Öst timor Lonely Planet
A land of amazing variety, of crumbling Portuguese churches, misty mountains, pristine reefs, translucent seas rich with fish, and an inspiring people who wouldn’t accept anything less than an independent homeland. Experience the pleasures and treasures of the world’s newest nation with the first guidebook since independence – this is your ticket to a brand-new journey.
This is the only guide on the market to Southeast Asia's newest nation and it's written by our very own company co-founder Tony Wheeler, with contributions from President Xanana Gusmão and First Lady Kirsty Sword-Gusmão. East Timor is a brand new destination, a place where you can still be a pioneer. Apart from that fine feeling of being first on the scene, visitors can also enjoy the country's Portuguese colonial flavour and the pristine underwater scenery without worrying about crowds. After the long and sorry story of the 24-year Indonesian occupation from 1975 and the horrific violence that wracked the independence referendum in late 1999, East Timor is a country still finding its place in the world. Independence came only in 2002, and there is still a great deal of damage to be repaired from the 1999 upheaval.
Although more than a quarter-century has passed since the Portuguese departure, there is still a colonial flavour in Dili, the easy-going capital. Indeed, you'll encounter regular reminders of the Portuguese period scattered around the country, including crumbling old stone fortresses and brightly painted churches. Portuguese cuisine is re-establishing itself in restaurants, and in a handful of places Portuguese wine is featured. Beyond Dili are beautiful beaches to the east and west, the charming old town of Baucau, soaring central mountains and, off the coast, superb scuba diving. There are only a handful of hotels outside Dili, the transport facilities can be hard work and if you're intending to get off the beaten track you must be prepared to rough it, but if you approach East Timor with an adventurous spirit you will be rewarded.
CONNECT WITH THE PRESENT – East Timor’s President Xanana Gusmão writes about independence
UNDERSTAND THE PAST – our comprehensive History chapter puts you in the picture
PLAN YOUR JOURNEY with our Highlights and Itineraries sections
BLAZE YOUR OWN TRAIL with detailed maps, including customised itineraries maps and full-colour regional map
TALK THE TALK – Tetun and Indonesian language chapter