Last Updated on August 31, 2023 by Ezra Matiasi

Maldives is the smallest Country in Asia. Welcome to the Maldives—an irresistible paradise in the Indian Ocean. 

With its breathtaking landscapes, pristine beaches, and vibrant marine life, this idyllic destination promises unforgettable experiences. 

Whether you seek tranquillity or adventure, the Maldives captivates all who set foot on its shores. 

Let us embark on a journey to explore the timeless charm of this captivating island nation.

Important Information about Asia’s Smallest Country

Capital: Malé

Continent: Asia

Currency: Maldivian Rufiyaa

Official language: Dhivehi

Country code: +960

Key Points

  • Geographical Information: Maldives is Asia’s smallest country, comprising 26 atolls and over 1,190 coral islands in the Indian Ocean, with a total area of 298 sq km.
  • Cultural and Religious Aspects: Maldives is a Muslim-majority country with Islam playing a significant role in its culture and politics, and its legal system based on Sharia law.
  • Economy: Traditionally dependent on fishing, Maldives now relies mainly on tourism, with coral reefs attracting visitors. Environmental protection and reducing emissions are priorities.
  • Connectivity: Velana International Airport connects the Maldives to the world, and the country has good internet and mobile coverage.
  • Maldivian Cuisine: Rich in seafood and influenced by regional flavours, Maldivian cuisine offers delightful dishes like fish curry, huni roshi (coconut flatbread), and local beverages like Sai and Raa. Alcohol consumption is discouraged due to Islamic beliefs.

Maldives Landform

The Maldives, being the smallest Asia Country,  is an Indian Ocean island nation made up of 26 natural atolls with over 1,190 coral islands. 

The total area of ​​the Maldives, including all the islands in the country, is about 298 square kilometres (115 square miles). 

The formation of coral islands, which are mostly low-lying and not all inhabited, has significantly reduced the area of ​​the mainland. 

The Maldives is known for its beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters and luxurious resorts. 

The country is 871 kilometres long, making it one of the most dispersed nations in the world.

Maldives People

The Maldivian language is Dhivehi, an Indo-Aryan language of Sanskrit origin.

At the Maldives census of 2022, the population was 515,132. A third of its population lives in Male, with the rest on the 200 islands that dot the country.

The livelihoods of the Maldivians have traditionally depended on the sea, with fishing being the main source of food. 

Although fishing still contributes significantly to the economy in terms of employment and income, tourism is now the main source of income for the Maldivian economy.

Maldives Culture

The Maldives is a Muslim-majority country and Islam plays an important role in its culture and politics. 

The Maldives has a long history of practising Sunni Islam and the Maldives Constitution states that the country is a “100% Muslim country”. 

The government has long mandated that all citizens must be Muslim and that the only religion allowed is Sunni Islam.

The legal system of the Maldives is based on Islamic law (Sharia) and is an important aspect of the country’s culture. 

Non-Muslims are permitted to visit the country as tourists but are not permitted to reside permanently in the Maldives or retain Maldivian citizenship unless they convert to Islam.

Maldives Environment

The country’s economic system is closely reliant on tourism, which is in turn depending on the fitness of the coral reefs that surround the islands. 

These reefs not only guard the islands from erosion and typhoon surges, but in addition, they offer habitats for an extensive type of marine lifestyle that entice travellers to the Maldives.

The Maldives additionally rely on their surroundings for its livelihoods. The surroundings additionally perform an essential function withinside the country’s water security. 

Many of the Maldives’ freshwater sources are derived from rainwater and groundwater, which can be depending on the country’s ecosystems. In particular wetlands and plants that assist clear out and recharging the water sources.

The Maldives authorities acknowledge the significance of the surroundings for the country’s survival and development and have carried out numerous regulations and tasks aimed at protecting and maintaining the country’s herbal sources. 

For example, the Maldives has the world’s biggest per cent of covered marine area and has taken steps to lessen its greenhouse fuel line emissions, as well as to adapt to the effects of weather change.

Connectivity in Maldives

  • Travel & Transport

    Maldives is well connected to the rest of the world through the country’s main gateway, Velana International Airport.

    There are several flights to the Maldives from Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

    Most international air traffic comes from cities such as Colombo, Sri Lanka, various Indian cities and Dubai.

    With several scheduled and charter flights carrying passengers from all major European capitals and cities in Southeast Asia.

    When you arrive in the Maldives, you can travel to any of 12 domestic and international airports, with several daily flights to these airports.

    There are also regular ferry services from Male to most atolls.

    If you are travelling to a resort, transfers are likely to be pre-arranged when you book your accommodation.

    Transfers to resorts near the airport are usually done by speedboat, and transfers to more distant resorts and islands are by seaplane.


The Maldives has a relatively high level of internet and mobile connectivity. 

A large portion of the population has access to cellular networks, and there are several providers that provide internet and cellular services. 

Internet penetration in the Maldives is estimated at around 85% and mobile phone penetration at around 110%. 

Social media is also ubiquitous in the Maldives, with platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp being popular with locals and tourists alike.

Experiencing Maldivian Cuisine

In the Maldives, the culinary delights are as diverse and enchanting as the islands themselves. 

The local cuisine of this island nation reflects its rich cultural heritage, with influences from India, Sri Lanka, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. 

With a focus on seafood and creative use of local ingredients, Maldivian dishes offer a tantalizing fusion of flavours that will leave your taste buds dancing with delight.

Seafood Extravaganza

Given the Maldives’ island geography and proximity to the bountiful Indian Ocean, it’s no surprise that seafood takes centre stage in their culinary repertoire. 

From succulent fish and tender octopus to plump prawns and delectable crab, seafood enthusiasts will find themselves in a gastronomic paradise.

