a fascinating world of a thousand small atolls in the Indian Ocean, are a paradise for scuba divers and other holidaymakers. They are coral islands that have grown up over thousands of years and are now slowly sinking back into the sea. Here nature glows in the vivid colours of the tropical south. Since the early 1970s Michael Friedel has devoted much time and effort to photographing the islands on land, under water and from the air. His pictures have made the Maldives world-famous and the best of them can be found in this book. Marion Friedel, a travel writer with worldwide experience, paints a word-picture of the countryside, people and natural beauty of the Maldives.