One of the smallest capitals of the world – Malé – offers to have a look at the country’s, not 5-star hotel’s, places of interest and to get closer to life of ordinary Maldivians, not people from a room next door. First association that comes to mind at the mention of the Maldives is something azure and pastoral.
Sea slik and dazzling tireless sun that makes you feel like digging yourself into warm fondled sand and sleep yourself out for a couple thousand years heads up. Well, in this case imagination isn’t wrong. The islands are indeed rather meant for passive rest on a sunlounger sipping exotic cocktails from coconuts. But is there a trip without impressions aside “marine” ones, of course?
Male is the only Maldivian settlement where city-style rest is available in the sense we are used to. It is here where tourists are heading when settled in seaside hotels. Capital of the islands provides visitors with an opportunity to do shopping, visit museums, galleries and themed restaurants. The word “Malé” means “big house” in Sanscrit, this is how local royal palace used to be called once.Photo aviontourism.com
The name that is now applied to the whole region isn't in perfect accord with the territory of the city that can be tramped through the length and breadth of it merely in a couple of hours. Nevertheless, a stretch of land two and a half kilometers long and one kilometer wide serves as a small yet home for over a hundred thousand Maldivians, also servers as country’s political and economical centre and is believed to be one of the most densely populated in the world which is hardly surprising.
Malé is Islamic city therefore prohibition to alcohol consumption is in force here and respectively there is no loud night life. Yet available entertainments are various enough. Excursion plan may include a tour around main landmark places of interest. Old Friday Mosque amazes with its unique interior decorations and captivates with its huge shiny golden domes. Photo aviontourism.com
Right behind it there is a cemetery for national heroes of the country and former state leaders. Ironically, the building is erected in the place of old heathen temple therefore its entrance faces sunrise, not north-west.
Not far from the establishment national museum of the islands is situated. In order to revive patriotic feelings in citizens, it was opened over 60 years ago by the Prime Minister Mohamed Amin Didi. Diverse specimens – historical monuments, stone figurines and precious items that once belonged to governors and other relics – make a visitor dip into Maldivian past. Today the institution consists of three stores but authorities plan on expanding its territory and increase the number of exhibited items in order to attract more travelers to getting acquainted with the state’s history. Photo maldives-magazine.com
For those who’re looking for exotic souvenirs unwilling to bring only mini-shampoos and shower gels grabbed from a hotel as a remembrance about the Maldives, one true godsend will be the main local “trade centre” – Male Fish Market or so-called Singapore Market. It is called ‘male’ because overwhelming majority of local salesmen are representatives of the stronger sex. Selection in stores and kiosks situated here varies from fresh catch to creative handcrafted items. To recall the acquaintance guests unfailingly opt for wooden “dhonis” – miniature prototypes of traditional boats of the region.Photo agoda.com
Second most popular purchase – “thudu kuna” – woven mats made of natural palm fibers. Truth be told, in a shape of a souvenir they look more like napkins…
Fishing, mini-submarines cruising, surfing and other aquatic ways of relaxation fall into more dynamic entertainments in Malé. They are available on an artificial city beach because, unlike other settlements, the capital doesn’t own a natural picturesque quay. In order for its citizens not to feel like getting the short end of the stick in this respect, it was decided to create a place for rest with own hands. Admittedly, it turned out to be not at all worse than “natural” zones.
Ancient Fez medina is firmly holding time in a criss-crossing maze of tiny alleyways and picturesque shops. The medieval town of craftsmen does not recognize modern technology, however, it is not difficult to trace a full production of cute handbag with embossed lettering. The leather for souvenir is produced there, in courtyards, and at a reasonable cost a tannery owner would reveal details of folk art with a millennial history.
Kyrgyzstan is called Middle Asian Switzerland. Mountains, rivers, waterfalls, caves, cols and green meadows aren’t a speck inferior in terms of aesthetics to European ones yet travelers haven't duly appreciated this country so far. Across-the-board exploration of the land by the state’s guests has only just begun. And alongside hotels that are being swiftly erected, ordinary yurts are still offered for residence to feel local natural.
Six million years ago, in faraway Mongolia a deep crater of an extinct volcano was gradually filled to the brims with water, turning into a wonderful lake. Water ran high with gusts of wind, and sparkled in the sun like precious jewel, so no wonder that along with the official name of Hövsgöl Lake, this nature wonder has a more poetic name of the Dark Blue Pearl.