Don’t miss the chance to savour the renowned Maldivian fish curry, a spicy and aromatic dish that perfectly complements the region’s tropical climate.

Tropical Fruits and Coconuts

The Maldives’ fertile soil and tropical climate yield an abundance of exotic fruits. 

Locally grown delights such as papaya, mango, pineapple, and watermelon are refreshingly sweet and add a burst of flavour to your dining experience. 

One cannot talk about Maldivian cuisine without mentioning the versatile coconut. 

Whether in the form of coconut milk, grated coconut, or coconut oil, this humble fruit finds its way into many dishes, adding a unique and tropical twist.

Bondi Baa and Rihaakuru

Bondi Baa is a traditional Maldivian delicacy that will intrigue adventurous food enthusiasts. 

It is a soup made from the stomach lining of a freshly caught skipjack tuna, carefully prepared with herbs and spices. 

For the more daring, Rihaakuru is a local fish paste made from the leftover parts of fish after filleting, seasoned with chilli and other spices. 

Both dishes offer a glimpse into the traditional culinary heritage of the Maldives.

Huni Roshi

A beloved staple in Maldivian cuisine is “huni roshi,” a type of flatbread made from grated coconut and flour. 

Served hot and typically accompanied by tuna or fish curry, huni roshi provides a delightful combination of flavours and textures. It’s a popular choice for breakfast or as a midday snack.

Hedhikaa – The Maldivian Snack

For a truly local experience, indulge in “hedhikaa,” a traditional snack that the Maldivians love. 

Hedhikaa consists of various savoury pastries filled with fish, coconut, or lentils, providing a burst of flavour in every bite. 

These snacks are commonly enjoyed with afternoon tea or as an appetizer before a meal.

Enjoying “Bis Keemiya” and “Fihunu Mas”

Delight in the scrumptious “Bis Keemiya,” a Maldivian take on samosas filled with fish, onions, and spices. 

They are a popular street food and a perfect on-the-go snack. Another must-try is “Fihunu Mas,” which translates to “roasted fish.” 

This dish features a whole fish marinated in a blend of aromatic spices and grilled to perfection.

Sip on Sai and Raa

Quench your thirst with local beverages, such as “Sai” and “Raa.” Sai is a deliciously refreshing drink made from the sap of the toddy palm tree, while Raa is a potent alcoholic beverage derived from the fermented sap of the same palm. 

Both drinks provide a glimpse into the local customs and flavours unique to the Maldives.

Whether you indulge in the diverse street food or savour a luxurious seafood feast at a resort, exploring Maldivian cuisine is an adventure in itself. 

From the vibrant street markets to upscale restaurants, the flavours of the Maldives will leave an indelible mark on your culinary journey. 

So, prepare your taste buds for a delightful exploration of this island nation’s gastronomic treasures.


Which language do they speak in Maldives?

Dhivehi (or Divehi) serves as the official language of Maldives, commonly referred to as Maldivian. However, English holds significant prominence as one of the most widely spoken languages in the country. This is largely attributed to the thriving tourism industry upon which the nation heavily relies

Do you need a passport to go to Maldives from South Africa?

For South African citizens, it is mandatory to possess a passport that remains valid for at least six months beyond the anticipated date of departure. Additionally, a visa is also required for international travel.

What is not allowed in the Maldives?

The importation of certain items into the Maldives is strictly prohibited by law. These items include explosives, weapons, firearms, ammunition and pornographic material. Materials contrary to Islam, such as ‘idols for worship’ and bibles, as well as pork and pork products, and alcohol. It’s important to note that alcoholic beverages are exclusively available on resort islands, and their importation elsewhere in the country is forbidden. Violation of these regulations can result in legal consequences.

Can you drink alcohol in the Maldives?

Maldives is a Muslim country, and Islamic principles heavily influence its culture and customs. As a result, the consumption of alcohol is generally frowned upon, and pork meat is not readily available for purchase.

For travellers visiting the Maldives, it is essential to be respectful of the local customs and religious beliefs. It is advisable to avoid consuming alcohol or pork meat in public places. It could be seen as disrespectful and offensive to the local population. Being sensitive to cultural norms will help ensure a positive and respectful experience while travelling in the Maldives.

Conclusion: Smallest Country in Asia

In conclusion, the Maldives stands as an irresistible paradise in the Indian Ocean. With its breathtaking landscapes, pristine beaches, and vibrant marine life, it easily earns its reputation as an idyllic destination. 

Whether you seek tranquillity or adventure, the Maldives offers unforgettable experiences for all.

The allure of the luxurious overwater villas and the warm hospitality of the locals create an atmosphere of relaxation and romance. 

Maldivian cuisine, a delightful fusion of flavours from the region’s cultural influences. It brings a unique and satisfying taste to every bite.

However, the Maldives faces environmental challenges, such as rising sea levels, which threaten this delicate wonder. 

The importance of sustainable tourism practices and conservation efforts cannot be overstated to preserve this exquisite destination for future generations.

As you depart from the Maldives, take with you the memories of its beauty, peace, and enchantment. 

Whether in your dreams or in your heart, the timeless charm of the Maldives will forever remain. A beacon that calls you to return and rediscover its magic.

About the Author

Ezra Matiasi

Head Content Writer

Hello! My name is Ezra Matiasi, and I'm the enthusiastic mind behind Travello, a captivating travel blog that takes you on remarkable journeys around the world. With a passion for exploration and a love for sharing captivating stories, I curate the best travel experiences, hidden gems, and breathtaking landscapes. Through vivid descriptions and captivating photographs, Travello aims to inspire wanderlust and help fellow travelers make the most of their adventures. Join me as we embark on exciting virtual voyages and discover the wonders our beautiful planet has to offer. Let's explore the world together, one adventure at a time!

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