The Maldives is located in the Arabian Sea, 700 kilometers southwest of Sri Lanka. The total area of the islands is only 298 square kilometers, and the population is about 400,000 people. The Republic of Maldives gained independence from Great Britain on July 26, 1965.
15 facts about the Maldives
From 1558 to 1573 The Maldives belonged to Portugal, and in the 17th century the Dutch and then the British appeared here. During World War II, there was an English military base.
Maldives consists of 1192 islands. But, people live on only 185 of them. This is not surprising, most of the islands are very tiny, and some managed to accommodate only a small hotel, cafe and beach. Even the runway of the largest airport named after Ibrahim Nasir begins and ends at the very water. An airport was built on an artificial island.
It is impossible to find any mountains or even high hills in the Maldives, the average height above sea level is only 1.5 meters. And the highest point of the Maldives is located on the island of Vilingli. She really has a “basketball” height - 2 meters 40 centimeters. The Republic of Maldives is the most flat country in the world.
Due to the small area of the islands there is no rail transport. Local residents maintain communication with the outside world through aviation and sea vessels. And the total length of roads does not exceed 90 kilometers. there are few cars here, about 25 cars for every thousand inhabitants. Covers are used to cover roads, which do not get wet during rains.
In the XIII century, it was visited by the Italian traveler Marco Polo. He was so fascinated by the beauty of these places that he called the islands "the flower of the Indian Ocean."
The monetary unit of the state is the Maldivian rufiya, which consists of 100 lari. Banknotes of all denominations have one size - 150x70 millimeters. Tourists will not be able to take a few bills as a souvenir; import and export of local currency is prohibited. It is also forbidden to bring alcohol and pets here. You can not take out corals and crafts from turtles. Residents of the Maldives are very law-abiding.
The capital of the Maldives is the city of Male, it is also the largest settlement on the islands, every third resident of the Republic of Maldives lives in the capital. It is one of the most densely populated cities in the world, 130,000 inhabitants are spread over an area of 7 square kilometers.
As in many other small island states, the Maldives has an acute shortage of freshwater. She is literally worth its weight in gold. During rains, many residents take out dishes to the street to collect precious water. There are no rivers or freshwater lakes on any island.
In the Maldives, crab racing is very popular. Such races are arranged in many hotels for the entertainment of tourists. You can even make a bet and earn a decent amount if you can correctly guess the winner of the competition.
To relax in the Maldives is not necessary to choose any time of the year. There is a stable tropical monsoon climate. All year-round, the air temperature at damage is 25-30 degrees Celsius.
In the national cuisine of the Maldives, there is a clear influence of the traditions of the Arab countries and India. Many dishes include rice and fish. Coconuts are also very popular, from which coconut milk and butter are made.
The Maldives has a very high literacy rate of around 98. Elementary schooling is compulsory for all children. Moreover, the Maldivians themselves rarely read newspapers and practically do not watch TV. On the island it is not customary to greet each other, just a slight nod of the head is enough. Locals do not even celebrate their birthday, preferring to work hard at this time.
Athletes in the Maldives regularly participate in the Summer Olympics since 1988. But, they did not achieve high results during this time, failed to win a single Olympic award. In 1983-1984 the national team of Maldives on football was coached by Soviet specialist Alexander Bibichev, under his leadership bronze medals were won at the 1984 South Asian Games.
The workweek in the Maldives from Sunday to Thursday. Friday and Saturday are weekends. These days, even most restaurants are closed, which is very unusual for tourists.
The equator crosses the Maldives, therefore, they are located immediately in two hemispheres - northern and southern. When crossing the equator on an airplane, the flight attendants hand each passenger the corresponding personal certificate.