The Maldives are located in the Arabian Sea, 700 kilometers southwest of the island 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 interesting facts about the Maldives
- 1558 to 1573 The Maldives belonged to Portugal, and in the 17th century the Dutch appeared here, and then the British. During the Second World War, there was an English military base here.
- The Maldives consists of 1, 192 islets. But, people live only on 185 of them. This is not surprising, most of the islands are very tiny, and on some, only a small hotel, a cafe and a beach were located. Even the runway of the largest airport named after Ibrahim Nasir begins and ends at the water's edge. 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 in the Maldives is located on Wilingli Island. 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 contact with the outside world with the help of aircraft and sea vessels. And the total length of highways does not exceed 90 kilometers. There are not many cars here, about 25 cars for every thousand inhabitants. Corals are used to cover the roads, which do not get wet during the rains.
- Italian traveler Marco Polo visited it in the 13th century. 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 rufiyaa, which is divided into 100 lari. Banknotes of all denominations have one size - 150x70 millimeters. Tourists will not be able to take a few banknotes with them as a souvenir, the import and export of local currency is prohibited. It is also forbidden to bring alcohol and pets here. Corals and turtle crafts are not allowed. The inhabitants of the Maldives are very law abiding.
- The capital of the Maldives is the city of Male, which is also the largest settlement on the islands, every third resident of the Republic of Maldives lives with the capital. It is one of the most populous cities in the world, with 130, 000 inhabitants spread over 7 square kilometers.
- Like many other small island states, the Maldives has an acute shortage of fresh water. She is literally worth her weight in gold here. During the rains, many residents take dishes outside to collect precious water. There are no rivers or freshwater lakes on any island.
- Crab racing is very popular in the Maldives. Such races are arranged in many hotels for the entertainment of tourists. You can even place a bet and earn a decent amount if you can correctly guess the winner of the competition.
- It is not necessary to choose any time of the year for a holiday in the Maldives. It has a stable tropical monsoon climate. All year round, the air temperature at the level of 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 oil are made.
- The Maldives have a very high literacy rate - about 98. Primary school education is compulsory for all children. At the same time, Maldivians themselves very rarely read newspapers and hardly watch TV. It is not customary on the island to greet each other, just a slight nod of the head is enough. Local residents do not even celebrate their birthday, preferring to work hard at this time.
- Athletes from the Maldives have regularly competed in the Summer Olympics since 1988. But, they did not achieve high results during this time, they did not manage to win a single Olympic award. In 1983-1984. The Maldives national football team was coached by Soviet specialist Alexander Bibichev, under his leadership, bronze medals were won at the 1984 South Asian Games.
- Working week in Maldives from Sunday to Thursday. Friday and Saturday are days off. Even most restaurants are closed on these days, which is very unusual for tourists.
- The Maldives is crossed by the equator, therefore, they are located in two hemispheres at once - the northern and southern. When crossing the equator by plane, stewardesses present each passenger with a corresponding personal certificate. The flight from Moscow to the Maldian Islands takes 8-9 hours. These flights are operated by Aeroflot.