East Timor – best coffee and 5 cool things to do

Timor-Leste

User request. May 20, 2015: Find a great coffee place in East Timor & 5 cool things to get up to while there for a couple days.

Here’s what I discovered:

East-Timor, also known as Timor-Leste (literally means east-east), is one of the newborn nations of the world. The capital is Dili.

Letefoho Speciality Coffee

 

Important things first, where to get the good coffee in Dili?

Letefoho Speciality Coffee seemed to be the number one spot for coffee. Although Google and Apple maps disputed the location, and foursquare was no help, but I found that some Instagram users had tagged the location consistently, so maybe correctly?

5 cool things to do in Dili

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  1. One of the most common, must do activities, was a visit (hike or cab ride) to the Jesus statue, locally known as Cristo Rei (2nd largest in the world after Brazil) it offers a good hike, and previous visitors had recommended hiking past the statue and down to a cove on the other side. Directions and names of the cove varied but One Dollar Beach, which is one of the beaches on the other side was referred to as one of the best beaches around and more secluded than the ones closer to Dili. One Dollar Beach also sounds random enough to warrant a visit.
  1. East Timor is a stones throw away from a few other islands, the most accessible on a short stay seemed to be Atauro Island, One can take a ferry which leaves once a week on a Saturday or you can get a fisherman to ferry you over. It’s about 30 km (1 hour) from Dili coast.

Diving in Dili

  1. Snorkelling/diving: Dili Rock is reported to be the nicest area for snorkelling and/or diving. There are a number of diving centres if you haven’t got the gear. This activity seems to be a must if you’re in the area, the reefs, wrecks, fish life are out of this world. Especially for visitors in the dry season where the visibility is best (May – Dec)

 

  1. The countryside outside Dili on the way to neighbouring towns is supposed to be amazing, but its still early days in terms of infrastructure and amenities. So get a formidable car, bring food and drink, and go exploring. If you’re around in September (13-17 2015), there is what’s looking to be an amazing bike race called Tour de Timor.

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  1. The best place for enjoying the colourful sunsets is Meti-Aut Beach on the east side of Dili, and a quick search on instagram #metiaut, will leave you mindblown.

My favourite sites to use for this request were:

  • Instagram (images are great inspiration #timorlestetourism #easttimorcoffee #dilisunset etc..) can also be more accurate on locations sometimes.
  • Wikitravel for all the need to knows like ’taxis are hard to get at night, so arrange with a taxi driver and get their number during the day’
  • A lot of cool blogs, for background info, but many lacked a date of publishing, or had it hidden at the bottom somewhere, making it hard to know what to use.

The overload of information online is a tough one. Tripadvisor and Lonely Planet, both wading in a wealth of information, failed miserably on this one. Its extremely time consuming to wade through pages of reviews and recommendations only to find that its out-dated, or irrelevant. As we become more conscious of how we spend our time, amazing sunset vs Google, it becomes clear that treasure troves can also be nightmares.

 

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