I am going to write down what I have heard and what I have seen. So please look up for further information. I did however post another article on Timor and it is precisely what I had done, seen and know for a fact about timor. It’s headline blog name is called “The real Timor-Leste 🇹🇱 2018”
Happy days enjoy.
An island so small but so long to travel, surrounded by water with some of the best rating corals around the world with fisherman that barely catch a thing. People so indulged in rice and so laid back nothing gets done except the corruption of stealing money. Land so deserted with beautiful cliffs and stunning water with very little tourist. I welcome you to Timor-Leste.
I have been in Timor east for only a short while, but what I have learned in such tremendous valuable information about this place, I want to share it to the world. I have not looked up any hard facts and would honestly, just keep the information I do have at hand because this country is like no other. My dates might be wrong and some of my information might not be exactly clear, though the information I will write here will be stunning, magical and a mystery. Thus this is exactly why I choose to not read up on it and keep it as a mystical journey of how the people live here on a daily basis.
Getting to Timor Leste from Maumere, Indonesia to Kupang I just went on the big ferry ‘Pelini’ cost 250,000 rupees. It was an 18 hour journey. Kupang was a lovely small city with not much to do. There is a beautiful cave called goa crystal with crystal clear Sea water.
Amazing. Finally finding a ride into Timor Leste which is the east side of Timor, I took a van/bus for 225,000 from Kupang to Dili with a company called Paradise Travels. It was a long journey from 6 am to 7 pm. Customs was fairly easy and had no problem bringing in my tools (knives) as well as some noodles and water. They were fairly easy. Paid the $35 and headed through. Be aware if you only tell the immigration you will only be in Timor for five days they will mark five days and you still pay the $35.
The journey is long, quite boring and very dusty while also with no a/c it is very hot also, So be prepared. Once through the border you will instantly see the vast difference of what is truly called the poor. So have your camera ready and while driving on the dusty road you will see high cliffs, driving over and next to the colorful ocean.
Timor has a population of about 1.2 million and more than half the population lives in the capital of Dili. This island has been voted one of the best dive sites in the world through the corals of many different types, no where else on earth. Although diving is limited and quite expensive you can find the dive shops in Dili. I have heard around $125 usd and since Timor uses the USA dollar but has its own coins you might be in luck and you might not. I went to four ATMs and only one worked for my card which is the Azr bank. While leaving the bank I meet an Australian that has lived here for over a year and she also told me the same about her card she can only use the Azr bank and while drawing out $500 she gets charged $7 from Indonesia and $50 from Australia bank. I drew out $200 and got charged $7 and not sure what my bank charges me. Make sure you have small money also while shopping because many stores do not have change. Another tip also before you join this lovely mystery island is that this Azr bank is supposed to be closing down this September and will no longer have a valid Atm international here. So be highly aware of that before you come and do your homework as I did not and found out this the hard way.
Timor is not big but getting around is quite difficult and I have heard many different prices. To get to Jaco island which is Far East and is supposedly a very nice spot, cost around $8 by bus and takes like 8 hours. Once close to Jaco you get dropped off and then can walk or take a taxi around four Kilometers to catch a boat that charges around $20 for each way to get to the island. You can rent a motorbike for around $25 per day and still not get that far. I meet a German and he rented it thinking he could see the whole island and made it about 50 km and had to come back. Also food is very slim here, so if going anywhere make sure you pack. The roads, if that is what you wish to call them truly are bad, dusty, and sometimes dangerous.
Is Timor expensive? I can answer two ways, yes and no. Going to a restaurant a meal is around $7, going to a local spot cost $1.50. A beer cost $1.50 and double at a restaurant. Hotels are very expensive here but can find some cheap hostels. Case Minha cost $8 and is not worth it when you can find Lugabutty right around the corner for $7 and include breakfast. Can also get meals here for $1.50 and be full.
