City in the ocean
Male - pronounced "Maa-lei" (Maa-Lay) - the capital and largest city of the Republic of Maldives. The town is located on the island of Male, Kaafu Atoll (Kaafu Atoll). Traditionally considered the royal island of Malé, Maldives from which ruled Dynasty royal family since ancient times.
The name of the capital of the Maldives comes from the word "Mahaalay", come from Sanskrit, meaning "Maha" - "big" or "great" and "aalay" - "house". The Sanskrit word "Mahaalay" called the Royal Palace. And had the title of Male
A whole group of islands in the Maldives (Maldives) and named thanks to the name of the capital. The word "Maldives" means "Islands (Dives) Male (Male)" - Male Dives.
Male Island, just 2 km in length and 1 kilometer in width, completely built houses, covered roads, and so there are very few open seats. In this case, Malé is clean and neat city with mosques, markets and the maze of small streets, wrapped in a blanket of charm. Although Male is sometimes gives the impression of quiet provincial town, but overall the construction of new modern buildings and life abounds. Officially, the population of the capital about 65 thousand people, but with foreign workers, tourists and residents of other islands, often come here in the city is usually 100 thousand.
The size of the island has been doubled through the implementation of land rehabilitation projects and nearby islands are used for different purposes, and on one of the islands of the airport is located. The government plans to develop other islands to reduce the pressure on the island of Male. In the past, the Male, the island was known as the island of the Sultan. In the capital, there is everything that it should be east of the city: the mosque, the market, shops with souvenirs, small cafe with exotic foods and more.
Directly in front of the marina, opposite Jumhury Maidan, or the National Park, it is the Islamic Center, the main building of which - the Grand Mosque. Its golden domes shine so bright that they can be seen from the sea, when approaching from the north to Male. Big mosque accommodating 5,000 people - an amazing facility. Its interior is decorated with wooden carvings and Arabic calligraphy, finely crafted by local artisans. Remember, the mosque - a place of prayer, and the crowds are undesirable. If you do decide to go there, it is better to do it accompanied by Maldivians. Visitors should dress accordingly and maintain complete silence.
Across the road - Sultan Park and National Museum. His exhibition includes a large collection of clothing and jewelery sultans, manuscripts of the Koran and interesting pre-Islamic statues found during archaeological excavations Thor Heyerdahl; the majority of ancient finds and stone statues are described in his book "The Mystery of the Maldives."
Around Malia is located about 20 mosques, some of them are simply a coral room with an iron roof. The oldest of them, Hukuru Bowls, famous for its carved stone panels. A series of panels carved in the 13th century, is dedicated to the arrival of Islam in the Maldives, and the cemetery is the tomb of Abu Al Barakat and the tombstones of former sultans.
Among the unique monuments - the head of a Buddha statue with the island Todd relating to the pre-Islamic period, and the wooden panel of the XIII century, covered with ancient inscriptions. Fruit, vegetable and wood markets are never empty and are scenic spots, where islanders from other atolls trade their goods.
The fish market, located nearby, is empty at first, until the fish is caught, and after dinner, here are beginning to flock to the fishermen with their catch. Fishermen cutting and cleaning the fish have turned this process into an art. It's clean and well-mastered area that attracts many tourists, and provides insight into the life of a typical Maldivian fisherman. Another attraction is the Singapore Bazaar - cluster of shops - selling high-quality products of local handicrafts, Maldivian and imported trinkets and souvenirs. In addition, there are shops selling electronics, marine equipment, fishing gear, and household goods to the local villages. In the multitude of small tea can eat, smoke and chat with the locals.
There are no tall buildings, and the bike is much more than cars. Malé is virtually impossible to get lost, all the streets go into three major roads. The island has many hotels. Each hotel has its own dinghy, where you can take a cruise in the archipelago for a few days.
Entertainment in Malé - a great variety. Suffice it to mention only a few of them. The most interesting thing, according to many, it is evening fishing. Staff working boat, will help you cope with the initial difficulties, and then everything will depend on your skill! The next evening, you will find a barbecue dinner catch that you caught. It can also hunt on the large commercial fish. Departure for such an event takes place on special boats beyond the territory of the atolls. It will be interesting to ride on a glass bottom boat. Thanks to this miracle can make a lot of colorful pictures of the underwater world. And it is possible and to go diving - scuba diving. Each hotel has a diving training center, where you will receive a special certificate after completing the course.
It also offers activities such as windsurfing, catamaran, canoeing, "water banana", water skiing and so on. N. Horse riding pleasure will become a helicopter tour. In Male you can find cheap hotels and fast food, but the nightlife is limited to tea and a few restaurants in the western style. Two cinemas show Indian and Hollywood films.
