The tropical island paradise called the Maldives is an archipelago that is located in the area known as the Indian Ocean, to the southwest of India. The archipelago is made of over a thousand islands that are actually coral atolls. Approximately two hundred of the islands are inhabited, and an additional eighty or so are said to be home to the many resorts of the Maldives.
The Maldives is a popular destination for honeymooners and also features some of Asia's adventurously gorgeous diving locations. The islands of the Maldives are basically the highest points of ring atolls that appear above the surface of the ocean in various places along the hundreds of kilometers an atoll may stretch. Considering an atoll is basically a gigantic coral diving playground, it makes the Maldives a tropical Asian paradise for some divers. While the diving may be relatively high priced for Asia, it is also said to be of a higher safety standard. It is also recommendable for those primarily interested in the numerous diving locations of the Maldives to book an island tour on one of the many live-aboard diving boats. This is considered to be a much more convenient way to enjoy daily diving activities while also saving money on resort accommodations. Many of the dive locations of the Maldives feature crystal clear waters and a vast array of aquatic inhabitants for divers to enjoy.
Should luxurious tropical resorts or quaint beach bungalows be more your pace, there is plenty of relaxing to be enjoyed on the many white sand beaches throughout the islands. Some resorts even offer scenically romantic bungalows that are actually positioned on stilts above the water. While this may certainly look and sound spectacular, it should be noted that the walls may be relatively thin between such bungalows and resort facilities may be further away than other locations. Still, it is certainly something to consider for at least a night or two during a stay in the Maldives.
As with any nation, it may be wise to understand something about the local people. Prior to 2008 the Maldives were administered by what some reportedly consider to have been a relatively unreasonable Sultanate that had been protected by the English and Dutch governments. Thankfully, in recent years open and fair elections were held and the people of the Maldives chose a new leader. Today the Maldives are considered to be a Republic, so travelers wary of the Maldivian riots that occurred in 2003 and 2004 need not worry. That said, the majority of the people of the Maldives do practice Islam, so alcohol, pork, and the practice of non-Islamic religions are not allowed on many of the islands in the Maldivian archipelago. Tourists on the resort islands are considered to be in a bubble of protection, but it is still important to be aware of if visiting any of the non-resort islands in the Maldives. This is likely part of why a special permit and personal invitation from a resident is generally expected when traveling to the non-resort islands. It should also be noted that bags are scanned when flying in and out of the airport. Seashells and sand are not considered acceptable souvenirs for tourists to take with them from the islands.
Enjoy the gorgeous archipelago of tropical islands that is the Maldives.