The Maldives, the most luxurious island destination in the world, offers many things to many people. This country that has more water than land is known as the most ideal place for swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, and idly wasting away time by the beach, waiting for the sun to set. Well, there is more than just those. There are also top restaurants, cafes and local eateries that offer the best international cuisine and seafood dishes. Eating and drinking in the Maldives satisfy as much as swimming and diving.
It is sad news that all forms of alcohol are prohibited in this Muslim country. What is a fun time and vacation without drinking anyway, right? The good news is, the Maldivian Government knows that there are more non-Muslim tourists than Muslims touring the islands. And so, resorts and liveaboards are allowed to serve a few alcoholic drinks, but with sky-high markups. Almost half a million tourists from western countries visit the Maldives every year. Generally, the Maldivian people themselves are not alcohol drinkers, but there are a growing number of teenagers that are showing fondness for it. Still and all, they do not like to be seen or photographed drinking in public.
Drinking in the Maldives refers more often to drinking bottled water, because in countries along the Equator, one can get dehydrated easily and quickly. Tourists are always advised to regularly rehydrate by drinking and always having a bottle of drinkable water in hand. Tap water is not safe for drinking. Sadly, though, local shops rip off tourists by raising the price of bottled water by as high as US$5 per bottle.
While the Maldivian archipelago has a total of 1,192 islands, it has only one commercial city, which is the capital city of Male, and just one international airport. While all the resorts do serve amazing dishes and offer romantic dinners by the beach in full view of the sunset, which make a Maldivian honeymoon perfect, there are but a few major restaurants in the city. The most popular restaurants are the Thai Wok Restaurant, Trends, The Garden Restaurant, 4 Degrees in Taj Exotica, Ocean Pavilion, Maayafushi, and Salsa Café. The most popular cuisines are fries, curries, rice variations, meat dishes and desserts. There are less expensive eateries that sell all sorts of food such as Thai, Chinese, American, Japanese, Italian, Indian and Sri Lankan. Expectedly, seafood dishes are common and sought after.
The archipelago is known to export the best tunas in the world. The fish industry is so important that the fish market in Male is even considered a tourist attraction.
There are only two shopping centers in the country. They are Majeedhee Magu and Chaandanee Magu, both located in Male. These exciting shopping malls have a row of eateries for the tired shopper. And still in Male, the local market sells fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as nuts and yams. The most popular fruit is the banana. Bunches and bunches are hung on a row of fruit stalls in the local market.
So, when vacationing in this island paradise, taste the local culture by eating and drinking in the Maldives as you take a break from your diving, snorkeling and beach bumming.