Finally, one of our favorite categories reached the city, where dollars are considered as the main currency. Thus, we will not have to go around exchange offices and constantly convert prices. So, we go to such a different and exciting New York to spend our 10 dollars.
A function of UNESCO World Heritage Committee is to work in the most careful manner year after year on studying objects that constitute outstanding culture civilizations and are unique in their origins. Under number 569 of an impressive list of the organization city of Gjirokastër, the one from the south of Albania, is located – it is it we are going to study today through the length and breadth.
Marina Orlova is a project manager in a cultural and public organization. Working on one of her international projects, she met her love - Wim, a guy from Belgium. She succeeded to visit his country only when Ukraine obtained visa-free regime and Marina shared with OUTLOOK her observations about how the Belgians live, what they eat for breakfast and how they relax.
Iceland is a ‘country of ice and fire’, ‘country of thousand rivers and lakes’, countless waterfalls and geysers. There, like in a fairy tale, again and again, you feel like pinching yourself to check if you are dreaming or does it all really exist…
Impressions of this city depend much on what you have visited before being introduced to it. After Los Angeles it may seem very business-like and culturally rich, after New York – provincial and old-fashioned somehow. In any case, it has a bright and memorable face of a gentleman from Massachusetts.
Someone compares Jaipur with lace tablecloth; others with a box of pink marshmallows; and some admirers claim this is a hive densely inhabited by bees. However, everyone agrees on one thing: there is the wonderful air full of freedom which cannot be found in Europe. It fills the lungs and breathing it a traveller loses count of hours and even centuries.
In Japan there is a city with the citizens who trust each other. It seems that they drink water from one source that flows along their houses. As well, they wash hands after the meals in the same places. Satoyama in translation means an ideal place for life in harmony with the nature. It is situated in Northern prefecture Gifu that is isolated from the rest of the world with the mountain tops and rice fields.
In the world there is an unusual place where the biggest number of twins are born. Although at first glance it looks like a mystical coincidence, statistics makes you believe in miracles. The Indian state of Kerala can boast of a village where unusual things happen. Kodhini is the place with more twins than anywhere else in the world. Actually, there is almost no explanation for this.
To visit three countries over one day – it is possible if you are in Aachen. Situated amid Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, small student town took in features of medieval culture that reflected in its astonishing architecture. Yelena Buravtsova visited the town for it to win her heart with its off-beat monuments, streets paved with stone blocks, cozy cafés, one of a kind printed spice cake, museums and spectacular races.
Experienced travelers tell that one could watch the ruins of ancient settlements in the Andes during several months, moving from one region to another. Particularly, the richest one in archaeological complexes of is the western coast of the Southern continent. A long time ago, some of them, such as Machu Picchu, have become popular with tourists, others are just beginning to open their doors to curious people.
When moving to a new country, more often than not people tend to get settled nearby emigrants like themselves. It is pretty convenient: accommodation isn’t expensive, job can be found right on the location and there is no need to study a new language – everyone around understands you. This is how national ghettos appear.
Judging by the reviews of the majority of tourists who visited Istanbul, many of them did not reach Asian part of the main Turkish metropolis, or did not have a proper walk there. The best case, they just saw SabihaGökçen International Airport and ferry docks, a destination of leisure cruses from Europe, where on the way one can feed with bread seagulls swooping overhead.
Prague... It is romantic, decadent, sad and cheerful, sublime and spiritual, reflected in the flapping wings of well-fed seagulls on the Charles Bridge, in the mirror pools of Vltava River... Prague is a very attractive and slightly strange European city. Creative copywriter Masha Goldman once spent several days there and told us about Prague charms.
Today OUTLOOK travels along the cities and countries that are considered as the most interesting from the point of view of geography and administrative management. Moreover, they are enclaves as they are located within the territories of other states.
Only an abandoned artificial archipelago with traces of extinct civilizations can better than a deserted island! Cadent splash of oars that plows blue dreams of the Pacific Ocean quells drumroll of ecstasy in your temples while preparing will and mind to the meeting with the greatest mystery of Micronesia. Nan Madol lies empty for more than one hundred years...