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Photo Samples, The Maldives

 

To many people, The Maldives are the perfect paradise, a ture ocean of seemingly endless stretches of coral atolls, white sand and amazingly blue water. And, it's hard to agree, however, beneath the shiny facade, The Maldives are much more than "just" a tropical paradise with hundreds of "resort islands" spread around thousands of square kilometers of blue water. Most of the islands are laid out as resorts, yes, however, even without special permits, it's actually possible to visit other sides of the glamorous country. In particular, the main island, Male, and the "village island" of Maafushi are easy to visit.

On the downside, any visit to The Maldives fores the visitor to think about the immense double moral of the government. Officially, the government is strictly Islamic and Sharia Law rules, and alcohol is forbidden and may land you 6 months in jail. The double moral side is the fact that, on the resort islands, you can get as drunk as anywhere. Crazy!

As usual, all photos are  Claus Qvist Jessen, and none of them are to be used without my permission.

The very colourful fishing harbour of northern Male with lots of fishing boats ready for action.  Claus Qvist Jessen

As a strict Islamic country, veiled women are quite common everywhere, however, there is no official dress code and modest western clothing is perfectly ok.  Claus Qvist Jessen

 

The main market of the capital Male is great experience. Friendly and colourful.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Tobacco and home-made cigarettes (center) along with nuts from the Male market.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Bengali migrant worker with a bunch of bananas, Male market.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Transporting water in Male.  Claus Qvist Jessen

The local transport: mini motorcycles.  Claus Qvist Jessen

In one of the few open squares in Male, an ancient cemetary still reveals that life here is older than the tourist resorts.  Claus Qvist Jessen

A huge yellowfin tuna is turned into filets at the fish market of Male.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Happy restaurant owner; Male.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Surprisingly, chess is a main past-time in Male. Every Friday afternoon, lots of players gather along the harbour and exchange pieces. The only trouble is that the knights and the bishops look exactly the same. Despite a few oversights, I got myself a nice positive score.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Another friday activity: cricket.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Curious kids; central Male.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Smiling girl; central Male.  Claus Qvist Jessen

She's going to be "dangerous" in a few years; here from southern Male island.  Claus Qvist Jessen

The typical lazy tourist life on The Maldives, here a couple of different drinks at the Sundowner Cafe of Bandos Resort Island, a 30 minute boat ride from the capital.  Claus Qvist Jessen

The Maldivian way of being a tourist - stilt huts right on top of the coral reef; Bandos Resort Island.  Claus Qvist Jessen

As all other resort islands, the reef is right outside the pristine beach; Bandos Island.  Claus Qvist Jessen

 

View from Bandos: Another resort island.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Neither the worst life, nor the cheapest; Bandos Island.  Claus Qvist Jessen

The Sundowner Bar of Bandos Island. Quite aptly, the sunset here is just great.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Removing the garbage; Bandos Island.  Claus Qvist Jessen

A misplaced Chinese photographer trying hard to blend in; Bandos Island.  Claus Qvist Jessen

That's what life's about! Suntset and cold drinks; Bandos Island.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Local ferry between Male and Maafushi; Maafushi Island, The Maldives.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Maafushi beach on the northern part of the island; The Maldives.  Claus Qvist Jessen

For some funny reason, such "sofas" are very popular all over Maafushi Island, The Maldives.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Maafushi street, The Maldives.  Claus Qvist Jessen

The main mosque of Maafushi Island, The Maldives.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Garbage cart; Maafushi Island, The Maldives.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Building construction worker; Maafushi Island, The Maldives.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Maafushi "street", The Maldives.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Cooking the fish; Maafushi Island, The Maldives.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Curious woman; Maafushi Island, The Maldives.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Cheeky girls; Maafushi Island, The Maldives.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Maafushi Island is home to the biggest prison of The Maldives, and once a day some of them are allowed outside to do some useful work, of course dressed in traditional "prisoners suits".  Claus Qvist Jessen

Happy girl showing my fly rod on a rarely shown eastern beach of Maafushi Island, The Maldives. "Rarely" because litter is not a part of the official Maldives image.  Claus Qvist Jessen

A 4 cm male hermit crab (center) trying hard to "persuade" the female below to come out of her shell. What the shell-less hermit to the left is doing, I don't know Maafushi Island, The Maldives.  Claus Qvist Jessen

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