Mal­dives: Is­land Friend­ship Bridge

Beijing (English) - - CONTENTS -

The Mal­dives is a South Asian coun­try lo­cated in the In­dian Ocean. It is made up of over 1,200 small co­ral is­lands, stretch­ing 820 km from north-to-south and 130 km from east-to-west. It is the world's low­est coun­try, with even its high­est nat­u­ral point be­ing the low­est in the world. It is also the small­est coun­try in Asia, and was an ideal tran­sit point for the great early mar­itime ex­plor­ers be­cause of its lo­ca­tion ap­prox­i­mately 600 km south of In­dia and 750 km south­west of Sri Lanka.

Its prox­im­ity to the equa­tor gives the Mal­dives a dis­tinct trop­i­cal mon­soon cli­mate, mean­ing the coun­try is hot all year round and of­ten hu­mid. How­ever, the coun­try is teem­ing with marine life, in­clud­ing a wide va­ri­ety of trop­i­cal fish, sea tur­tles and hawks­bill tur­tles, as well as abun­dant co­ral and shells.

Malé, the cap­i­tal of the Mal­dives, is lo­cated on the North Malé Atoll. It is the po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic cen­tre of the coun­try, and fea­tures a port, with fish­ing and aquatic pro­cess­ing in­dus­tries as its most im­por­tant in­dus­tries. How­ever, the coun­try's main in­dus­try is un­doubt­edly tourism. The Mal­dives is one of the world's top is­land re­sorts, with truly un­for­get­table scenery—white sandy beaches and turquoise la­goons.

Af­ter ar­riv­ing at Malé Air­port, vis­i­tors switch to ei­ther a speed­boat, sea­plane or do­mes­tic land-based plane be­fore head­ing to the is­land and re­sort of their choice. Most tourists who visit the Mal­dives are at­tracted to the “wa­ter vil­las.'' As their name im­plies, th­ese are usu­ally de­tached build­ings built on la­goons sur­round­ing the is­lands, com­plete with sun decks and stair­cases that de­scend di­rectly into the wa­ter and the co­ral be­neath.

A staff mem­ber from the Mal­dives Em­bassy in China en­thu­si­as­ti­cally in­tro­duced the coun­try to vis­i­tors at the “Colour­ful World” event: “Tourists gen­er­ally want to know things such as whether the sur­round­ing co­ral reefs are abun­dant, or whether the beaches are big enough.” Of course, tourists can also take sight­see­ing sea­planes to ap­pre­ci­ate the is­lands from above. The em­bassy worker con­tin­ued: “Tak­ing trips in dhoni boats is an­other good way to see other is­lands. And, Chi­nese tourists can get a 30-day visa on ar­rival. Af­ter ar­riv­ing in the Mal­dives, you sim­ply need to fill in an ar­rival card.”

“As an is­land na­tion on the ‘Belt and Road' route, we're ex­tremely hon­oured to be able to take part in the ‘Colour­ful World' event.” The Mal­dives booth not only fea­tured seafood prod­ucts and de­li­cious lo­cal snacks such as sea potato and bread­fruit chips, but also show­cased spe­cial hand­i­crafts from the coun­try.

The China-mal­dives Friend­ship Bridge (also known as the Si­na­malé Bridge) re­cently opened on Au­gust 30, 2018, con­nect­ing the air­port on Hul­hulé and Malé Atoll. Lo­cated in the North Malé Atoll, the bridge is two km long and the most im­por­tant piece of in­fra­struc­ture con­nect­ing the is­lands in the Mal­dives. It was jointly agreed on by the lead­ers of the two coun­tries dur­ing Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping's visit to the Mal­dives in 2014 and is a key project in the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive. Com­ple­tion of the bridge has helped ease the liv­ing pres­sure for peo­ple on Malé Is­land and al­lows tourists to travel quickly and eas­ily be­tween the main is­land and air­port.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.