Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > Asia > Asia
Reload this Page >

Dili - East Timor

Dili - East Timor

Old Apr 5, 17, 6:34 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: London, UK
Programs: BA Executive Club (Silver), Le Club Accor (Silver)
Posts: 544
Dili - East Timor

Afternoon all,

I've searched back a few years and can't find a thread on East Timor, so here's a new one I'm spending a few days in Dili later this month and was wondering whether any FTers have been, and have any general tips, particularly on safety and where to get a beer? This will be my 132nd country, so I'm no novice traveller, but there isn't a lot about East Timor online as it's quite off the beaten track.

Cheers!

Steve
kingstontoon is online now  
Old Apr 7, 17, 12:47 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Indonesia
Posts: 359
TR by @DanielW caught a glimpse of Dili, East Timor (see post #3 from link below)
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trip-...bali-dili.html

as you said, not much information from fellow FT-ers available. quite safe nowadays, I reckon.

I believe the likes of @ironmanjt and @hauteboy also have been there as well.
blueferrari is offline  
Old Apr 7, 17, 12:52 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: BRU, DCA, ZRH, JNB, FRA
Programs: UA Global Services 2MM, DL 360, AmEx Cent, Bonvoy Titanium Lifetime, Moms love me
Posts: 5,051
Originally Posted by blueferrari View Post
I believe the likes of @ironmanjt and @hauteboy also have been there as well.
I have - multiple times now. If you would like any info, feel free to hit me up.
ironmanjt is offline  
Old Apr 7, 17, 7:08 am
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: London, UK
Programs: BA Executive Club (Silver), Le Club Accor (Silver)
Posts: 544
Originally Posted by blueferrari View Post
TR by @DanielW caught a glimpse of Dili, East Timor (see post #3 from link below)
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trip-...bali-dili.html

as you said, not much information from fellow FT-ers available. quite safe nowadays, I reckon.

I believe the likes of @ironmanjt and @hauteboy also have been there as well.
Thank you! That trip report is absolutely perfect and exactly the sort of thing I was looking for i.e. pictures of the locals, taxis, hotel etc Funnily enough, Daniel stayed in the same room type at the same hotel I'm trying to book, but they aren't particularly responsive to emails.
kingstontoon is online now  
Old Apr 7, 17, 7:30 am
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: London, UK
Programs: BA Executive Club (Silver), Le Club Accor (Silver)
Posts: 544
Originally Posted by ironmanjt View Post
I have - multiple times now. If you would like any info, feel free to hit me up.
Jason @ironmanjt, cheers for getting in touch. Your blog is an absolute inspiration to me, and I love your writing style. I actually use your blog as a starting point when planning most trips to new places now, and it was really useful when I visited Fiji, Kiribati and Vanuatu this time last year.

OK, a few questions. I'm a hand-luggage-only traveller who doesn't drive, does his best to avoid taxis the world over, is a big fan of public transport and prefers to go exploring / wandering alone rather than booking tours. But I'm getting older (38!) and suffering a bit of anxiety at the moment, so looking to make Dili as relaxing and seamless as possible.

I'm flying in on Sriwijaya from DPS, 2 nights in Dili, then out on Airnorth to DRW (as you did). Ideally I want a hotel with a private ensuite that's cheap, air conditioned and (crucially) very close to nightlife. By nightlife I just mean a few decent bars where I can drink beer all evening and chat to people. The Dili Beach Hotel seems to be the only one that fits the bill, but they aren't replying to emails. Any other suggestions? There are some nice business-like hotels nearer the CBD but I'm a little hesitant about walking around at night to / from bars and taxis aren't plentiful then.

What would you suggest I do for the "full day"? I'm not a diver but want to see as many of the sights / monuments / museums as possible. Perhaps hire a car and driver for half a day or so?

Any other tips? General safety? I'd read online that walking around central Port Vila in Vanuatu at night was a bit dubious, but found it absolutely fine when I was there.

Thanks in advance!

Steve
kingstontoon is online now  
Old Apr 8, 17, 2:32 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Shanghai and Bavaria
Programs: Spire RA, Bonvoy Titanium, FB LP, LH SEN, Ctrip Diamond VIP.
Posts: 3,011
We stayed at the hotel Esplanada and it was decent enough for a couple of nights. Right at the beach and close to some restaurants and bars. I didn't feel Dili to be particularly dangerous (and certainly not during the day), however parts are totally dark at night, roads are bad and I just generally wouldn't want to walk around at night. Taxis are available. (and hotels or restaurants can call one).

