So what's paradise like, Maldives-style? In the small, crowded capital of Male, you can visit mosques and bustling street markets. But the outer isles are really a place for quiet comforts and doing less, not more. Aside from white-sand beaches and the amenities of a tropical resort, there's first-class diving, good fishing, and phenomenal surfing (a recent discovery among globe-trotting wave chasers). Whether enjoyed in slow -- or slower -- mode, these islands are a blue-lagoon getaway far from the outside world.