For many, the Maldives conjures images of tropical islands, clear turquoise water and luxurious overwater villas. But beyond the world-class resorts is an island nation rich with its own unique history, language and culture.

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One of the most distinctive crafts of the Maldives, the basic techniques used in lacquer works have hardly changed since ancient times. Hand-drawn spinners used to sculpt pieces have been motorised and the traditional colouring pigments have given way to modern dyes. The sculpted pieces are coated with layers of lacquer and intricate patterns are engraved on them using simple tools without any premade drawings.

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The concept of ‘one island, one resort’ makes the Maldives especially unique to many visitors. The island belongs exclusively to the resort and guests have the freedom to pick a spot on the beach or splash around in the turquoise lagoon wherever they choose. The introduction of guesthouses in 2009 opened up local islands to tourism offering an alternative experience.

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The Maldives was once a part of the spice route between East Asia and the Arab world. Much of the country’s cuisine is influenced by the flavours of countries that surround the Indian Ocean. While fish is the major ingredient in most dishes, local ingredients – especially coconut – contribute to almost all dishes, both sweet and savoury.

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The Boduberu is a Maldivian drum made from the wood of the coconut palm. This traditional instrument is used to accompany a performance of the same name, involving drumming, singing and a trance-like dance that builds in energy in synchronicity with the tempo of the drums.

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The graceful Maldivian Dhoni has undergone centuries of perfection. With an elegantly crafted prow, a white triangular sail and powered by a Perkins Sabre 360 HP engine, the Nooma (meaning blue flower), pictured here, is a modern interpretation of this traditional design. When staying at Baros Maldives Resort guests can take it out for a private snorkelling session, a sunset cruise or a romantic dinner for two under the starry Maldivian skies.

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The moment of tranquillity just before dusk settles. The golden orb of the setting sun has sunk beyond the western horizon after a display of dramatic colours, hues and shades mixed in with the contrasting patterns and silhouettes of the clouds. With the reflection on the waters intensifying the drama it’s a spectacle to behold. Be ready to envelope yourself in the experience.

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Since the beginning of tourism in the Maldives, each island was awarded to a single developer, and the concept of ‘one island, one resort’ was born and established as part of the Maldives tourism landscape. Baros, the third resort to be developed for tourism, is regarded as one of the most romantic resorts in the Maldives. In addition to the island’s remarkable beauty, the privacy afforded to its guests is certainly one of the drawcards of the resort.

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The Maldivian Dhoni was traditionally built using coconut timber and constructed under the watchful eyes of a seasoned master carpenter. Modern Dhonis still retain the sleek hydrodynamic design of the vessel. However modern Dhonis are built using imported timbers and fibreglass and are extensively used in resorts for scuba diving, snorkelling trips and excursions.

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The island of Thulusdhoo is one of the most popular local islands in the Maldives with a thriving tourism scene predominantly centred around the surf scene, thanks to the great waves and popular breaks nearby. Aside from the several charming guesthouses, there is also the Season Paradise, a four-star hotel with a rooftop pool.

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Local schoolchildren of Thulusdhoo attired in traditional Maldivian costume. The girls wear the libaas adorned with kasabu woven with silver, gold and colourful threads complemented with traditional jewellery. The libaas is complete with the feyli, with its contrasting bands of white. The boys display the men’s attire, made up of a cotton sarong and shirt.

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Explore Maldives

Welcome to the Maldives, where sands are as white as the smiles of the locals, where fish swim happily in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, where the weather is a dream, and the deep rays of the sun wait to engulf you in their arms.

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