Dili : Useful Information

  • Some general notes for visitors to Dili and Timor-Leste.
  • Dili : Background

    Dili is the capital of Timor-Leste. It is mainly a commercial and administrative centre, with a few Portuguese touches such as villa-lined beach roads and the ruins of an old fort built in 1627.

    The long stretch of waterfront with the nearby Palacio do Governo, remains a place of commerce and leisure and a focal point for evening and weekend walks . This area is where the Rally participants will come ashore.  A massive statue of Jesus Christ dominates the headland hilltop at Cape Fatucama. The best-known beaches in Dili are in a sheltered cove known as Areia Branca and a wide variety of restaurants and hotels can be found along the foreshore. Atauro Island, which is visible from the waterfront, is becoming increasingly popular as a sightseeing excursion site. There are a number of good diving sites close to Dili and the Dare War Memorial in the hills close to Dili is also a must-see.

  • Facilities

    • Currently two foreign banks have a branch in Dili: Portugal's Banco National Ultramarino and Indonesia's Bank Mandiri.  Please note: ATMs in Dili are not always reliable and USD or travellers cheques are highly recommended. At the time of writing Mastercard is not accepted but Visacard is.
    • The ANZ Bank branch in Dili closed in September 2018.
    • Internet access at various locations.
    • International roaming is available for Telstra or Optus mobiles, but is not always reliable and access to message bank services is limited.  International roaming generally needs to be activated prior to departure.
    • Timor Telecom is the key mobile phone provider in Timor-Leste.  You can buy a SIM card and mobile phone credit from hotels and vendors on major intersections.  Please note: Timor Telecom SIM cards may not work in Australian locked mobiles.
    • Large expatriate population.
    • Western-style supermarkets and local traditional markets for all fresh fruit and vegetable needs
    • Good local handicraft markets, including the Dili Tais (Ikat/cloth) market located near Hotel Timor
    • Fuel supplies from Australia, Indonesia and Singapore.
    • From Dili, there are regular flights to Darwin (Airnorth), daily flights to Bali (Merpati and Batavia Air) and flights 3 times a week to Singapore (Air Timor).
    • Many national embassies.  The Australian Embassy in Dili is located on Comoro Road and can be contacted on phone 332 2111.
    • Wide range of dining styles and prices. A number of international cuisines can be found, from the traditional Timorese and Indonesian dishes to Portuguese, Italian, Western, Chinese, Thai or Japanese cuisine.
    • Great coffee and cold beer.
  • Timor-Leste : Background

    Follow these links for PDF extracts from a comprehensive overview of Timor-Leste published in the Singapore Sunday Times on August 31, 2014.

    Timor-Leste: Nation with a vision
    Fifteen years after choosing independence, Asia's youngest nation now sets its course for the next 15 years to prosperity. A message from the Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao.

    Economics: In the vanguard
    Special Economic Zone opening up market of 30 million people. Investors from China, Korea, Macau, Portugal, Brazil, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore are in various stages of project negotiations, contracts and implementation.

    Agriculture & Fisheries: A bountiful land
    For centuries, traders have been flocking to Timor for its valuable commodities. Agriculture (along with tourism) is being developed as an important economic sector which will help reduce the dependence of Timor-Leste on oil and gas.

    Tourism: On the eve of the ball
    From natural hot springs and historical sites to culture, crafts and Timorese cuisine, Timor-Leste is brimming with tourism draws.

    Festivals & Special Events: Fun all year long
    Timor-Leste's calendar is filled with festivals and special moments

    Oil & Gas: The crocodile wakes
    Legend says Timor-Leste was formed from the back of a large crocodile. The resource-rich nation is asleep no more.

    Dili Diaries
    A selection of individual success stories about people living and working in Timor-Leste.

