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  • Top 5 things to see in the Maldives (besides the beaches)

    Male, photo by warrenski on Flickr

    The Maldives is practically the definition of a tropical paradise, with impossibly blue water, beaches with fine white sand and palm trees swaying in the breeze. Those who can afford to visit the Maldives usually go for the beaches and the idyllic atmosphere, and there is a lot of variety in sand grain size and palm tree type in the almost 1200 islands that make up the archipelago.

    About 80 of the islands have tourist resorts, but many more of them are inhabited, and they all have some interesting sights and spots to see even beyond the beach. It hasn’t to be that expencive to get there. Most airlines offers cheap flights to the Maldives. Loving the beach is usually a necessary condition of loving the Maldives, but there is so much more to this archipelago. Here are the top 5 things to see in Maldives (besides the beaches).

    Old Friday Mosque, Male

    Male, the largest and most populous city in Maldives has quite a few sights to boast of, and if you are interested in religious sites and religious architecture then you will not want to miss out on Hukuru Miskiiy, the Old Friday Mosque.

    This is the oldest mosque in the country, dating back to the 17th century, built of coral stone and decorated with beautiful carvings. The woodcarvings and lacquerwork on the walls of the mosque are famous in Maldives.

    National Museum, Male

    photo by cumi&ciki on Flickr

    If you are interested in Maldivian culture, visiting the National Museum is a must. The museum in located in the Sultan’s Park, part of a 16th century royal compound built sometime in the 17th century.

    The building’s structure and decorations haven’t changed since the times of the sultanate so it is all very interesting, but the displays aren’t any less fascinating. The museum has several collections, including traditional furniture, ceremonial attire, ornaments.

    Kaani Tree, Maroshi

    The island of Maroshi, and more precisely one of the trees on the island have an important place in Maldivian history and legends. Maroshi is the island where the sails of the Kalhuoffummi, the boat of Mohamed Thakurufaanu was built.

    Thakurufaanu wanted to free the country from the Portuguese, so he is quite a colorful and respected character in Maldives. The tree used to built the ship is now probably the oldest tree in the country, and it is a very interesting sight.

    Singapore Bazaar, Male

    photo by Georgio Montersino

    It might seem like a waste of precious time to go shopping when you are in such a beautiful place like the Maldives, but Singapore Bazaar is not your regular shopping venue.

    Maldivian crafts and traditional objects make great souvenirs to bring home, and the bazaar is such an exciting slice of everyday life in a large Maldives city that you wouldn’t want to miss it.

    Medhu Ziyaaraiy, Male

    Medhu Ziyaaraiy is the burial site of Medhu Ziyaaraiy’Abu-al Barakath Yusuf al Barbaree, the Moroccan scholar who brought Islam to the Maldives. You can look at it as one of the most important sacred sites in the country, or as the resting place of a traveler who came a very long way, a long time ago, and probably really enjoyed the ride.

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