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Timor-Leste

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1. Posted by ToddP (Budding Member 19 posts) 4d Star this if you like it!

Anyone been in Timor-Leste? Any tips? Suggestions of best ways getting around, etc

Thanks

2. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 841 posts) 4d Star this if you like it!

Read my previous posts, including some recently. I was there in 2015, traveling independently.

3. Posted by ToddP (Budding Member 19 posts) 3d Star this if you like it!

Thanks [berner256]. Shame I am not able to see any post beyond second page.. I'll try again next day as might be some issues with the web.

4. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 841 posts) 3d Star this if you like it!

I posted the following comment about six weeks ago; and subsequently answered another question on travel from Flores to Timor (both West and East). I am now in Jeju, South Korea, on my way to the Kamchatka peninsula, so if your travel isn't imminent, I can answer in more detail after I arrive home Sept. 12.

I traveled independently to Timor-Leste in May 2015, flying from Denpasar to Dili on an Air Timor flight that was operated by Garuda. There now are three carriers on the DPS-DIL route, with fares at half of what I paid in 2015. The carriers are PT Nam Air, Sriwijaya Air and Citilink Indonesia. The flight takes less than two hours. I got my visa on arrival at Dili airport. However, according to the State Department's Web site, on-arrival visas are NOT available on the land route from Indonesia.

According to the State Department, there have been no countrywide disturbances since 2008. A few weeks before I arrived, there was violence in the Baucau area. After arriving in Dili, I asked about the situation in Baucau and was assured by locals that it had died down. So I went there.

Prices for hotels in Timor-Leste can be expensive for what you get. One solution, as in Papua New Guinea, is perhaps to arrange for alternative accommodations, such as home stays and church guest houses. When I traveled to Maubisse to get to Mt. Ramelau, there was a local hotel. It was very basic. There also was a restaurant. While the rice and soup were hot, the pork and noodles were prepared in advance and unrefrigerated, according to my journal. As in many developing countries, food is cooked only once daily. Best to avoid food that has been standing around unrefrigerated.

There is not enough public transportation to meet demand. While there are some buses, many locals stand in backs of trucks. One way to get around is to pay someone on a motorbike to take you where you want to go. Roads can be bad.

I took a boat to Atauro Island, where I stayed at Barry's Place, which is popular with expats and aid workers. You'll need to protect yourself in Timor-Leste from malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases. Barry's twin sons, who were 7 when I visited, already had contracted malaria 10 times. One was ill while I was there; and the family suspected chikungunya, according to my journal.

The currency in Timor-Leste is the U.S. dollar.

You'll find the people are very friendly; and I had a great time (see my photos on Travellerspoint). From Dili, I took an Airnorth flight to Darwin. Hope this helps.

[ Edit: Edited on 02-Jul-2017, at 13:25 by berner256 ]

5. Posted by ToddP (Budding Member 19 posts) 1d Star this if you like it!

This is great [berner256]. Thanks a mil. Was looking to do few tours but prices are beyond expensive. Will do some alternatives instead. On the way there mid September. Can't wait.

Good luck on your travels.

6. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 841 posts) 1d Star this if you like it!

You might want to check with East Timor Eco Discovery Tours and perhaps Bruce of Beachside Hotel in Dili.

Also, see these posts from a week ago:

I assume you are interested in West Timor (which is a part of Indonesia) and not Timor-Leste. I was in Flores in 2015, traveling from Larantuka to Labuan Bajo. From what I recall, there are ferry services from Flores to West Timor, including Kupang. You can go online to check; or better yet, inquire when you arrive in Flores. I flew from Denpasar to Maumere and hired a driver to take me around Flores from Larantuka to Labuan Bajo, where I went to visit Rinca and Komodo islands. I then returned to Denpasar to fly to Dili, Timor-Leste, and traveled around there before flying to Darwin on Airnorth.

I can't vouch for conditions on the ferries, except to note that a lot of Indonesians use ferries to travel from island to island. It's less expensive than flying. I've been on a lot of ferries in developing countries; and conditions vary. Best to check while you're there. If you don't like, then fly, if that's an option (sometimes it isn't).

P.S. I can't stress how important it is for you to go and check while you're there, particularly about seaworthiness and overcrowding, which should be of more concern to you than comfort and cockroaches.


If you are planning to cross the border from West Timor into Timor-Leste, you must first receive a travel authorization letter in advance. See this link: http://migracao.gov.tl/

Visas on arrival only are available on flights into Dili from Denpasar, Singapore and Darwin. I flew into Dili from Denpasar (at the time with Air Timor with service provided by Garuda); and flew out of Dili to Darwin on Airnorth. There are several other carriers now on the Denpasar-Dili route; and Air Timor and Garuda no longer serve that route.

I personally did not experience problems with seaworthiness and overcrowding on my trips in Indonesia. However, I have been on boats and canoes that have been less than seaworthy (taking on water, for example). But I assessed the risk before boarding. You should, too.

P.S. There was another hotel in Maubisse, suitable for tourists, but it was closed for renovations. It had great mountain views. Also, unless you are willing to rough it and have the time (logistics can be problematic), travel in seldom-visited places can be costly. Papua New Guinea is an example. You see few backpackers there, except on Kokoda Track tours.