  • Useful Facts

    • US Dollars are the official currency, with local small denomination coins (necessary in markets)
    • Portuguese is the official language along with Tetum, the local dialect, although Bahasa Indonesia is still widely spoken amongst the general population. Some English is spoken, particularly in Dili.
    • Catholicism is the predominant religion although most religions are represented.
    • International Dialling code +670
    • Visas on Arrival cost USD30 for a thirty (30) day stay.  Visa extension applications must be submitted directly to the Immigration Department in Dili, Timor-Leste. Extensions cost USD35 for each extension of 30 days, or USD75 for extension of 60 days.  A departure tax of USD10 also applies for departures by air.  Departures by sea are exempt from departure tax.
    • All foreigners seeking to enter Timor-Leste on a temporary visa are required to have a valid national passport with an expiry date not less than 6 months from the date of entry into Timor-Leste.
    • Dress standards are neat and conservative
    • The visitor will experience many local customs and cultures and respect should be shown
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Dili : Services

  • Dili offers most of the services of a capital city ranging from banking through to telecommunications, restaurants and transport.
  • Air Timor

    Air Timor have regular connections between Dili and Singapore (3 days per week). Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Telephone: +61893215444 or +6565422051 Website: http://air-timor.tl/

  • Air North

    Airnorth has regular jet connections between Darwin and Dili (5 days per week). Freecall 1800 627 474 or + 61 [8] 8920 4001 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  Website: www.airnorth.com.au

  • Caz Bar & Restaurant

    Caz Bar opened in 2000 and is located on the picturesque bay of Fatu Cama (Areia Branca) on the beautiful white sand beach on the way to the statue of Jesus, just minutes from Dili centre. Caz Bar is run by an aussie and ex Darwin resident (Caz) and her local husband Luis.

  • Inet Timor-Leste

    Inet Timor-Leste can provide technical support to Rally participants for any communications issues or needs.  Contact Mike Pye on +670 7723 3991 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • National Insurance Timor-Leste

    National Insurance Timor-Leste, S.A. ("NITL") is pleased to sponsor the Sail Timor-Leste as GOLD SPONSOR. NITL is the first and only general insurance company in Timor-Leste and the country can leverage this fact to proudly showcase NITL to the international community.  NITL is also the “OFFICIAL INSURER” of the event.

  • SVSC and Tiger Fuels

    Specialised Vehicle Service Centre and Tiger Fuels, based in Dili, can supply almost all consumables needed by yachts and yachties including fuel, gas, water, spares and mechanical support.  Click here for a full list of supplies and services.

  • ANZ Bank

    • Bankers for the Darwin Dili Yacht Rally                                           
    • Providers of commercial and retail banking services throughout Timor-Leste
    • Go to www.anz.com/timorleste/en/ for more information
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Dili : Cruising & Visiting Yachts

  • Some notes for visiting yachts.
  • Cruising in Timor-Leste

    Timor-Leste waters and coastline offers a range of spectacular sights and stopovers for the cruising yachtie.  After leaving Dili, yachts will be able to cruise at leisure along the north coast of Timor-Leste.

    Details of possible stop-over points will be provided to participants but there will be no formal arranged activities at these places. 

    Sailing Authorisations will be issued as part of the CIQ process to all participants to suit their schedule and timetable. There is no time limit on your stay in Dili or Timor-Leste, but you will need to obtain an extended visa if you intend to stay over 30 days.  This will be managed as part of the Sailing Authorisation or for further information, go to the Timor-Leste Immigration Department website.

  • Visiting Yachts

    Procedures for Foreign Yachts entering and exiting Timor-Leste are detailed in the PDF link below.
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Dili : Accommodation

  • There is a range of accommodation in and around Dili.
  • Com Beach Resort

    Approximately a 4 hour drive along the coast to the east of Dili, this new beachfront resort is in the district of Lospalos and within easy reach of Tutuala and Jaco Island. It is ideally suited for adventure travellers, backpackers, sunlovers - or in fact anyone looking for a taste of the tropics and with a sense of adventure.

  • Moby's Hotel & Restaurant

    Located directly across the street from the Rally anchorage, the Hotel Dili offers a range accommodation ranging from economy rooms to Deluxe Business Suites.  The hotel offers a full range of services including dining, beer garden and laundry.  For reservations or further information call +670 7833 9050, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or go to http://mobyshotel.com/

  • Oceanview Beach Hotel

    The Oceanview Beach Hotel, owned by Australian Danny Lee, first opened in 2001.  Address - Aldiea Metin 1 Bebonuk Dili, Timor Leste.  This beach front hotel is situated 15mins to the town centre and 15mins to the Airport. It has 20 rooms  with a price range of USD50-USD120 per night.

  • Samata Backpackers Hostel

    Located in Same in the mountainous district of Manufahi, the Samata Backpackers Hostel is100% Timorese built and owned and would like to encourage you all to visit and stay in this wonderful community (only AUS$10 per night inc. breakfast).

