3 Best Sights in Maldives


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For every one person who comes to the Maldives to dive, there may be five who come simply to relax, unwind, and enjoy the coastal scenery. The beaches surrounding the resort islands are superb. There is, after all, a reason they chose to put your resort here. Every beach has fine, brilliantly white coral sand, coconut palm fringes, and warm, turquoise, tropical seas.

Malé Hukuru Miskiy (Malé Friday Mosque)

The oldest mosque in the Maldives, Hukuru Miskiy dates from the late 1650s and was built on the foundations of an earlier temple. The strangely shaped squat minaret in front, which resembles a giant wedding cake, was added during the 1670s. At first glance the mosque looks a bit rough (it has a corrugated iron roof to protect it from the elements) but closer inspection of the white coral walls will reveal some lovely carved patterns. You are welcome to go inside—the interior is justly famous for its woodcarvings and lacquer work—but it is still used for prayer so dress respectfully, as you would when entering any religious building (headscarves for ladies, no shorts or bare shoulders for anyone).

National Museum

Best visited as part of an escorted day tour, the Sultan Park and impressive whitewashed villa housing this museum are perhaps more impressive than the collection within, but if you are in Malé it's worth spending a little time perusing the quirkily eclectic contents that tell the story of this miniscule island nation. The display rooms contain model boats, ceremonial thrones, and items dating back to pre-Islamic days, although some Buddha statues from this early period had to be removed when they were attacked and damaged by Muslim extremists in early 2012.

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