View all news

Gatecrashing Paradise by Tom Chesshyre (BSc 1993)

26 November 2014

Tom Chesshyre's (BSc 1993) travel book, Gatecrashing Paradise, is an exquisite account of his journeys through the untouched archipelagos of the Maldives.

'With the blazing sunsets, gyrating currents in deserted lagoons, kaleidoscopes of coral, cascades of fish, crescents of perfect white sand, peaceful coral stone villages, emerald jungle... the Maldives has to be one of the most beautiful, colourful and sometimes complicated places on the planet.

'In the Maldives outsiders used to be banned from islands not officially endorsed as tourist resorts, but now a thousand sandy shores can be visited in this remote nation deep in the Indian Ocean – the flattest on Earth. A whole new country has effectively opened up – hundreds of islands seldom seen by outsiders.

'It’s not all that often something like this happens in the twenty-first century. I was looking forward to making the most of paradise, and I was intending to take a voyage around the edges of perfection.'

Away from the five-star hotels and beyond luxury hideaways, Tom Chesshyre travels to see the real, unexplored Maldives, skirting around the archipelago’s periphery, staying at simple guesthouses, and using cargo ships and ferries. He discovers that beyond the glossy brochures lies an almost undiscovered country that is brimming with life, yet also a paradise teetering on the brink of trouble.

This is island-hopping for the twenty-first century, sailing around 600 miles of the most beautiful islands and atolls on Earth, often to communities that haven't seen an outsider for decades, and gatecrashing the odd posh hotel.

'Highly readable Bill Bryson-esque travel writing' Daily Telegraph

Gatecrashing Paradise is available to buy online, in paperback or for your e-reader.