Like a bird defying gravity, the plane graciously glides down towards Male' International Airport. A glance out the window and your heart skips a beat.
The magnificence of nature slowly unfolds before your eyes. Sunshine embracing the green little patches enclosed by pure white and surrounded by glistening blues, viewed from above truly takes your breath away. A vision so unique that you can't help but wonder if it is real. Only nature could have painted a picture so perfect. Only nature in its hurried motion could have created such splendor as the Maldives.
The beauty does not recede with the touching down of the plane. The little green patches transform into graceful palms that gently sway to the cool breeze, endless white beaches with sand so soft that it caresses your feet, waters so clear that you see the fish playing in the depths of the lagoons. The Maldives, a tropical hideaway, home to about 270,000 natives 1,350 different species of coral and fish.
A chain of 1190 little coral islands scattered across the Indian Ocean that forms the archipelago of the Maldives in 80- 120 km wide, stretching 860 km from latitude 7° 6"N to 0° 41"S and lying between 72° 32" and 73° 45"E. Out of the 1190 islands, only 201 islands are inhabited. Almost 99% of the country being the ocean, it is one of the most unique nations in the world.
PEOPLE & LANGUAGE
The Maldives has a population of about 270,000 people. (2000). The Maldivians have beautiful and harmonious blend of features from a mixture of Arabic to African, and Asian. The people live in simple, laid back, and contented life-style. With ready smiles, and always willing to lend a helping hand, the Maldivians are a friendly race and make visitors feel very welcome,
The summer never ends in the Maldives. Although it is warm throughout the year there are slight variations in the temperature during certain periods determined by the monsoon; from November to April is mostly dry with very little wind, while the Southwest monsoon from May to October brings some rain and the temperature varies very little. The annual average daily temperature is between 30.4 and 25.4 degrees Celsius. The average rainfall is below 2mm per annum.
The local currency is the Rufiya, and US$ 1.00 is equivalent to approximately 12.75 Rufiya, all major currencies are accepted widely in the country. The most commonly used credit cards are American Express, Visa, Master Card, Diners Club, JCB, and Euro Card.
Foreign currency can be exchanged at any authorised moneychanger at the banks in Male'. It can be exchanged at the airport on arrival or at the resort islands.