dried and dried fish. The traditional drink is “raa” made from palm milk; the local population almost never drinks alcohol (mainly due to religious prohibitions).
Almost all fruits in the Maldives, except for bananas and coconuts, are imported.
It is better to try local gastronomic masterpieces in “tee-shops” – small budget cafes scattered along city streets. Most of the food is concentrated in Male, on the resort islands, 1-2 restaurants are most often open, where they offer a variety of dishes of the Maldivian, European and international cuisines. In the capital, breakfast costs 60-95 MVR, lunch – 105-160 MVR, dinner with wine – 500-800 MVR per person (alcohol is not served everywhere), prices are higher at the “resorts”. The bill includes state tax and service charge (10%).
Entertainment and attractions
All the main beauties of the Maldives are located below sea level; there are no special sights on land. There is the little-remarkable capital Male (excursion from 40 USD), a lot of uninhabited islands similar to each other, where they like to have picnics (from 35 USD), as well as some kind of “action” – a fishing excursion. Perhaps the only notable surface excursion is the Photo Flight, a seaplane flight over the islands. It costs a lot: for 15-20 minutes in the air you will have to pay about 150-250 USD. Other popular excursions are a yacht cruise (from 80-90 USD) or a submarine dive (from 45-50 USD).
Do you know how an atoll differs from “just an island”? Just in case, we give a certificate: an atoll is a coral island in the form of a continuous or discontinuous ring surrounding the lagoon. If you look from under the water, the atoll will most likely turn out to be a long-extinct volcano, on the slopes of which a coral reef once began to grow – and grew so much that it gradually appeared on the surface. But the top of the volcano, on the contrary, over the long centuries collapsed and sank under water. You know the rest: people sailed to the formed ring from somewhere, built hotels with restaurants and spas, and opened diving centers.
If the soul still requires a cultural program, we recommend visiting the National Museum on the territory of the picturesque Sultan Park, the Islamic Center under the golden dome and the Presidential Palace in Male. The oldest in the country, the Old Friday Mosque with a unique minaret (1656) and the tomb of Mohammed Takurufanu, legends of national resistance, are also located here. There are ruins of a Buddhist temple from 90 BC on Ari Atoll. e., on the island of Matirah (Haa Alif atoll) – a mausoleum with a sacred tomb, a place of pilgrimage for Muslims.
- What to do in the Maldives
Holidays and events
The main holidays in the Maldives are patriotic and religious in nature. The most magnificent celebrations take place on Independence Day, July 26: the islanders have fun in honor of the long-awaited exit from the protectorate of Britain and the declaration of sovereignty. On the first day of the month of Rabi al-awwal, the Day of the Nation is celebrated in honor of the liberation from the Portuguese invaders by the troops of Mohammed Takurufanu. On the 12th day of the same month, the birth of the Prophet Muhammad is celebrated.
The end of the holy Ramadan marks Eid al-Fitr: three days of plentiful meals, visits and other amusements. After 70 days, Eid al-Adha arrives with traditional worship and sacrifices. November 3 – Victory Day in honor of the coup d’état prevented in 1988. In the first month of the Muslim calendar, Muharram, religious celebrations are held to celebrate the Islamic New Year.
December 10 is one of the most colorful local holidays: Fisherman’s Day with folk festivals and noisy fairs. On New Year’s Eve (January 1) and Christmas (December 25), adored by foreign tourists, bright celebrations are held in hotels and on city streets: the degree of fun depends only on the thickness of the wallet.