Maldives are located in the Indian Ocean, south-west of India and Sri Lanka. In total there are 1,190 islands, which form 26 atolls stretching a double chain perpendicular to the equator. Of all the islands only 202 are inhabited, including 88 islands are tourist resorts. The length of the Maldivian archipelago from north to south - 820 km from east to west - 120 km. The total area of ??the Maldives, together with the land and the sea is about 90 thousand square meters. miles.
Maldives consist of two rows of atolls. These atolls are the result of the thousand-year growth of corals. Each year, the coral colonies grow by 1-4 cm, and finally come to the surface waters. The interior of the coral is dying, and after a certain (rather long) time begins to form a lagoon. It is always advantageous for the ocean, because it makes the erosion of coral in the soft white sand, which is so famous beaches of Maldives. A few years later (perhaps several hundred) is formed a new island.
Full name - Republic of Maldives. The political system - presidential republic. Capital - Male '. The independence of the Maldives was proclaimed July 26, 1965 g (above - a protectorate of Great Britain) in 1968 through a referendum the Maldives have been declared a republic. July 26 - National Day (Independence Day). Head of state and government - the president.
Legislative power is vested in a unicameral parliament - the Majlis, consisting of 50 members: eight members appointed by the president, the rest are elected by the people - two from each of the 20 atolls and two from the capital city of Male. The term of Parliament - five years. Despite the constitutional form of government, the real power in the country holds a narrow circle of elites. Political parties in the country are missing. The supreme body of the judiciary - the Supreme Court.
The climate is tropical. The average temperature does not drop below 25 degrees even at night. The best weather conditions from November to late April (northeast monsoon), when the sea is calm, the weather is sunny and dry. From May to October the weather is less predictable. South-west monsoon can bring short rains, high humidity and turbulent sea. However, in this period, the least hot. The rain goes 3-5 times a day, an average of 10-15 minutes. The excitement of the sea are most likely in June. The average daily maximum of 30 degrees, a night at least 25 degrees. The water temperature +24-27 degrees year round. The water temperature around 28 degrees.
The population of the Maldives comprise mostly Maldivians and Indians. The number - more than 300 thousand people.
Local people are extremely hospitable and friendly. The family usually consists of 5-7 people. Maldivians do not see marriage as the union for life. Marriage, like a divorce - a mere formality. But for extramarital affairs should be severely punished with sticks. Any connection immediately legitimized by marriage, even if it lasts only a few months. 10th divorce is no surprise, as a resident of the islands has broken all records: she was married 90 times!
Maldivian language ("dhivehi" - divehi) belongs to the Indo-Iranian language family and is used as the official language of the Maldives. Many foreign words come from Arabic, English and Hindi languages.
The name "Maldives" was formed from the words "Mahal" (palace) and "Diva" (island) Hindi.
In Male 'and resorts are widely used by English and German, French, Italian and Japanese. Outside the tourist zone due to the English language is difficult.
Maldives - a Muslim state. Life and religion - a whole, the law of Islam - the law of the country. Devout Maldivians have to pray 5 times a day - even in hotel rooms can be found on the floor of the green arrow indicating the direction to Mecca. Fasting during Ramadan is strictly controlled, and working hours change.
Menu of most resorts in the Maldives includes both local, Asian and European cuisine. If you are accustomed to traditional European cuisine, do not worry - most resorts are 4 star and 5 star restaurants in their offer Indian, Continental, Oriental, Italian, Chinese cuisine.
Local cuisine is based on Indian traditions and, in part, Arab culinary traditions. It is widely used rice, seafood, spices and various spicy seasonings. In most traditional dishes using smoked, dried, and boiled fish. The basis of food - tuna cooked with rice, flavored with different sauces (in the first place - curry sauce, cooked with coconut milk added) and pepper, spicy dishes add lime, chili and a little bow.
The meat, mostly - chicken, used only on holidays or in special dishes. Basically rice is used in all variations - cooked in coconut milk with a variety of vegetables, pepper, all the same fish or marine arthropods, as well as bananas, papaya, mango, pumpkin, sweet potato, or breadfruit.
The main dessert - coconut in all forms, as well as sweet dishes of rice and vegetables. Areca nut (an oval nut with betel leaf, cloves and lime) is eaten after dinner. If you wish to taste the local sweets, try Bondi (bondi) - white coconut sticks - very tasty! Widely used coconut milk, various puddings, fruit and vegetable salads and pastries.
