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Just over two square miles in size, Male is one of the world's smallest capitals and is home to almost a third of the country's population. In stark contrast to the laid-back pace of island life elsewhere in the country, the pint-sized capital city is a throbbing commercial heart, densely compacted and heavily built up, dotted with numerous high rises, narrow paved streets, vibrant markets, a busy harbour and several mosques.

The city island is often dismissed as a mere transit destination, but it does have a distinctive character of its own, and offers a chance to get a real feel for the Maldives and what makes its people tick. It’s worth spending some time to explore if you have time on your hands, especially to visit the fish market and the local produce market at the waterfront, as well as the new harbour in the southwest corner. The 400-year old golden-domed Friday Mosque is another key highlight and was built in 1656 as a unique example of sea-culture architecture. Other recommended sights include the Republic Square, the Islamic Centre and the Sultan Park and National Museum, which was once the Sultan’s royal palace. Or simply sit down and relax at one of the small parks dotted around the capital and just observe the pace of life.

Hulule International Airport is located on the neighboring island of Hulhule, which is a 10-minute boat ride away from Male town. Transfers from the airport to the individual resorts will be directly from Hulhule Island.

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I can't think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything.
Bill Bryson