Chris and I have started throwing darts at the map in a form of loose planning (or daydreaming) about our round the world backpacking trip set vaguely sometime next year, i.e. as soon as we can scrounge up about ten grand each. This is probably the most fun stage of planning, since most of it involves browsing lonelyplanet.com and WikiTravel instead of doing my university work.

LOCATION SPOTLIGHT: MALE’

There are islands in the Indian Ocean. This was news to me. Even more surprising was the fact that not only are there islands, but those islands have cities on them, like this:

it's been out there this whole time?

(full resolution)

According to most travel guides the Maldives is insanely overpriced – an archipelago of paradise resorts for rich people, with tennis courts and swimming pools and rented yachts. There’s great scuba diving, but nothing you can’t see elsewhere for a fraction of the cost and without a bunch of braying California socialites being herded around by their tour guides (good Lord, I’m already an elitist and I haven’t even left the southern hemisphere yet). Overall, it’s not really a feasible destination for shoestring backpackers.

But man. That city!

It would have been yet more visually impressive if it wasn’t for some fuckwitted dipshit…

Formerly it was a walled city surrounded by fortifications and gates (doroshi). The Royal Palace (Gan’duvaru) was destroyed along with the picturesque forts (kotte) and bastions (buruzu), when the city was remodelled under President Ibrahim Nasir’s rule after the abolition of the monarchy.

…but still! That city!

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