The main drink - tea, as used with lots of milk and sugar. Black tea is poorly distributed, but there is everywhere, the locals just are not accustomed to drink it. There is a growing gets coffee, basically - in Arabic, but like all imported products it is quite expensive. The locals brew a drink paa - sweet and delicious toddy, which is extracted from the tops of palm trunk.
Carefree and simple existence in harmony with nature - this is the Maldivian way of life. Artistic Maldivians complement the natural beauty of exotic coral islands. Fishing for them - it is a profession and leisure time. Maldivians - excellent guides during safari, excellent sailors and divers. The men went to sea in a graceful narrow sailboats "dhoni", a way of building which has not been changed six thousand years!
Women dried kernel of coconuts, curry fibers produce copra. She, along with dried fish main article Maldivian exports. Coconut is called the "tree of life." Until now, the rent charged to the island, determined by the number of growing trees on it. Before another source of income is extraordinarily beautiful shells, which were used instead of money, not only in many countries, but even in Africa.
The life of the islanders are calm, measured and very closed. Communicate with neighbors rarely, and that the girl from one island to marry a young man from another island and can be no question. Barter trade is still flourishing. The dwellings are built of coral rubble prebaked, the floor is sand, palm-leaf roof. Other classes of local residents - wood carving, stone carving, weaving mats and ropes, making skilled crafts and jewelry - are extended to all the islands. The usual form of greeting - shaking hands, officially greet 'salaam alaikum, "the word" kihenen "greet each other in an informal setting. Particularly striking local hospitality. This is perhaps the only trait passed down from generation to generation.
Maldivians are surprisingly nice people, united in its appearance features yuzhnoevropeytsa, Mongol, and Negro. Their greeting kind, will not depend on the tip, and hard work makes with respect to treat their religion and traditions.
Stores. Markets. Prices
The best place for shopping - a city of Male. Here is a huge selection of handmade gifts, not only local but also international. Also at the international airport g.Male in duty free shops offer electronics, photographic equipment, watches, cosmetics. As a souvenir you can buy shark teeth, shells and handicrafts.
Mode of operation of institutions
Schedule stores unstable. Most, especially on large islands, working with 07.00-08.00 21.00-23.00 before, but in the summer, many shops are open from 13.00-15.00 18.00-20.00 up.
In Male, banks and exchange offices are concentrated in the street Marine Drive. They are open from 8.00 am to 13.30, Sunday through Thursday (as in many other Muslim countries, Maldives holidays are Friday and Saturday).
January 1 - New Year's Eve.
8-10 January - Eid al-Fitr (end of Ramadan).
March 15-18 - Eid al-Kebir (day of sacrifice).
April 6 - Islamic New Year.
June 4-5 - National holiday.
June 15 - Mouloud (Prophet's Birthday).
26-27 July - Independence Day.
November 11-12 - Republic Day.
September 1 - Day Huravi.
October 28 - Day of the martyrs.
November 3 - Victory Day.
Maldives - visa-free country. Tourist visa is affixed in the passport free of charge on arrival and is valid for 30 days. To do this, must be submitted at passport control passport valid for at least 6 months, return tickets to the specified date of departure, a voucher for tourist services and the minimum amount at the rate of U.S. $ 25 for each day of stay in the country. When leaving the airport of the country are charged a fee of $ 12 U.S..
When transiting through Europe with accommodation - Deadline for registration of a transit visa in accordance with the regulations of the country of transit.
On the island is strictly forbidden to bring dogs, alcohol, pork, pornography and erotica (magazines, videos), equipment for underwater hunting, firearms and drugs. The export (without permission), black corals, stuffed turtles and tortoise shell products. It also banned the import and export of local currency
Maldivian currency is the rupee (rufii). One rupee is equal to 100 GEL. In circulation are banknotes of 500, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 2 rupees. As well as coins in 50, 25, 10, 5, 2 and 1 GEL. Universally accepted U.S. dollars and major credit cards, so be sure to exchange on arrival dollars into local currency. 1 U.S. dollar equals about 11 rupees.
You can exchange currency at the official rate in any of the banks at the airport.
Ahead of Moscow time 2:00, Kiev - at 2:00 in the summer and at 3:00 in the winter.
Transportation within the country
Due to the nature of geography of the archipelago, most of the traffic by seaplanes, helicopters and boats. Public transport as such does not exist. Any Maldivian island can be crossed for 1.5 - 2 hours. Almost all tourists who visit the island arrive here by air. Male International Airport is located on the island Hulule, a distance of 1 km (10 min drive to the national boat "dhoni") from the capital of Maldives - Male.
