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Cruising Article – 2011-11-10

The wonder that is Male, in the Maldives

Male, Maldives

The Maldives is a chain of more than 1,000 islands that exist off the southern tip of India. What separates this gorgeous region from all others is the sheer isolation that visitors can feel once they have stepped off their Princess Cruise ship. The region consists of vast underwater mountain ranges and coral reefs that encompass nearly 90,000 square kilometers, which makes it one of the countries with the largest geographical areas. As one of the premiere vacation spots in the world, the Maldives can provide a number of interesting one-size-fits-all types of trips for those who decide to make an excursion upon its white sand shores.

Male, the capital city of the Maldives, is the first point where travelers will find themselves after disembarking. Here, a number of restaurants and cafes dot the shorelines. This area caters to those who have taken the time to visit. TripAdvisor readers have ranked the Sala Thai restaurant as the number one spot to eat. Many reviews point to this establishment as having some of the most delicious food outside of Thailand and is certainly the best on the island. Freshness of the seafood seems to be the main characteristic of this place's quality, as many ingredients that are used have been caught hours before they reach the plate.

Once vacationers have had a few hours to eat and wander around Male, the next item on their agenda should be to spend time exploring the natural environment comprising the Maldives. Boat excursions are available all day and can take curious travelers on spins around the islands or lead them to a specific region in order to be totally alone. Many of the islands are uninhabited and those who want to take a little time to relax can have all day on one of these spots by themselves.

Two of the best activities to engage in are snorkeling and scuba diving as the reef is populated by thousands of species of fish and coral. The view in this undersea world is breathtaking and the water is so clear that each facet of this environment can be seen with the utmost clarity. Tours are also available for those who are into extreme activities and wish to swim with whale sharks. These toothless mammoths are the largest fish in the sea, and quite docile to swimmers who want to get close and take a ride by clinging to this ancient carcharodon's dorsal fin. Activities such as this can be the highlight of the journey, as there is really nothing like sharing the ocean with a 40 foot fish.