Many of the traditional Maldivian souvenirs have ceased to be produced in these environmentally conscious days. Tortoise shell and coral products once formed the basis of a thriving industry that has been replaced with a market based mainly on imported handicrafts and resort goods such as tropical clothing or collectibles. However, you can still find some locally produced crafts.
Objects made of lacquered wood are the most distinctive. Carved, painted, and varnished, these delicate pieces would grace any tabletop or bedside cabinet. Miniature wooden dhoni, replicas of the Maldives fishing and cargo boats, also make unique souvenirs of your visit. Thuda kuna (reed mats) are also still made on the islands on hand-looms that weave abstract patterns into the finished products. Thuda kuna range in size from drink or table mats to large rugs.
The streets of Chaandhanee Magu (especially the northern end) and Majeedhee Magu are the main arterial routes through Male and the best places to shop, with numerous outlets and boutiques perfect for browsing. Chaandhanee Magu has more souvenirs, while Majeedhee Magu caters more to the everyday needs of the local Maldivians.
Free Fodor's Newsletter
Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.
Fodor's Trip Planning Ideas
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Go List: Fodor's Top 25 Places to Go in 2013
- Hotel Awards 2012: Fodor's 100 Top Hotels
- Best of Europe: Fodor's Picks the Best Places to Visit in Europe
- $96 & up -- India: 5-Star Hotel near New Delhi w/Breakfast Accor Hotels
- $3599 -- Japan: 8-Night, 3-City Tour w/Air, Save $400 Friendly Planet Travel
- Legendary China (13-Day) IExplore
- $1499 & up -- Hong Kong & Shanghai 6-Night Trip w/Air — $1,499 go-today
- Legendary China (21-Day) — $9,850 IExplore