Hydro services, not all atolls. There are two carrier - "Maldivian Air Taxi" and "Hummingbird Island Airways". Prices are rather high, slightly cheaper to order the plane through the administration of the hotel or travel agency. In addition, the companies offer scenic flights and day trips with picnics on the uninhabited island for 250 USD (Approximately). With an available free to take up to 20 kg of luggage plus 5 kg hand luggage.
Rent a boat or boats worth USD 100-400 a day. Fuel costs about 20-250 Rf per trip, depending on the type of vessel. Distances between the islands are relatively small, so the trip short. On average, the neighboring islands to the "dhoni" (wooden boat) you can get for $ 20, and the most distant - for 70 $ With private carriers can bargain. There is no schedule exists, the court sail as passengers fill.
Car taxis (and expensive!) Exist only in the capital Male ', atoll and Addu Gan. Any trip, no matter the distance, to be paid at the rate of 15 plus 5 Rf Rf for baggage and day 20 after the Rf 24.00. In the case of stopping the machine, even for a moment a trip is considered to be complete and must be paid. If you need to go further, it is considered to be a new ride. There are several taxi companies (working hours), all cars are equipped with air conditioning. Taxis can be stopped in the street or call on the phone (in this case, the trip will cost 10 Rf).
Bicycles and motorcycles are the most popular types of ground transportation.
On the islands to leave 10% tip on the amount of services rendered.
The voltage is 220 volts. The frequency of 50 Hz. European-style plugs.
Phone. Internet. Emergency numbers
The entire territory of the country is divided into a number of telephone zones. The cost of a call within the same area usually costs about 0.25 rufy per minute, between different areas - from 0.55 to 3 rufy minute. You can make a call from any phone machine that runs on the phone card local operator "Dhiraagu" (the value of 30, 50, 100, 200 and 500 rufy). Cards can be purchased at a special store "Dhiiraagu Teleshop" in the capital or the sellers of cards in any of the major islands.
On some islands do not have telephones, and communication is carried out with public call offices (usually run from Sunday to Thursday from 7.30 to 20.00, Friday - from 14.00 to 18.00 on Saturdays - 9.00 to 18.00), served by a telephone operator. The cost of a call depends on the distance and slightly higher than the pay phone. From 24.00 to 06.00 cheaper call charges by 20%. Mobile phones of most standards in the Maldives do not work, but in the office of the local operator "Dhiraagu" You can pick up the phone rental.
To make a call to Ukraine - need to dial 00 + 38 + city code. The cost of one minute to Kiev - $ 8.
Necessary numbers: Police - 119, National Security Service - 313-281; ??Fire Department - 118, Ambulance - 102; referral telephone network - 110; international telephone operator - 190; operator between atolls - 188 Weather Service - 317-171; Background Male airport - 332-211, Bureau of Tourism of Maldives - 323-228; Customs - 322-001, 310-045.
Tourists are recommended to bring along all necessary medications, as the resorts do not have pharmacy kiosks. But you can always get care when needed.
High risk of hepatitis A and B vaccination is recommended. Medication is recommended to bring with you. Be sure to stock up sunscreen and sunburn lotion and use it even in cloudy weather, please be a remedy for mosquitoes.
Security. Rules of Conduct
Despite the fact that the Maldives is an Islamic state as a relatively liberal, the guests of the country must carefully observe the laws. Banned in the Maldives: drink alcohol in public places (outside the resort), swim naked (as well as "topless"), to fish in close proximity to the shore, to catch and tear the living or dead coral in the ocean or near the coast (the penalty - $ 500). Violation of the laws of the country could face imprisonment. Do not try to make contact with local women! To walk in the Male dress is recommended, in accordance with Muslim views on morality: long pants or skirt, shirt or blouse.
It is recommended to wear light cotton clothing and a hat. Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
Maldives - a place where you can learn the art of idleness and relaxation. Ocean protects your peace. Arriving on the island, you will see that commercial, "bounty" filmed here.
The bright sun, the optimum water temperature and optimal visibility of Maldives make the ideal place for practicing sports such as windsurfing, water skiing, sailing on a catamaran, and, of course, diving. Small and quiet ocean, most of the surrounding islands - the perfect place for those who are just discovering the world of water sports.
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