Places to Travel in East Timor

East Timor, officially named as East Timor's Democratic Republic, one of the destinations to travel in Southeast Asia. The east of Timor Island, the Oecussi-Ambeno Region, the Atauro and Jaco Islands belongs the territories of the East Timor. The only neighbor of 14,609-square-kilometer East Timor is West Timor of Indonesia.

The country, which used be a colony of Portugal in the 16th century, was known as Portugal Timoru and remained loyal to Portugal. East Timor, occupied by Indonesia in 1975, officially declared its independence on 20 May 2002.

In Southeast Asia, one of the two states belonging to Catholic religion in the majority  is East Timor. The other one is the Philippines. East Timor, one of the poorest countries in Asia and the world, is ranked 142st on the world developed countries list.

Political tension continues in East Timor, where has two official languages; Portuguese and Tetum. After the referendum in 1999 and in 2006 the country had violent clashes between political parties, gangs and tribes. During these events, the capital city of Dili and the other towns of East Timor were burned. A large part of the population fled to the refugee camps during the incident, in the country where hundreds of people died and the towns were severely damaged.


Dili is the capital snd the largest city in East Timor. A large part of the country's population lives in and around the capital city of Dili.

The region, which has been ruled by Portugal for many years, became the capital after the independence of East Timor in 2002. During the conflicts with Indonesia in 1999, most of the buildings in the city were damaged. It is possible to see structures still dating from the Portuguese colonies in the city.

Christ the King of Dili

The Statue of Jesus, also known as Cristo Rei of Dili, is one of the symbols of the city of Dili. The Statue of Jesus Christ, who opened his hands standing on the world sculpture, was presented in 1996 by the President of Indonesia Suharto.

Located at the end of the Fatuca Peninsula, the Statue of Jesus with a position overlooking the ocean is one of the city's most touristic attractions.

Dili Saint Mary Column

Another famous tourist attractions and symbols of Dili is the St. Mary Column. Although it was destroyed after the occurred conflicts that took place in the country in 1999, it is one of the old structures still standing today.

The statue symbolizes St. Mary, stands on the angels. There is no certain information about the history of sculpture and sculptors.

Dili Integration Monument

The Integration Monument, was built during the domination of Indonesia in East Timor, symbolizes the liberation of the country from colonial ties. The 10-meter-high sculpture shows the moment when a Timorlins in traditional costumes broke the chains on their feet and their hands and broke the bonds of colonialism.

Dili Motael Church

São António de Motael Church is the oldest Catholic church in East Timor. Motael Church, rebuilt by the way of Portuguese architectural design in 1955, was the largest church in the country until the Immaculate Conception Church was built in 1989.

The church played an crucial role in East Timor's struggle for independence, in October 28, 1991, a conflict between Indonesian soldiers and insurgents broke out and two people lost their lives.

Dili Immaculate Conception Cathedral

The cathedral is the largest church in East Timor and the main church of Catholic Psychopathology.
The cathedral was built in 1984 after the Indonesian government funded $ 235,000, and  opened on November 2, 1988 with the participation of Indonesian President Soeharto. The cathedral is built on an area of 1,800 square meters and has a capacity of 2,000 people.

The Resistance Museum in Dili

Museum of East Timorese Resistance is a museum where you can learn the detailed history of the country. You can learn thorough about the difficulties East Timor has experienced in its history of independence, as it is hard to find in history books.

In addition to the works exhibited in the museum, has an entrance fee of 2 $, there are short film screenings related to East Timor fights. You can find the information in Portuguese, Tetum and English.

Dili Tais Market

The people of East Timor sell handmade products in this market. Weaving and local products are usually sold on Tais Market counters in Dili. Tais Market is one of the places where you can purchase souvenirs.

Santa Cruz Cemetery

One of the places that tourists visit in Dili, is the Santa Cruz Cemetery. This old cemetery is impressive with its colorful stones and decorations, but the most impressive aspect of the cemetery is that on 12 November 1991 Indonesian soldiers killed more than 250 Timorese civils. The majority of civilians, was students and were buried in the Santa Cruz Cemetery.

British journalist Max Stahl recorded video footage of this bloody attack at Santa Cruz Cemetery and announced it to the world.

Arte Moris

Arte Moris, which means Art Life in the language of Tetum, is a fine arts school located in the capital of East Timor, Dili. Arte Moris, also used as a cultural center and artists' association, was established after the occupation of Indonesia to play a role in the reconstruction of the psychological and social life of a violently devastated country.

One Dollar Beach

One Dollar Beach is located within the borders of the Huiali Village of the capital Dili. The name of the beach ''One Dollar'' comes from the taxi drivers who was demanding for a $ 1 fee, after the independence of East Timor in 2002. Another source indicates that the name of the beach comes from the locals who charge $ 1 for the entrance fee.

One Dollar Beach is a convenient place to snorkel. The coral reefs in the region increase the attractiveness of underwater observations.

Ramelau Mountain

Tatamailau, Tata Mailau or Ramelau Mountain, is the highest point (2986 meters) of East Timor and Timor Island. The name of Tatamailau Mountain, which is close to the town called Ainora, means "Grandfather of Everybody" in the local language.

The periphery of Mount Ramelau is one of the important place to observe rare bird species. You may climb from the village of Aimeta, 3 km away from the town of Hato Bulico, to mountain.

Akrema Beach

The White Beach offers an impressive beauty of deep blue sea. Situated near the town of Atauro, Akrema Beach is usually empty, so you can amble. You need to be careful when snorkeling to observe coral reefs due to strong currents in the area.

Dare War Memorial Museum

The museum is open on Saturdays and Sundays between 08:30-18:00. The posters exhibited at the Dare War Memorial Museum gives an information about the history of East Timor.

The museum also serves as a cafe. After you have ordered a coffee, you can read the information mostly about World War II from the banners on the wall.

Jaco Island

The region sometimes called as Jako Island is located at the eastern end of Timor. The island, which has no settlement, is in the Nino Konis Santana National Park.

While one side of island has beaches, the other side has several cliffs. It is not allowed to travel on the tropical rainforest, however, the locals take tourists to the island with an average of $ 10 via fishing boats.


One of the protected watery area of the country, Tasitolu is a region which has area for walking, and a beach. It is possible to encounter rare plants and species in the area around Salt Lake. Due to the close proximity to the capital city, the region, which is attracted by tourists, is being revitalized along with afforestation work.

Marobo Hot Springs

One of the hidden beauties of East Timor, the Marobo Spa is not easy to reach, so it is an uncrowded place to visit. The region is about 150 kilometers away from the capital city Dili however the rough roads make it diffucult to reach, takes 4 hours to arrive the hot springs.

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