You don't really explore the Maldives, because virtually the moment you touch down at Ibrahim Nasir International Airport in Malé, you're whisked away by seaplane or speedboat to your chosen resort. There is little to do in Malé, save a visit to the mosque, National Museum, or local market. The best option is a day trip offered by your resort; that is, if your resort is within a practical distance. Island-hopping is not really an option, and you will find that, other than different styles and choices of accommodation, each island is a template of the other—beautiful white sandy beaches, waving palms, and seas so blue that ocean vistas henceforth may be ruined for you. The exception is Shangri-la Resort & Spa south of the Equator, where you can take cultural day trips to a former World War II British naval base, local farms, and the local town. Other than in Malé, you’ll be mostly cocooned from authentic Maldives as visitors are only allowed onto certain islands for short visits, apparently to lessen their impact on the traditional, strictly Muslim communities where alcohol and revealing clothing are banned.