It was great for me to see that tourists are welcome in the fishmarket and also in the other large market-hall even though it was certainly clear for them from the beginning,that we are no real customers, but just making our tourist-photos.
The name Malé (pronounced: "Maa-lay") is derived from Sanskrit and means ‘big house’ usually indicating the palace of a king. It is one of the largest island in the Maldives, but is only 0.68 sq mi / 1.77 sq km in size! And to make it worse, there are at least 82,000 people living there (just look at my aerial pictures). If you add in 20,000 -30,000 tourists on the island at any one time the densities are around 130-160,000 per square mile (50-55,000 per sq km)! Incredible. The length of the island is 1.05 miles (1.7km) and width of .62 miles (1km). The city taking up virtually the entire landmass and is the world's most densely populated city. Fully 1/3 of the population of the country lives here. It is also the most densely un-bridged island in the world.
Malé is also the political and economic capital of the country. It was originally founded by Portuguese traders in the 1500’s. In order to increase its size, several land reclamation projects have been undertaken to expand the harbour. The airport was re-sited years ago to the adjacent Hulhule Island. Both international flights and seaplane operations for domestic transport now operate here. Just to make matters worse, it is the only official entry point to the whole country, so many foreign and domestic workers find themselves here on at least a temporary basis. Once you see other islands by air, you fully understand the importance of Malé.
You can find more information here:
The Maldives are a muslim country. Top less bathing, eating during Ramadan and saying anything against the Islam will not go down well with the local population. My first travel rule, where ever I visit is to treat the locals with respect and you will gain hospitality, helpfulness and friendliness. Simply ask first if you are not certain in what to do and you will find that people will assist and help.
When you are doing your excursion into Male, unless you are staying the city you will need someone to hold your bags. At the airport they will do this for you. Go to the arrivals terminal-by the tourist desk-across from the bank.You have to give your passport and flight details to the clerk and it costs a few bucks. But well worth it
When walking around the Grand Mosque and other areas nearby-you need to watch out for signs that say no photographs. There are some important government buildings in this area. There are lots of guards around and i got the impression-they do enforce this.