The 10 Insanely Useful Facts On Maldives That You May Not Know About – Arabian Sea 2
Port of Male, The Maldives
A very small port in Maldives, Port of Male handles international traffic in maritime trade along the Indian Ocean (Arabian Sea). It is located within the Kaafu atoll which directly brings cruise passengers into the culture of the archipelago as well. The Port of Male also handles cargo, oil tankers and cruise ferries to India and Sri Lanka.
A Background On Maldives:
Officially called the Republic of Maldives, this is a small archipelago in South Asia along the Arabian Sea of the Indian Ocean. It is located on top of the equator, southwest of Sri Lanka and India and made up of 1,190 islands clustered into 26 atolls but only 200 are inhabited. The 26 atolls that make up the Maldives are sandbars and coral reefs and in reality, this nation consists of 99% water and only 1% land.
Even in ancient times, Maldives has held an important spot in the maritime trade route. As a matter of fact, the first colonizers were Indian merchants in 269 B.C. It was believed that these group of people were peace-loving who worshiped the sea and sun.
The first ruler was said to be a prince from Kalinga, India who established the Adeeta Dynasty or Solar Dynasty. However, these sun-worshiping people were later subdued when a Solar Dynasty queen married a prince from Kalinga‘s Lunar Dynasty (moon worshipers).
Traders from the Arab countries, Malaysia, Madagascar, Indonesia and China would later visit the islands in the ensuing centuries. From the 1500s-1900s, Maldives has been under Portuguese rule then the Dutch and the British with a succeeding rule of sultans have also possessed authority and power over the islands. It gained full independence in 1965 and from there, had a series of democratically elected presidents with Islam as the only recognized religion.
I was with the IVS Leopard Sun in 2013 when we docked at the Port of Male in Maldives for oil discharging. Perhaps you’ve heard of this nation before as an A-1 holiday destination with emerald-blue lagoons and white, powdery sand beaches equipped with luxurious hotels? Well this chain of 26 atolls by Indian Ocean‘s Arabian Sea has so much more than meets the eye. Almost a paradise on earth, let me share with you 10 insanely useful facts on Maldives that you may not know about.
1. Maldives is shockingly expensive.
Unless you are from the jet set crowd, this country is a very special kind of destination. An insanely useful fact on Maldives that you may not know about, a room on a private island will cost you of US$500 a night. However in cities like Male (which is the capital) you will be shelling out a lesser amount although you have to adhere to their strict Muslim laws unlike when you are on an upscale resort where it’s more open.
2. You can actually swim underneath in some of the islands.
An insanely useful fact on Maldives that you may not know about is that you can actually swim underneath in some of the islands. Since these islands are concave (the surface curves inward) that will give you a one-of-a-kind experience when you are in Maldives.
3. Alcohol, Bikinis and PDAs (public display of affection) are considered illegal.
And since the Maldives is a Muslim nation, expect then that strict rules are implemented. An insanely useful fact on Maldives that you may not know about that drinking alcohol, wearing of revealing outfits and casual display of affections are prohibited. LGBTQ is not tolerated and illegal in this country.
4. It has bioluminescent beaches.
And of course the best treat that you can have in this country is its bioluminescent sweep of sea at night especially at Vaadhoo Daa atoll. An insanely useful fact on Maldives that you may not know about, the ocean comes alive with a sparkling glow giving a starry-sky look in the lapping waves. The sea planktons are believed to be responsible for this amazing phenomenon, producing the lights at night.
5. Maldives is the flattest country in the world.
The islands have an average ground-level elevation of 1.5 meters above sea level making Maldives the lowest and flattest nation in the whole world. An insanely useful fact on Maldives that you may not know about, it is also the smallest nation in Asia. And yes, the tiniest Muslim nation in the world.
6. The safest travel destination in the world.
The Republic of Maldives is one of the safest destinations in the world with an average crime rate of 1% to negative. An insanely useful fact on Maldives that you may not know about, its islands are well protected and considered very safe. And for that, you will truly be awarded with a very carefree vacation in “Eden”.
7. Only in Maldives – a once-in-a-lifetime accommodation at a pricey tag of US$50,000 a night.
Who says you can’t sleep among manta rays and whale sharks? You can have that opportunity at the “Muraka” suite of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island luxury resort which has the first underwater villa in the world. An insanely useful fact on Maldives that you may not know about, this aquarium-like room with a 360-degree view of the Indian Ocean through glass walls will cost you a staggering US$50,000 per night payment. Other accommodations include a private seaplane service, a maneuvered speed boat, jet-skis, a round-the-clock butler service, a personal trainer and a daily spa treatment in 90 minutes…..so, deal?
8. The first country in the world to have an underwater cabinet meeting.
An insanely useful fact on Maldives that you may not know about, its government held an underwater meeting in 2009. In order to raise awareness on the increasing problems of climate change, its officials wore scuba diving gears on the seabed and discussed for solutions on how to address this environment threat including the rising of sea level in their country.
9. Maldives is sometimes associated with black magic sorcery known as “fauditha”.
Fauditha sorcery is actually permitted in this country and a license is given under a 1978 law, an insanely useful fact on Maldives that you may not know about. However, an increasing number of arrests were undertaken in the past years for the crackdown on using a darker side of this black magic called “sihura”. It was believed this brand of sorcery summons the aid of demons to harm other people. So the government have discussed on tightening some laws as alleged sihuras were often freed without proper charges.
10. A playground of beach and water sports.
If you are a daring type, then rejoice. An insanely useful fact on Maldives that you may not know about, it offers all kinds of beach and water sports. It will be a fun-filled holiday in this country since you can choose flyboarding, free diving, jet skiing, kayaking, kite surfing, parasailing, surfing, wakeboarding, water skiing or ride on an underwater scooters. It’s all up to you.
These 10 insanely useful facts on Maldives that you may not know about are just “scratch on the surface”. The rest of the culture and heritage of this amazing island-nation is up to you to discover. But when you go, make sure to bring along a SPF 50 protection cream as Maldives receives a direct 90- degree angle of sunlight due to its proximity to the equator. Dhivehi is the national language but many Maldivians have a good grip with English, French, German, Russian, Italian and Mandarin Chinese which are widely used at the resorts. Kaamiyaabakah edhen! (Good luck!)