One of the least travelled destinations in Asia, Timor-Leste (also known as East Timor) is a must-visit for travellers who prefer the offbeat. Diving from some of the best reefs in the world, climbing misty mountains, hiking through jungles, exploring age-old village traditions – you can do all this and more in this pristine country.
Mass tourism is yet to touch this country, so a trip here would be like a breath of fresh air to you. The country lacks top-quality tourism infrastructure, but more than makes up for it with its stunning natural beauty. Spend some days here and get a feel of the country the way the locals do.
Before you leave, make sure you purchase
travel insurance or
travel medical insurance
to protect yourself against any unforeseen accidents, illnesses or injuries that might occur during your trip.
Things to Do for Travellers in Timor-Leste
You can fly into the capital Dili from Darwin (Australia) or Bali (Indonesia). There is also an overland 16-hour bus journey that you might undertake from West Timor. However, the road conditions would leave you shaken to the core. But once you reach here, it’s only awe-inspiring beauty all the way.
Atauro Island: Catch a boat from Dili to reach this island 30 kilometers (almost 19 miles) away, across the azure sea. This island offers excellent opportunities for diving, snorkeling, and swimming, accompanied by dolphins. Take a walk around the island, exploring the rainforests and the villages within. You can buy some local wooden sculptures from there. Do try your hand at fishing in the traditional way.
Baucau: Two towns in one – that’s what Baucau is. The Old Town would take you back in time with its grand Portuguese colonial architecture, while the New Town is more Indonesian in look and feel. The Japanese soldiers had built some caves in the southern part of Baucau during World War II which you can visit. Also, you can swim in the rivers near the villages of Ossu and Viqueque that are close by.
Mount Ramelau: This is the tallest mountain in Timor-Leste. The three-hour trek to the top is a challenging hike. Go for it – and be rewarded with jaw-dropping beautiful scenery from atop. There is an open-air church at the top where you can relax amidst some peaceful ambiance. Viewing the sunset from Mount Ramelau would be an unforgettable experience.
Lake Ira Lalaro: This is the largest lake in Timor-Leste. Make a day trip here and enjoy some mountain biking activity. The lake is beautiful to look at. However, don’t go swimming here as the waters are crocodile-infested.
Mount Matebian: Locals call this mountain the “Mountain of Souls” because they believe their ancestors’ souls reside here. This is a sacred site for them. There is also a statue of Jesus Christ on the summit. The mountain is abuzz with pilgrims on All Souls’ Day. Apart from the religious significance, views from atop the mountain are truly awesome. However, the hike to the top and back would take you almost 12 hours.
Travel Risks for International Travellers in Timor-Leste
Though Timor-Leste is not a high-risk country, criminal incidents can always occur no matter where you are. So, adopt the necessary safety measures for hassle-free travel.
Don’t carry too much cash with you while you travel. Also, don’t display valuables in public.
Avoid beaches and deserted areas of the city after dark, especially if you are a lone traveller.
Stay away from demonstrations and gatherings. These might turn violent without notice.
Road conditions in the country are poor, except in Dili. So, if you plan to drive through the countryside, exercise extreme caution. Accidents are common, as very few drivers follow safety regulations while driving.
Water and mosquito-borne diseases are common in Timor-Leste. Don’t drink any type of water apart from bottled mineral water. Carry insect repellents with you at all times.
Timor-Leste Travel Medical Insurance for International Travellers – FAQs
It is unfortunate for an accident or illness to hamper your vacation. And getting treatment for that in a foreign country is an expensive proposition. Medical facilities in Timor-Leste are basic, so a serious mishap might necessitate evacuation to Australia or Indonesia. Even that would set you back financially. To save yourself from such financial hassles, buy travel medical insurance.
Do I need travel medical insurance for Timor-Leste?
Though it’s not compulsory for international travelers to have travel medical insurance to enter Timor-Leste, it makes sense to have it. It acts as protection against spending money on medical treatments while you are travelling.
Why buy travel medical insurance for Timor-Leste?
All that swimming and the tough hikes might cause injuries. A sudden ailment might also strike you while in Timor-Leste. Getting treatment from the handful of private facilities there will cost you a fair amount of money. To save your money, buy travel medical insurance before your visit to Timor-Leste.
Timor-Leste Trip Cancellation Insurance for International Travelers – FAQs
Cancellation of a much-planned trip is something we all dread to think of. But sometimes, circumstances beyond our control force us to cancel an upcoming trip. It is agonizing, and it also causes financial loss.
Why buy trip cancellation insurance for Timor-Leste?
Before the trip, you have already paid the airfare for a two-way trip. For a confirmed booking, you might also have paid for the hotel stays in advance. However, in the event of a cancellation, all that money is lost. But you have a way to prevent this loss. And that is to buy trip cancellation insurance.
What all is covered under trip cancellation insurance for Timor-Leste?
There are some common reasons that necessitate trip cancellations. They are workplace emergencies, the death of a family member, negative developments at the destination, etc. Trip cancellation insurance could cover your prepaid, nonrefundable expenses. You’re eligible for these benefits if you have to cancel your trip for a reason explicitly listed in your policy’s certificate wording. Do confirm this with the insurance provider. But don’t hesitate to buy travel insurance.
Before You Travel to Timor-Leste - Do This
- Pack a pair of sturdy hiking shoes.
- Get a dependable travel insurance plan to cover your risks when things go wrong. Compare plans and select the one that fits your needs.
- Keep backups of your travel documents.