Timor has three cell services for all around $1 a day for unlimited internet. You can catch the local bus/truck taxis for about 25 cents. So I wouldn’t say it is that much more expensive than Indonesia, it is just an island with people making high salaries such as the UN employees making up too $80,000 a year here. But since this country is very new and gained their independence not long ago it is most definitely still in a working progress.
In the 70’s timor gained independence but Indonesia still considered them a district and apparently was building the place up! But with corruption and evil empire government, it was also killing people. In the 90’s the world started knowing this and while half the timor population dead, the UN finally stepped in during the new century with there corruption, paying people ridiculous salaries for living in an Asian country. This put a huge mark in Timor, not only with people barely making it since the war but putting nations with big armies also joining the matters, Timor people were irate. To make matters even worse when Indonesia was here they were building things up such as bridges, roads, power. Well when the UN stepped in and instead of actually protecting the citizens they demanded Indonesia to leave and they would be in the area very soon. So Indonesia said ok, we will leave, upon leaving they destroyed all the process blowing up bridges, destroying everything in its path including over ten thousand Timorians people. 😳😔
United Nations started to rebuild the new established country that belongs to Portugal or did, I am not sure. But Portugal, Australia, USA and some other countries are highly involved with making this country an actual country. With the government up and down, corruption levels at the top, the country stands at one of the most poorest nations in Asia. Which I would argue with that but it is very poor. With an average worker making about $125 a month, the country is one of the most uneducated places I have ever visited. The farmers still trade, and if you commit a crime such as raping a child the person might be charged 3 water buffalo and the case is dismissed. The country holds laws from a hundred years ago while trying to operate new laws without having any educational practices what so ever. Officials stealing money, Australian army training lazy mindless people, and to top it, no one cares about jobs, homes, or even good products of food. If they have RICE, THEY ARE HAPPY. What? Absolutely insane but hearing these stories only makes more sense traveling Asia for two years straight and knowing the facts, that people truly desire the non-nutritional horrible product of rice. Yes you might say I am being disturbing bitter. No the fact is rice, has absolutely no nutritional value and only has two minerals. Yes it has carbs but so does dirt. Not even ants or goats touch the product. Like hello. But regardless Timorians will trade fish just to eat rice. Most Asians are highly malnutritioned and the main cause is because of rice. Your body needs vitamins and proteins to grow properly.
Want to know about rice, check this website out. And keep reading and looking up. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318699.php
Some stories I have heard, that I want to tell you. When Indonesia finally left, the country needed to be established and the Australian army needed to find some people to join an army here. When fighting with the Indonesian army there were two basic types of people. The educated and non-educated, while the educated joined an actually army the so called gorilla non-educated join the maritime police force. What a battle it has been to establish anything, because Australia is like the mom and dad, while you have the Portuguese government come and play as the bad aunt and uncle. Australia would begin training and finally show them how to shot a gun and Portugal would come in and ask if everyone wanted guns to strap up to. Well they all say, absolutely. So now with guns being involved in the corrupted government, guns are being sprayed out to everyone for some kind of money. Not only does guns come into effect but months later Portuguese brings them tasers. And since no one listen to the police as far as people actually stopping for any checkups. Their high badge, high profile attitudes say we need people to stop and uphold what we say. If they don’t stop then we will taze them while driving. Lol 😂 So lucky they put them up for future needs. This place has a lot of work ahead of itself and it keeps the foreigners on their feet here, just because everyday is a patient waiting game, where someone comes out of the box and would have absolutely no idea that somethings could be even possible.
I heard one story, well actually a bunch, lol. One myth they believe here is that if you eat watermelon and drink a beer you will die. Like what 👀😂. Another story is that during the revolt of Indonesia a “hero” prayed to the water God and said if Indonesia leaves us we will not take from the ocean ever again. And the story holds up, with some of the worst fisherman around no need to eat fish but ship rice in because it only rains for four months out of the year here. And while fishermen can’t catch fish they go to the Indonesian boats and actually purchase fish and bring back to port. To top it, years ago they were bringing fish from the land border and since refrigeration is minimal here, they dos the fish in formaldehyde to keep the look and freshness. Lol, or that is what they think. When Indonesia opened the containers they knew instantly it was poison and made them dump the fish. It was so badly poisoned that when the local pigs came and ate the fish all the pigs died.
