After the referendum in May 2002, East Timor or Timor Leste has tried a lot to change its fate. The small and young country has the charm of a lost Eden.
However, because of the lack of promotion and management, even a pretty place will need many improvements.
Dili, the capital city of East Timor plays the vital role for running this country government, education center, economic, and of course tourism.
The Geographic and Urban of Dili
The charming, small city is located in a lazy little seaside area. It lies on the northern coast of Timor Leste. The city has a hot temperature because of the location. It is in a narrow plain between the central mountains. Dili is not only an important city because of the capital position but also due to the history.
In the past, Dili was the classic backwater. During the colonial times, Dili was the city where the colony country of Timor was controlled.
Timor Leste was a small colony in a remote part of the world. It was Portuguese that owned this heaven. That is why Dili has the unique flavor of Portuguese. The atmosphere of which is close and almost similar to Macau.
Even, in the entire Timor Leste, especially Dili, the genuine cuisines and architecture of Portuguese are coloring the country beautifully.
The country speaks Portuguese even after receiving its independence. Besides, It states Portuguese as the national language. However, most Timor Lestinians still use Bahasa Indonesia as their everyday language. In educational institutions, scholars and students are to communicate with the Portuguese language. Yet, they are more fluent to speak in Bahasa Indonesia.
Dili is a small and quiet city. There are only several small shopping centers and malls. Besides, transportation is not so easy in this country. People can get in a taxi to reach some places though. However, it is common that the taxi drivers pull over and invite other passengers to go in one taxi.
So, it will not feel like a private taxi at all. There are no many cars in the street. So, there will be no traffic jam. The safety in the street is good as well.
The entire places in Timor Leste and Dili suffered a lot during the referendum and after the country received its independence. Many buildings were destroyed, burnt, and even gone. Infrastructures in the countries were damaged as well. Dili has recovered a great deal though many people still feel the fear of the post-referendum era.
Mostly, people feel traumatized by the chaos occurred in their country.
Yet, the people of Timor Leste and Dili are fun lovers. They know how to party and enjoy their life. They like music and drink. Yet, the people are religious Christians. It is forbidden to party and drink on Saturday night. This is so because they have to get prepared for going to the Church every Sunday.
What to Prepare for Dili Tour
For enjoying a Dili tour, we have to use USD currency. So, it will be a little expensive if our original currency has a lower value.
Yet, we will not spend that much when entering Dili. We can spend less than 2 USD to pay a yellow taxi. Yet, the rate might be higher if we are not good at bargaining.
The Best Time to Visit Dili
It is good to pick dry season a perfect Dili tour. It will be from May to November. In the dry season, there will be still raindrops. Besides, the weather will be cooler in the central mountains.
Meanwhile, during the wet season (from December to April, the rains will cause some floods and landslides. Many roads will be closed due to the condition. The temperature in Dili is from 22 degrees Celsius to 31 degrees Celsius. Dili and other districts of Timor Leste have the tropical monsoon climate.
Things to Do in Dili
Dili is not that large. Therefore, travelers can spend one or two days to explore it. People can visit the heart of Dili, the Palacio Governo. The building has the architecture of Portuguese. It has waterfront and square borders. To the west, tourists can find Colmera, the Portuguese part of town. To the south is the Mercado Municipal or central market.
Mostly, the sites look old and shabby. But this is the power of Dili. Travelers can easily find houses with Portuguese styles. Besides, restaurants and hotels are available. Yet, the commercial places are often Australian runs. It is so relaxing and beautiful to dine in a restaurant by the beachside areas.
Popular Icons of Dili
To the east of Dili, the famous statue of Cristo Rei stands beautifully. Some said that a Moslem designer created the statue as a gift for the Timorese. It happened when Timor Leste is still part of the Republic of Indonesia.
However, some people believe in rumors that the statue was designed so Jesus would be facing toward the capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta. It is 27 meters tall and be a city landmark.
From the main road of Dili, we need to spend 5 USD to reach the site. The statue looks so much spectacular with a breathtaking view. It feels true that Timor Leste is like a Brazil in the South East Asia.
It will be a waste to visit Dili without going to the beach. One of the most beautiful beaches is Cape Fatucama. It is right behind the statue of Jesus. The pretty beach line is pretty with its C shape. The water is clean and crystal clear.
Dili is a small drop of Eden. It offers a humble tour experience that travelers will love. Also, it will be beautiful to visit this quiet place. We can extend our holiday in Dili by visiting Baucau old city.
It’s a ruin of a pretty town with Portuguese atmosphere. The place was named after Oliviera Salazar, a Portuguese dictator that possessed that place.
People still call it as Villa Salazar. It is a waste that Portuguese abandoned this very place. Today, it is a mere shabby place with an old water fountain. Yet, we will be able to see how the place used to be a very gorgeous town.