The Maldives is a group of more than 1000 coral islands spanning across the equator in the Indian Ocean. Its 26 atolls are divided into 20 administrative regions.
The temperature averages 29 degree Celsius. The dry monsoon season last from November to March while the rainy southwest monsoon is from June to August.
Tourism is the main industry of this country. Fishery is also the other main contributor to its economy.
The first permanent human settlements were established around 500 BCE by Aryan immigrants from the Indian subcontinent. Early Maldivians were either Buddhists or Hindus. The early travelers to Maldives are the Chinese historian Ma Huan and the famous Arab traveler Ibn Batuta. Islam, the present state religion, is believed to have come to the country from the Arab traders. The Portuguese invaded and reigned in the country for more than a decade before they were overthrown by Maldivian heroes. In 1887, the Maldives became a British protectorate–an unusual arrangement where the British ensured the defence but was not involved with the governing. The Maldives gained fully independent status on 26 July 1965 and later changed the government from a Monarchy to a Republic on 11 November 1968.
There are about 380,000 Maldivians whose ethnic groups are mainly South Indians, Sinhalese and Arabs. Most are Sunni Muslims and they speak Maldivian Dhivehi (a dialect of Sinhala, with the script derived from Arabic). However, English is spoken by almost all tour and dive operators.
Maldives, a republic nation, gained its independence on 26 July 1965.
Rufiyaa (MRf) and Laari (L), 100 Laaris make 1 Rufiyaa
Rufiyaa bank notes come in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 500
Coins are in the denominations of MRf 2, MRf 1 and 50
Supply: 230 volts, 50 Hz
Socket: 3-pin type, 2 round pins or 2 flat blade
No prior visa is required to enter the Maldives. Proof of return ticket needed.
Maldives is attractive all year round. The wet season, though rainy, sometimes offer more exciting encournters during diving. However, do note that it is more crowded during the northern hemisphere’s winter months of November to April.