  • Timor Lodge Hotel

    Located on Comoro Road, near the airport in Dili, Timor Lodge has the biggest swimming pool in Dili!  The Restaurant offers Pizza, Kebab's, Indian food on certain nights. Every Sunday offers Sunday Roast. The drinks are always cold.  A fantastic place to relax.

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Dili : How You Can Help

  • Timor-Leste is a young, vibrant developing nation that needs as much help as it can to grow strong.
  • Background Facts

    Timor-Leste is one of the poorest countries in the world, with a per capita GDP in the order of USD2,600.  Your small contribution can make a world of difference to many people.

    Over 40% of the population is unemployed and 42% live below the poverty line, living a subsistence existence.  In 2007, a bad harvest led to deaths in several parts of Timor-Leste. In November 2007, eleven sub-districts still needed food supplied by international aid.  Excluding income from oil, Timor-Leste’s exports only amounted to about USD10million in 2005. Less than 60% of the population can read and write and the average school life expectancy is 11 years.  Infant mortality rates are exceedingly high and life expectancy is low compared to developed countries.  While investment is taking place in health and education, there is vast scope to do more.

    Many of the people you will meet in urban centres and small villages in Timor-Leste and on your voyages through its beautiful waters will be living in extreme poverty.  By visiting the country and spending money in the economy, yachties are already helping, but if you wish to do more, there are plenty of ways you can do so.  Here are some suggestions:

  • Be Generous

    Always take with you items to give to families and communities you will meet.

    • Schools are always in need of the most basic educational supplies eg pens, paper and books;
    • Health clinics are always short of supplies of the most basic medications eg Panadol or basic instruments;
    • Orphanages are always in need of clothing, food and funding;
    • Farming communities lack many basic tools;
    • Fishermen always welcome any basic fishing gear or equipment.

    The small amount of cost will be overwhelmingly returned to you in the generosity and friendliness of the people, and knowing that your support can make a genuine difference to people's lives.

  • Rally Marine Education Scholarship

    In 2011, 2012 and 2013, each entrant in the Darwin Dili Yacht Rally donated $100 of their entry fee to support a new Marine Education Scholarship being established by the Rally to promote skills development and capacity building to support Timor-Leste’s marine tourism industry.  The funds raised have been added to by private donations and are reaching a proportion that will enable the Scholarship to move into its next phase of sending young Timorese to undergo specialised training that will support their employment in the maritime tourism industry in Timor-Leste.
    The 2014 Rally entry fee also includes a AUD$100 donation to the Marine Education Scholarship that will enable the training of additional young Timorese in the marine tourism industry.

    This is a wonderful example of how a small amount of funds can be leveraged to make a significant contribution to the development of skills and workforce training which will in turn help support the development of Timor-Leste’s marine tourism industry.

  • Support Sail VEGA

    Sail Timor-Leste also encourages support of the historic humanitarian sailing vessel VEGA, an 85 foot traditional cargo vessel built in 1893/94.  VEGA has now embarked on a career carrying cargos of donated medical and educational supplies on the South East monsoon to isolated island communities in Timor-Leste and Indonesia. During the North East Monsoon VEGA visits Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand gathering donated supplies and attracting attention to the needs of the communities she assists.

    The 2004 tsunami in Sumatra demonstrated that although no longer competitive for cargo VEGA can still be useful helping isolated island communities. In the aftermath of that disaster she proved she could still go where other boats could not. Loaded with over 25 tons of food and medical supplies she easily managed vicious seas that had already severely damaged newer, much larger boats. Just as in the days of the legendary spice island trade VEGA's movements are dictated by the winds of the monsoons. Sailing along routes unchanged for thousands of years VEGA makes her annual circuit loading her cargo of hope and assistance during one monsoon then delivering that cargo of farm, medical and educational assistance when the monsoon changes.

    Sail VEGA will be visiting Dili at the same time as the 2014 Darwin Dili Yacht Rally and asks for the support of Rally yachts in providing donated goods for distribution to communities in Timor-Leste, particularly educational and medical supplies.  Please visit their website at http://www.sailvega.com/ or contact them on email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.     Lists of goods they need for communities in Timor-Leste can be found at  http://sailvega.wordpress.com/here-are-our-famous-lists-of-items-needed-by-the-communities-we-support/

    You can make your contributions more worthwhile by adding to Sail VEGA’s humanitarian efforts.  Sail VEGA is well experienced in supporting communities and knows best what people need and how to supply them.