We booked a tour around the island at Eco Discovery Timor-Leste and it was perfect. Dili to Baucau/Maubisse. There is not a lot to see in Dili and I highly recommend to go to Baucau or Maubisse. Both are a day trip each.
I'd probably just rent a car next time, despite it will take time to prepare and find the proper routes - but that's up to personal preferences

Last edited by Chinatrvl; Apr 8, 17 at 2:43 am
Chinatrvl is offline  
Old Apr 8, 17, 1:45 pm
  #7  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: SE1, London
Posts: 22,024
I stayed at the Esplanada over NY a couple of years ago. It's a decent option with a fair restaurant and another next door. 10 mins walk down the road to a couple more bars and restaurants too. There isn't much nightlife in Dili.
Swanhunter is offline  
Old Apr 19, 17, 7:08 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Programs: LH SEN, VA Plat, BA Gold
Posts: 472
If taking public transport from Dili to Baucau et al, remember that these buses are really hit and miss. I tried getting a PM bus from Baucau to Dili, only to find out that there wasn't one and got stuck in Baucau.

Luckily two other lads who were waiting with me were nice enough to let me go back to their place until the midnight bus, but I digress ...
im.daniel is offline  
Old May 9, 17, 12:24 pm
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: London, UK
Programs: BA Executive Club (Silver), Le Club Accor (Silver)
Posts: 544
Post-trip update

Hello all,

Thanks again for all the tips! I'm back from my epic three week trip around SE Asia and Australia, and thought I'd provide some thoughts on East Timor.

The Sriwijaya Air flight I took from DPS to Dili was chock full, whereas the Airnorth flight I took out to DRW only had 20 people on board. I understand this matches the experience of others! Both were on time. Dili airport is rather charming, although checking in for my departing flight took a while as the internet was down. There's absolutely nothing airside except for a duty free shop that doesn't sell water or anything else to drink, so once you've checked in, stay landside then go through immigration and security around 20 mins before departure.

I stayed at the D'City hotel in the end, as they had the best price / quality ratio in my mind, and also took credit cards. This was useful as the ANZ ATMs had often ran out of cash, and the other bank wouldn't accept my UK card. D'City picked me up from and dropped me off at the airport, which meant I avoided the taxi touts. There were quite a few of them, but they weren't particularly aggressive like in some other places. The staff at D'City were lovely and my room was fine for the price, with good air conditioning. Breakfast initially looked a bit sad, until the lady on duty (unprompted) rustled me up four tasty fried eggs. No problems walking into town during the day.

I did a lot of walking throughout the city and felt safe at all times, even through dusk and into the evening. There seemed to always be people out on the seafront jogging or playing with their kids. The Resistance Museum was very moving and well worth the entrance fee. I also managed to get lucky and found a brilliant taxi driver (who spoke no English) who - for $20 - drove me out to the Cristo Rei statue and back, and even walked up the 300-odd steps with me and waited while I faffed around taking photos. Not bad for 2 hours. In the evenings, I generally hung out in Castaway or Nautilus bar, chatting to the mostly Aussie expats. Beer was fairly reasonably priced (for the UK) and plentiful!

The Dili Beach Hotel, where I had wanted to stay, seems to have closed down.

Overall, a lovely couple of days, and while I can't say I'll ever have a need to return, I'm glad I visited.

Cheers!

P.S. I was told the $10 departure tax had been abolished and sure enough it wasn't charged when flying out.

Last edited by kingstontoon; May 9, 17 at 1:25 pm Reason: P.S.
kingstontoon is online now  
Old May 11, 17, 3:13 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Home
Programs: AA, Delta, UA & thanks to FTers for my PC Gold!
Posts: 7,653
Originally Posted by kingstontoon View Post
I've searched back a few years and can't find a thread on East Timor, so here's a new one
I found at least one (very) old thread on East Timor from our Oceania (Australia, New Zealand & the South Pacific) Forum:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ocean...timor-how.html

Not sure if the discussion is dated or not though.
lin821 is offline  
Old Feb 13, 18, 8:38 am
  #11  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: NC
Programs: AA Concierge Key/1MM, DL DM/2 MM, UA Gold,Hilton Diamond, IHG Plat, Marriott Titanium Elite lifetime
Posts: 10,023
Anyone ever done an airside transit here?
SkyTeam777 is offline  
Old Apr 15, 18, 11:28 am
  #12  
mag
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: sadly, mainly grounded...
Programs: LH M&M, FTL / *S
Posts: 396
Not related but as this is „the“ ressource on FT on Dili, I like ro add that we stayed around a week at Novo Tourismo Hotel in 2016 and it was really good: clean, luxurious, good restaurant, great pool, to chill and relax. Right at the beach front, int‘l supermarket next door, other beach restaurants and bars in walking distance.

A Hilton will open later this year although it will not be by the beach.
mag is offline  
Old Apr 17, 18, 1:55 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Programs: LH SEN, VA Plat, BA Gold
Posts: 472
20 bucks out to Cristo Rei and back?? I only paid 8!!
im.daniel is offline  
Old Apr 19, 18, 1:04 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 263
Thanks for the trip report. The wife and I will be going to Dili in December. Any recommendations on length of stay? We really don't have any expectations or must sees. We will be traveling around SE Asia for a couple months and thought it would be interesting to visit a Portuguese speaking country in the middle of Asia (we speak).
Flamenguista is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: