East Timor

vital statistics
  • Dili
  • 1 million
  • Tetum, Portuguese
  • US dollar
about East Timor

Perhaps not at the top of everyone’s to-do list, East Timor has a few surprises in store for those who visit the sandy shores of this island.

With a history riddled in tragedy and triumph, East Timor’s infrastructure still suffers after its last chaotic episode in 2008. But if you can look past the political upheaval that has left a scattering of refugee camps and degraded buildings the norm for capital Dili, there are pristine beaches and stunning tropical forests and mountainsides to explore or relax and enjoy.

The island nation is officially known as the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, but it is the locals who make the journey to this island worthwhile. Gaining a glimpse of how these Portuguese-speaking people get by day to day is a rewarding experience, and all it takes is a toothy grin from these humble folk to remind you it’s the simplest things that matter.

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