Looking through the list of countries of South East Asia, I found this small country called Timor-Leste. What is Timor-Leste, never heard of it before.
Occupying the eastern half of Timor, it was struggling for independence from Portugal in 1975 and then from Indonesia in 2002.
During the Indonesian occupation the country was characterised by an extremely violent long conflict.
After reading this information I decided to do a visa run to Timor-Leste.
The best thing? On your flight to Timor-Leste you can have a
bird’s-eye view from the jungle of Flores or the Rinjani from Lombok.
What do you want more on a short flight?
Many people do a visa run to Kuala Lumpur or Singapore after two months in Indonesia, why shouldn’t I try something new?
You know what, they’ve got as many tourists in a year as Bali might have in an afternoon.
Only the capital, Dili, has good roads. Once you leave it, driving on the roads is a challenge in itself. But a cool one, I promise.
Who thinks Myanmar is an insider-tip, you haven’t been to Timor-Leste yet.
No McDonalds, no WiFi, no shopping malls outside of Dili.
Authentic travels in a remote place makes you feel excited and alive.
Try a new different lifestyle and get off the touristy Banana Pancake Trail,
Timor-Leste is happy to welcome any adventure loving traveler!
AND I reckon they have the best coconut in SEA and I tried loads of them (1$ for each coconut).
Interested? – Okay wait there are some information you need to know before you go.
Visa: At the airport German passport holders will get a free 30 days visa.
I don’t know exactly the visa requirements for other nationalities, so please do research before you go to Timor-leste.
Bordercrossing to Timor-Leste by land is no problem, you will get the free visa at the border.
Security and Infrastructure: Driving with the scooter outside of Dili is similar to a horrorible but at the same time funny trip. The streets are in poor condition and there is no infrastructure.
You can consider yourself as lucky if you won’t be jolted by the potholes. The road is not smooth at all and filled with potholes, a dream of every European standard roads.
Your botty will hurt and your heart will race like hell, but it is a memorable trip- that’s for sure!
Even if the situation in the country got normalized, it is advisable to gather information at the federal foreign office before you go.
Okay, seriously Timor-Leste is one of the poorest state in Asia but since the introduction of the US-Dollar as their new currency and the presence of the UN, the prices are compared to Indonesia much higher.
But don’t let the prices keep you from going and explore this amazing country! Plan 20-30$ for a day.
If you are traveling from Dili to the eastern part of the country and passing by Manatuto, Baucau and Com you will finally arrive on a desert island called Jaco Island. Go and get your Robinson-Crusoe-feeling and sip somewhere in a hammock your coconut.
For me, it was weird once I got the feeling of being the only tourist in this beautiful country. Also a little bit lonely to be honest.
Let us not deceive ourselves: Traveling Timor-Leste is tough.
The package-deal traveler wouldn’t have any interest to go, meanwhile the adventurer will find what she is looking for.
And even in the next decade only few backpackers will find their way to East Timor. It is not very smart to pick Timor-Leste as your first country in South East Asia if you are backpacking for the first time in your life.
To be honest what you discover there is not always pretty, but the charm of Timor-Leste is genuinely authentic.