  • Visit the Bahkita Centre

    Accommodation available at the Bakhita Centre, in the mountainous district of Ermera, Timor-Leste

    The Bakhita Centre is a local Community Centre owned and operated by the local Timorese people. It grew out of a belief held by a group of young Timorese people who wanted to restore dignity to their old people after the Indonesians left Timor-Leste in 1999.

    Today the Bakhita Centre is a thriving Community Centre thanks to the generosity and good will of many people from Australia and a number of other countries as well as the hard work and dedication of the local Timorese.

    Come and experience the richness this Community Centre has to offer. It is located in the village of Eraulo in the Ermera District, approximately 2.5 hours’ drive into the mountains south west of Dili. While the roads need a lot of attention the scenery is breathtaking as you climb to around 1300m.

    The ideal time to visit is during the dry season – June to October.
    Points of interest –
    • Magnificent scenery
    • Peaceful serenity of a mountain village of Eraulo.
    • The day to day operation of this thriving community centre
    • Bustling mountain village of Lete-Fofo with it open air market and church.
    • Organic coffee
    • Traditional architecture
    Base Rate - $US160.00 per person for 2 nights covers:

    Transfers to and from Dili
    Meals – Dinner; Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner; Breakfast

    On Day 2 of your visit to the Bahkita Centre, you can extend your tour options to include:

    a) A Walking Guide for an additional US$20 per person.  The total cost of the tour with this added option is US$180 per person for 2 nights, or
    b) A Driving Guide Rate (driver and transport for one day) for an additional US$40 per person.  The total cost of the tour with this added option is US$200 per person for 2 nights
    All visitors are responsible for their own insurance.
    To make a reservation contact Mr Eddie de Pina on +670 774 246 47 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
    Please remember to take some warm clothing on your visit to the Bahkita Centre as the nights can be chilly.
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Dili : Tetum - A Start

  • Tetum is the local language of the Timorese people.
  • Accomodation

    I'm looking for a guesthouse Hau buka hela losmen/pensaun
    I'm looking for a hotel Hau buka hela otel
    Do you have any rooms available? Ita iha kuarto ruma mamuk?
    I'd like a single room Hau hakarak kuarto mesak ida
    I'd like to share a room Hau hakarak fahe kuarto ida
  • Conversation

    Hello Elo
    Goodbye Adeus
    Yes Sin/Diak/Los
    Good morning Bon dia
    Good afternoon Botarde
    Good evening/night Bonoite
    Please Favor ida / halo favor
    Thank you (very much) Obrigadu/a (barak)
    You're welcome La (iha) buat ida
    Excuse me Kolisensa
    What's your name Ita-nia naran saida
    My name is ... Hau-nia naran ...
    Do you speak English? Ita koalia Ingles?
    I don't understand Hau la kompriende
    Today Ohin
    Tonight Ohin kalan
    Tomorrow Aban
    Yesterday Horseik
  • Emergencies

    Help Ajuda
    It's an emergency Nee emergensia
    I'm ill Hau moras
    Call a doctor Bolu dotor
    Call the police Bolu polisia
    I'm lost Hau lakon tiha
    Where are the toilets? Sentina iha nebe?
  • Numbers

    0 nol
    1 ida
    2 rua
    3 tolu
    4 haat
    5 lima
    6 neen
    7 hitu
    8 walu
    9 sia
    10 sanulu
    11 sanulu-resin-ida
    12 sanulu-resin-rua
    20 ruanulu
    100 atas ida
    1000 rihun ida
  • Services

    Where is a/the ... ... iha nebe
    ... bank banku
    ... market basar/merkadu
    ... post office koreiu/ kantor pos
    ... telephone telefone/wartel
    ... toilet sentina/WC
    How much is it? Folin hira?
    What is this? Nee saida
    That's too expensive! Kanun los
    I will give you ... dollars Hau foo dollar ...
    Getting Around:  
    When does the ... Tuku hira maka
    Leave/arrive Ba/To
    bus bis/biskota
    minibus mikrolet
    plane aviaun
    Bus station Terminal bis nian
    Road to (Baucau) Dalan ba (Baucau)
    Petrol Bensin
    Diesel Solar
    Go straight ahead Los deit
    To the left Fila ba liman karuk
    To the right Fila ba liman los
    Near Besik
    Far Dok
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