Maldivian Rufiya (MVR; symbol MRf) = 100 laari. Notes are in denominations of MRf500, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Coins are in denominations of MRf2 and 1, and 50, 25, 10, 5, 2 and 1 laari.
Most major island resorts, local and souvenir shops will accept American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa. Arrangements vary from island to island. There are ATMs widely available in Malé.
These are generally accepted. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travelers are advised to take traveller's cheques in US Dollars.
There is little or no organized nightlife, although most resorts have informal discosaround the bar areas, sometimes featuring live bands playing either traditional or Western music. Beach parties and barbecues are also popular. On some evenings, many resorts have cultural shows and some show films.
Many different types of traditional national dancing and singing may be enjoyed across the islands.
Service charges are invariably added onto all chargeable services in resorts. Extra tipping is not expected, though cash tips (US$1 per bag) for porters is appreciated.
Lacquered wooden boxes are the most distinctive Maldivian handicrafts, and are most famously produced in Thulhaadhoo in Baa Atoll. The craft involves the process of shaping and hollowing out pieces of wood from endemic trees to form intricately crafted boxes, containers and ornamental objects. Beautiful reed mats are woven throughout the country, the most famous of which are those that are woven by the women of Gadhdhoo in Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll. Ranging from placemats to full-size single mattress mats, they are hand-decorated with intricate abstract designs.
There are two hospitals on Malé, the Indhira Gandhi Memorial Hospital and the ADK private hospital. First-aid facilities are available on all resort islands. A decompression chamber is accessible in Malé in case of diving emergencies. Medical treatment in the Maldives can be very expensive and comprehensive health insurance is recommended.
Exceptional and easily accessible underwater life makes the Maldives one of the world’s top diving and snorkeling destinations. All of the resorts have professional dive schools with fully qualified multilingual instructors offering a range of courses, from beginners to full PADI certification. Basic diving equipment is provided in all resorts and some also rent out underwater cameras. Dive schools organize daily dive boat trips to sites around the islands throughout the year. Night dives and special trips for more experienced divers are also available.
Lightweight and tropical clothes with umbrella are advised for June to August. Between October and March, lightweight clothes are worn in Kathmandu, with a coat for evenings and warm clothing for the mountains.