The people here are so primitive they don’t even know about outside laws. A man from Australia is in jail now from having pot plants. Well the Timorians didn’t even know what this plant is so they needed it to get inspected and since their is no lab here they went to Bali to have it tested. So bringing the whole plant through customs Indonesia immediately arrested the officers for bringing in pot plants to the country. Lmao. 😱. Crazy. Can you believe it or not. Well maybe not but once you arrive here anything can be believable. The population is mostly Catholics with the priest teaching twice a day for two hours in morning and evening, SEVEN DAYS A WEEK. Wow, never heard of. The priest brainwash these people so much, they tell the people that if they are good they can apply for a Portugal passport to have a better life. Amazing how much religion can play a vital role in keeping the country under control. Just remember all great kings rewrote all the great books. ‘Kings are a form of government’! The stuff I have heard here is all knew to a person fulfilled with knowledge around the world. And thus the foreigners love it here.
Sling shots, machetes, rocks and sometimes many angry people, this town can be transformed in a matter of a day. Elections, governments, power grid can be turned off over night and no one knows where to point a finger at. Amazing times on such an amazing lot of diversity between rich, poor, foreigners, farmers and army. This is definitely a relaxing part of the world and I feel 100% safe but at any given time something could occur.
Atauro island is north above Dili about one hour boat rode that can cost any where between $8-$45 one way trip. And their is a ferry that runs only on Saturday for $5. Also their is another part of Timor on the west side called Oe-Cusse and is supposed to be filled with jungles and trekking along with gambling halls. Yes gambling is legal here in Timor and is quite different ways of playing here. The ferry also can run here but I do not know the price. You cannot go through Indonesia and get to the other Timor lot, you either have to fly or boat. I heard they are building a major 4-6 lane highway and people say most of the corruption money goes here. I know when I crossed into the border they are making a road system and check points for vehicles. It wouldn’t surprise me if they are wanting to connect for the whole gambling purpose. Also on the border they have some forts with some stories to tell.
Back to Atauro, national geographic did a show about mermaids which is free divers on the island that catch their food, generally with Spears. Unlike the main land the main food here is fish. With only a couple hotels and hardly any place have anything but lay on a beach. Yet this island would entirely be just to relax. They do, do diving but the dive shops are in Dili. They do have whale watching here also because their is a 3,000 meter trench that runs alongside of the island where whales come through to feed.
Beaches are scarcest near Dili because sewer is dumped right off into the ocean. So if going swimming I’d recommend you go far away. The town offers primarily one bar called ‘sky bar’ and apparently is only open on Fridays and closing time is at ten, everyone after goes to the casamusica to dance the night away. Their is one Burger King and a shit load of speaker stores with everyone that gets there paycheck quickly rush to get into debt on buying a speaker or a motorbike. Even hearing how people die here and fill caskets full of money, like thousands and open up gambling on the streets and a forty day party to celebrate the death. Even some woman get a brand new wedding dress to be put on, to be welcomed to a new life of marriage with the father. Is the country insane, is it different, but it is what it is. Lucky for me I get to see the beauty of these difference and quite frankly it is very interesting for me as well. I can’t wait to attend more, see and hear.
This was a quick blog and I just had so much on my mind that I wanted to share as quickly as possible while I still could remember what so many have taught and told me. Timor is an interesting place and I wish the best for the new country. I wish the best for the people and hopefully they become a better place. This place has lots of potential and could offer a lot, especially to tourists. Well happy days and cheers, if I hear anything else I will update. .