You know those iconic cartoons of a deserted island with a plot sand and palm tree in the middle of the ocean…that’s the Maldives. A thousand of those.
The Maldives sits at that a magic elevation of pretty much exactly sea level. The Great Barrier Reef is just below sea level (hence very few islands and hardly any resorts). Tropical islands like Mauritius and the Seychelles *tower* above rising to hundreds of feet in the air. The Maldives rest right in the sweet spot. Virtually right at sea level like linen white sand rafts floating in the ocean. The interleaving of water and land in cozy embrace liken the destination to a tropical Venice.
And the elevation distinction goes in both directions – not just the height of the land, but also the shallow depth of the water surrounding the land. As a result, the lagoons have a mill pond stillness which makes for crystal clear water. You can enjoy the dazzling aquatic sights from above the water seeing all manner of colourful fish like a giant aquarium.
The ubiquitous reefs lurking near the water’s surface produce a mesmerizing seascape tapestry of blues that is otherworldly. It is one of those special places on Earth (like Iceland, Grand Caynon, Zhangye Danxia) that make you feel like you are not just on a remarkable part of the planet, but on another planet altogether.
The tininess of the islands and their proximity to not just the ocean but the aquatic wonderland within it, makes for a uniquely intimate connection with the sea that is rarely experienced. I have world traveling friends who go to all sorts of tropical resorts and they always report back to me, “This place is wonderful…but it’s not the Maldives!”
Happy Birthday Maldives (Independence Day today)!