In the main city of Maldives, MALE are few places you should visit: Islamic Centre, Friday Mosque, Sultan park and for sure Fruit and Fish Market. All of these places are very close to main pier – JETTY 5.
Islamic center, called Masjid-al-Sultan Muhammad Al Thakurufaanu Auza is an architectural monument of Male. In the center is a conference hall, where are organized official meetings and ceremonies, Islamic library and several offices. It is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Male.
Grand Friday Mosque, built in 1658 is one of the oldest and most beautiful Mosques in Maldives, consisting of Porites coral stones and registered in the UNESCO since 2008 as a unique example of marine architecture. It is also one of the largest mosques in South Asia which fits for more than 5,000 people. The magnificent golden dome of the mosque is also the hallmark of Male skyline, visible from afar. The inner walls of the mosque are decorated with beautiful woodcarvings and Arabic calligraphy. At the entrance you assign appropriate clothing when not’re not wearing it, and if you are interested you can be guided by young students in fluent English and listen some informations about their religion Islam, the main book Quran and why arrangement of the mosque. It’s very interesting and I dare to say that it can be very interesting for most people, who knows about Islam only from one-sided vision massaged media.
Sultan Park is a public park next to the mosque, a short walk from Jetty 5. It was originally part of the sultan’s palace complex. It’s the prettiest public space in Male, a place full of trees and flowers, offering rest in the shade. In the park you will find the old National Museum, 3-floor colonial building.
Fish Market is also a short distance from the Jetty 5. There’s always busy and tourist visit is not a problem. They are all very nice, let you take a picture with huge tuna and demonstrate their art of cleaning and filleting fish. As a center of business activities is the market always full of people. The highest activity can be followed in the afternoon when most of the fishing boats bring their catch.
Fruit Market is located opposite the fish market, it is a place full of colors and scents. You can buy a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, nuts, spices, etc. At most stalls you get to taste their specialties. Be sure to buy refreshing coconut (curumba) and as a gift, bring home one of the local specialties, handmade coconut candy bar Bondi. At first sight it looks like a cigar – the bar is wrapped in banana leaves. It consists only of coconut, which is glued with coconut water that is slightly caramelized.