We form opinions and impressions places that we have never visited. In most ways, The Maldives were not as expected.
The Maldives, a tropical paradise of pristine beaches, are an archipelago of 1,192 coral islands grouped into 26 coral atolls (200 inhabited islands, plus 80 islands with tourist resorts) in the Indian Ocean.
Tha above photo is one of the atoll Islands.
We certainly got the feeling that the Maldives are an exclusive vacation destination for the wealthy, mostly Chinese by this table.
There was a constitutional crisis in the Maldives when we visited, but by all appearances both the competing sides are decidedly in favour of tourism, as it did not disrupt our visit in anyway, including the absence of signs of unrest.
The capital of the Maldives is Malé. The island of Malé is covered by buildings. Land being at a premium, there is not a square foot available for a new construction. So they only have choice of replacing existing structures, and of building up with taller buildings.
It hard to see, but if you look closely at the very left side of above photo, you can see something being built. It’s a bridge which will link Malé to its airport, which is on an island to the left (not pictured). Today, the only transportation between the Maldive’s Islands, unsurprisingly, are boats and water taxis.
Malé has retaining wall rising 6 to 8 feet above the ocean. You see it in the first minute of the video below. This is significant because I asked a number of locals is they were worried about climate change and rising oceans. To my surprise, the chaps I spoke with were unconcerned by a rise of a few inches on an 8 foot retaining wall.
The Maldives offered the best snorkelling experience of our trip. Here’s a 5 minute video, with about 4 minutes underwater; if you love snorkelling, try to count the number of different species of fish. I lost count.
If you don’t like snorkelling, don’t count the fish.