The Maldives: Kingdom of a Thousand Isles

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Odyssey, 2004 - Travel - 304 pages
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The Maldives is one of the most attenuated countries in the world, with nearly 1,200 islands in 19 distinct coral atolls in the Indian Ocean. Thor Heyerdahl's famous hypothesis places the Maldives at the crossroads of a great east-west trade route nearly 4,000 years ago, and its establishment as an Islamic kingdom in the 12th century makes it one of the oldest small states in the world. Still, the country's appeal to most visitors is not historical. Sometimes known as ''the Paradise Isles'', the Maldives are made up of hundreds of idyllic islands that are famed for their beautiful tropical beaches, spectacular coral reefs and marine life. To these accolades can be added some of the best island-style hotels in the world. This guide is a superb introduction to the archipelago, covering its geography, history, art and culture. It includes a comprehensive survey of the luxurious resorts, and a special section on diving and advice on organizing a boat cruise.

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Contents

Introduction
10
Facts for the Traveller
16
Getting Around
22
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Andrew Forbes graduated in Chinese Studies at the University of Leeds before going on to complete an MA in Islamic Studies and a Ph.D. in Central Asian History. He first visited the Maldives in 1976 and has traveled extensively throughout the archipelago, including a four-month period collecting traditional artifacts for the Museum of Mankind in London. Forbes has written about the Maldives for numerous academic journals such as South Asia, Archipel, The Geographical Magazine and the Encyclopaedia of Islam, as well as for the Guardian, For Eastern Economic Review, Asian Wall Street Journal and Hemispheres. He is currently editor of Crescent Press Agency and a Senior Associate Member of St Anthony's College, Oxford.

Kevin Bishop is Senior Lecturer in Countryside Planning and Environmental Policy at Cardiff University and a Member of the World Commission on Protected Areas and the Council for National Parks' Advisory Group.

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