Despite being the smallest country in Asia, the Maldives is spread out over a vast area. It is the lowest country in the world. When democracy was finally achieved in 2008, the new president opened a fund to buy land elsewhere and relocate the entire nation before it sinks beneath the rising ocean. Under the 30-year Gayoom presidency, tourism revenues grew hugely while most of the population remained mired in poverty.

Most, predominantly European, tourists are whisked from the main airport to luxury resorts and back again at the end of their stay. Overwater bungalows are unusual and popular, but tend not to offer much luxury.


Maldives flag

Why you should go:

Go while it still exists.

Why you shouldn't:

It is hugely expensive.

Map of Maldives