East Timor has a mixture of electrical plugs and while there may be a standard, it is hard to follow it.
Most typically, the plugs have the European 2-pin round connections:
In some more remote places, you can occasionally find the USA style, 2-flat blade plugs.
Best recommendation is to bring an adaptor for both.
These style homes, known as Dong Son, are found only in the eastern-most Tutuala District.
These structures are very tall, elongated from the base on stilts. There are some more popular ones along the main roads, however the smaller villages and side roads will have examples too. Just keep your eyes open.
They are odd looking, being much more tall than they are wide. These are a prime example of ancestral ties to parts of northern Vietnam, where the Dong Son people came from.
One of the villagers explained to me that there are some variations in the structures. In present times, maybe only a few people still live in them, but long ago they were both home and barn.
Today, the majority of them are simple reminders of their culture, but still serve a practical purpose as storage of dry goods and livestock supplies.
Have you ever notices how goats love to climb on things? There are no shortages of this in Timor.
Goats have nearly open range in Timor, except for the centers of the cities. And by that, I mean Dili and Baucau. Otherwise goats can be found everywhere, typically perched in the most obscure places.
I saw goats in windows, goats in overturned boats, goats on top of graves, goats on top of scrapped vehicles, goats on top of fences...
I actually feel like Dr. Seuss should have written a book about all the goats in Timor.
East Timor is a rather hot country and therefore if you are like everyone else, keeping fluids is a paramount importance.
Stores may be a bit pricey at times, but the street vendors and small corner stores have more or less adopted a universal cost for drinks.
Juices, teas, alcohol, soda and colas will be more expensive.
Small water (600ml) on the street will be $0.25
Large water (1500ml) on the street will be $0.50
Large beer on the street should be $1.50
Refrigeration is too much to ask for, so these will be served warm. If you want cold drinks, you must pay extra and go into the markets.
I observed these prices in every city, town and village that I went to.
Favorite thing: During my long tenure in East Timor, I was always very pleasantly surprised by the friendliness and the helpfulness of the locals. They were always positive in their outlook and always had smiles on their faces - in spite of what they had been through. A most enjoyable people.
Favorite thing: Funnily enough, when we first reached Atauro, we were greeted by the huge huge tree and that was the place where locals gather to buy / sell stuffs. All the activities were under the big tree. At this marketplace, you will see dried salted fishes, clothes, fresh fruits, vegetables, etc. The buzz is only there during days when there are ferries docking.
... continued from above ...
1996 - Bishop Carlos Felipe Ximenes Belo and Jose Ramos-Horta, 2 leading East Timorese activists for peace and independence, received the Nobel Peace Prize and this gained some limelight in the world arena.
1998 - Suharto was forced to resign and Habibie took over the Presidency of Indonesia. Economy outlook of Indonesia was extremely bleak and Habibie did not want to invest much in East Timor. Hence, East Timor was offered "independence" within the Indonesian states.
1999 - With much international pressure, the Indonesian government decided to hold a referendum with the assistance from the UN. United Nations Assistance Mission for Timor-Leste, UNAMET was formed for this purpose.
September 1999 - 78% of East Timorese voted for independence instead of being just an autonomous province within Indonesia. Unfortunately, immediately after this, the Indonesian troops attacked and killed 2000 and much of the country's infrastructure was destroyed.
UN Assistance - Indonesia at that time was "threatened" by the US to stop the brutality and it was then a UN multinational force led by Australia landed in East Timor. Hence, administration of East Timor was thus looked after by the United Nations Transitional Administration for East Timor (UNTAET) for the transition period towards independence.
30 Aug 2001 - East Timor's first elections. A new Constitution was drafted after that by the new general assembly.
20 May 2002 - East Timor became formerly independent, the president being Xanana Gusmão. The new flag was raised and the National anthem was sung.
27Sep 2002 - East Timor became a member of the UN.
It is always good to understand the history of East Timor. So, here goes.
16th Century - Under the Portuguese rule while the rest of the land was under the Dutch. Known as Portuguese Timor then.
WWII - When the Japanese troops invaded, Portuguese Timor was "taken over" by the Australians and the Dutch. After the war when the Japanese were defeated, it was "given back" to the Portuguese.
1974 - The fall of the Portuguese Fascist Regime and Portugal became a Democratic country. A new governor was appointed. Due to the emphasis on democracy, Portuguese Timor was given a "chance" to fight for independence. Political parties were formed.
11 Aug 1975 - A coup was mounted by 1 of the political parties, Timorese Democratic Union (União Democrática Timorense - UDT) attempting to take over East Timor from the Portuguese and also to prevent Fretilin (Frente Revolucionaria de Timor Leste Independente - Revolutionary Front of Independent East Timor) from gaining power. Situation between the 2 parties turned bad resulting in 2000 deaths.
28 Nov 1975 - Fretilin declared East Timor as independent but recognised by few countries only.
10 Days Later on 7 Dec 1975 - Indonesian troops invaded and took over East Timor. By mid-Feb in 1976, 60,000 were killed as they fought against Indonesian control.
Indonesian Time - The Indonesian government invested much to boost the economy of Timor-Leste (unlike the Portuguese). The economy improved. However, the East Timorese were still very keen to gain independence and hence, they fought on.
12 Nov 1991 - One of the bloodiest massacre happened. More than 200 people were killed at the Santa Cruz Cemetery. The killing was a result of a demonstration against the Indonesian Government who killed one of the young students who protested against them. The Santa Cruz Massacre was thus a turning point for the East Timorese whereby they gained sympathy from other countries.
Favorite thing: In Timor Leste, the currency used is the USD. That makes everything very expensive, even for travellers. The East Timorese cannot afford to buy things as the USD is so expensive and hence living standard becomes very unbalanced. Well, this is a political choice and I guess after a while when the country settles down, they will use their own currency.
No visa required ... for entry in East Timor, at least for European travellers.
The introduction of the US dollar as the country's new currency was not welcomed by the local population, but it certainly makes life easier for foreign visitors...
You will most probably need a visa to get into the country. The visa can be purchased when you arrive at the airport.
Fee : USD$30
A good online source for news about East Timor, the country and its people!
Go to :
Avenida Presidente Nicolau Lobato, Dili, East Timor
Good for: Couples
Av. Direitos Humanos, Lecidere, Dili, East Timor
Good for: Couples
Av dos Direitos Humanos, Lecidere, Dili, East Timor
Good for: Couples