Malé - the capital city
Malé has by now filled up the entire atoll, and when you arrive by plane you can see that just about every square meter of land has been put to use.
Malé is the world's most densely populated city, with approximately 110,000 people living on an island that is 2 km² large.
The city is crowded and intense, with restaurants, cafés, a wealth of shops, a fish market and several fruit and vegetable markets.
There is a large harbor with a container terminal, customs house, office buildings and bustling activity until late in the evening.
Most businesses don't close until 11 PM. Please be aware that shopkeepers may take breaks for lunch and in the evening, and also time off for prayers.
People can open and close their shops whenever they want.
There is also a fishing and boating harbor with the characteristic blue boats.
It's nice to go there in the evening and soak up the atmosphere.
You can take a boat to the surrounding islands, or a taxi seaplane.
The boats are inexpensive. Seaplanes cost up to USD 200 one-way to remote islands.
Just like in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, there is a strong tradition of local craftsmanship.
There are many skillful tailors. You can select your favorite fabric and bring it to a tailor who will have your shirts and dresses ready to wear in 3 to 5 days.