The artificial beach - this phrase could surprise in a country known for natural beaches, but the inhabitants of Male indeed chosen an artificial beach built on the eastern side of the capital. The beach is ideal for swimming lovers, and those who do not have access to nearby islands. There you can have a meal and just relax on one of the benches overlooking the ocean. In the north of Malé is artaktsionov park, there are also restaurants, cafes, shops ...
Some Male restaurants are air conditioned, while others offer a more relaxed atmosphere outdoors. The choice of dishes is quite wide: from sophisticated international menus to local versions of Asian and European dishes. Some restaurants are open in the morning, others with dinner. All restaurants close at 1 am.
Traditional tea is still used by the inhabitants of Male extremely popular. Here you can try a variety of local food, though sometimes in a noisy environment. Numerous tea are scattered throughout the island. If you hurry, you really should drop to - these caves serve as a fast-food chain. Tea is usually open early in the morning (some even at 5 am) and close at 1 am.
Coffee - a more modern version of the Maldivian tea. Hdes serves a variety of snacks and fast food at low prices. Open between 8 and 9 am and run continuously until 1am.
Despite the modest size of Malé, a taxi in the city you can come in handy, especially if there is rain. taxi cost ranges from 15-20 Rufio for travel anywhere in the city, with an additional charge of 5 Rufiyaa for each piece of luggage. Taxis can be caught on the street, but decided to Male call a car, calling one of the many taxi services. The fare on the ferry 10 Rufiyaa to midnight and 20 Rufiyaa after midnight. If you are traveling in a large group is more favorable to order a separate ferry flight - it cost for a day 250 Rufio, Rufio 350 after midnight. Pier No. 9, where the ferry is moored to the airport, located on the waterfront Boduthakurufaanu Magu, near Hotel Nasandhura Palace Hotel.
In the country there are four local airport destinations. Local airline Island Aviation operates regular flights from Male International Airport to the islands in the atoll Gan Shiina, Kadhdu Atoll Laamu, Kaadedhdu Atoll Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll and Hanimadhoo Haa Dhal. Between Malé and the atolls there plying scheduled passenger and cargo ships, although maritime transport is carried out quite often.
Book a place on the seaplane and book a private flight can be in Male, the airport or staying at the resort. Motor Dhoni suitable only for short-distance travel, mainly due to slow-moving. They are ideal for trips to the dive dive. In Male there are several companies providing speedboat rental and Dhoni.
The official currency of the Maldives - Rufiyaa. One Rufiyaa is 100 Laar. In circulation are banknotes 500, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5 and Rufiyaa coin 1 and 2 rufii and 50, 25, 10, 5, 2 and 1 Laar. All resorts, hotels, large shops and restaurants are allowed to provide currency exchange services and accept payment in currencies of many countries, as well as credit cards. Maldives Branch Bank (Bank of Maldives), located in the arrivals terminal of the international airport, also provides currency exchange services. If you need rufii during your stay in Male, you can always contact one of the local banks.
State Bank of Maldives The Bank of Maldives has several branches in Male '. Its branches are also located in the atolls Shiina (Hithadhoo island), Xaa dhal (Kulhudhufushi island) and Lhaviyani (Naifaru Island). a bank branch located in Male International Airport. Among other banks with offices in Malé, HSBC Bank, State Bank of India, Bank of Ceylon and Habib Bank. Most banks with offices in Malé, offer services automated teller machines (ATM). ATMs The Bank of Maldives and other banks quite conveniently located and serve the most common credit cards.
telephone and mobile communication services in the country are carried out by Maldivian telekomunnikatsionnoy Diraagu (Dhiraagu). GSM mobile services are provided by two operators - Diraagu (Dhiraagu) Telecoms and Vatanen (Wataniyya Telecoms). Available as a pre-payment and post-pay services. Operates an international mobile communications (roaming). Internet cafes can be found in different parts of the city. internet connection services provide two providers holding a state license. Company Maldives Post Limited provides ordinary and EMS express mail. Most of the international courier services have offices in Malé.
Male - shopping center of the country with great choice of shops to meet the needs of 100,000 residents and thousands more buyers coming from the islands. Small shops on the outskirts of the capital can receive visitors already at 6-7 o'clock in the morning, while the main streets of shops open around 9-10 hours. All shops close at 11 pm, as well as the small 15-minute breaks at the time of prayer.
The northern part of the street candana Magoo (Chaandhanee Magu) known cluster of souvenir shops, though like they are found in other parts of the city. customers are offered the products of local craftsmen, T-shirts, batik and a wide range of books on the Maldives in different languages.
In Male few bookstores and stationery lazok. They sell mostly textbooks, fiction and nonfiction, translated books for children known international publications. On Majidi Mary (Majeedee Magu) and other central streets of the city a lot of shops offering clothes, shoes, accessories. Among them are specializing in the sale of sporting goods, electronics, clothing from the world-famous brands. Shops are open from morning until 11 pm.