Timor

Intro

On a world map East Timor looks like a raindrop dripping off Indonesia. This magical island has been opened to tourist for only a few years.

Its stunning white beaches and its picturesque landscapes will fascinate you. The local culture and customs have been kept well alive in this small community.

The underwater wildlife and sea beds have been well preserved in this area making it a rich place in the ocean where a great variety of species can be observed.

Diving in Timor is unique, it will be a highlight for any divers and underwater photographers because of the abundance of macro life that is displayed in these sites.

The coral reefs there are well alive and will certainly give you many great surprises.

Diving and culture tours

Timor Tour

Timor Tour

A diving tour that will introduce you to the underwater beauty of East Timor. With possible sightings of whales and dolphins, the best times of the year to travel there are February to April and... Read More about Timor Tour

From: 943 EUR | 11 days

 
Info

Useful info | Dive info

Useful info

Time

Timor Standard time is GMT +9. Timor does not observe daylight savings.

Flying time

Dili airport is the only available, there is a limited number of flights from Darwin , Bali and Singapore. Singapore flights are Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays .

It is best to book these tickets online well in advance Visit Air Timor website

Visas

Visitors must hold a full 10-year passport, with at least 6 months validity remaining at the point of return, for entry into Timor. A 30 days visa on arrival is given to tourist from most countries for 30US $. A leaving tax of 10 US$ will also have to be paid on departure.

You can find more details on the following website Visit Timor immigration service website

Country

A Portuguese colony for almost four centuries, East Timor was, after the Indonesian invasion in December 1975 unilaterally annexed by that country in 1976. 25% of population was exterminated. This annexation was first not alleged by the UN, but after years of occupation It finally got involved and a referendum on self-determination was held in August 1999 that led to the full independence of East Timor in 2002.

Government

The President of the Democratic Republic of East Timor is elected by universal suffrage for a five years term. Its role is largely symbolic, even if he can possibly veto certain laws. Following legislative elections, the president appoints as prime minister the leader of the majority party in the main coalition. As head of government, the prime minister presides over the Council of Ministers. Parliament of East Timor (Parlamento Nacional) is unicameral, its members are elected for five years by universal suffrage. The number of members may vary between 52 and 65, although exceptionally it has counted up to 88, as in his first term in 2005. The East Timorese constitution was modeled on that of Portugal. Due to its recent independence from Indonesia in 2002, the country is still in the process of building its administration and governmental institutions.

Population

There are approximately 1,173 000 people living in Timor who mainly live in the area around Dili. It is believed that the island was first populated by tribes originating from New Guinea followed by Malays and Indonesian. A large community of Portuguese origins still lives in the country and Portuguese is one of the two main languages with the “Tetum”. Catholicism is the main religion with 92.6% of the population professing it.

Economics

East Timor’s economy used to rely primarily on exports of a few commodities such as coffee, marble, oil, and sandalwood however the country now has also revenue from offshore gas and oil reserves and the economy grew by about 10% in 2011 and at a similar rate in 2012.

But villages have seen little of the money coming in and nearly half of the population still lives in extreme poverty with 80% of people working in the agricultural sector and surviving on subsistence farming.

Geography

Timor is part of Southeast Asia, and is the largest and easternmost of the Sunda volcanic arc. To the north of the island are the Ombai Strait, Wetar Strait, and the greater Banda Sea. The Timor Sea separates the island from Australia to the south, and the Indonesian Province of East Nusa Tenggara lies to East Timor's west.

It is a mountainous country with its highest peak the Mount Ramelau reaching 2963 metres. There is also a tropical dry forest that is home to numerous unique plant and animal species.

Located right at the end of the famous “Coral triangle”, Timor’s waters are extremely rich in marine biodiversity.

Weather

The climate in Timor is tropical so mainly hot and humid with two distinct seasons the “Dry season” with cooler temperatures and less precipitations from June to October and the “Wet season” with heavy rains and occasional floods that lasts from November to May.

Money 

The US $ is the most common currency in the country. Traveler's cheques are accepted but sometimes at less favorable rates.

Cashpoints/ATMs are also available in most banks and tourist areas. Ask your bank about fees and maximum withdrawal amount per week before leaving.

Security

The security problems caused by the political situation in East Timor, is a reality , mainly in Dili. In some neighbourhoods, a night-time curfew is in force and it would be unwise to venture out at night. The visitors should be kept away from any event and learn about safety before heading into unknown areas.

Health

Medical services

There are hospitals in main centers, and clinics in many sub-districts but medical care is not good enough to deal with complex medical issues or emergencies, evacuation air ambulance to another country will be necessary for worst cases so make sure that you take a good medical insurance that covers you for this. 

Vaccinations and health regulations

There are no required vaccines to enter Timor except for people travelling from epidemic areas. A Yellow fever vaccine is compulsory for people travelling from the following countries: Angola, Bolivia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Colombia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Mauritania, Mali, Nigeria, Soudan, Zaïre.

We recommend that you check before departure if any new health regulation comes in place. We also strongly advised that you check with your DOCTOR if you require any vaccine before leaving.

Water

Do not drink tap water while travelling in South East Asia, bottled water is readily available everywhere. Keep in mind that you are in a tropical climate and that you should thus drink about 2 to 3 litres more than usual.

Turista

Most travellers will experience it during their holiday, a change of climate, of food and water is enough to catch it however most of the time it will just go after a few trips to the toilet. You can take some anti-diarrheic tablets. Don’t forget to drink a lot if this happens to prevent dehydration.

Mosquitos

There are unfortunately part of any holiday in a hot country. To best protect yourself, it is advised to wear lose and covering clothes or to use mosquito sprays. Try to buy mosquito repellents back home.

At night sleep under a mosquito net if the place where you stay is not protected enough, a fan over your bed will also keep them at bay.

Ask your Doctor about Malaria pills before leaving. The Dengue fever is also present in the country, it is mainly carried by daytime mosquitoes, most of the time people will have a high fever for a few days before it is gone. Strong complications are rare. People who had dengue fever are considered to be immune after but this might change.

Other useful information

Telephone and Internet

It is recommended that you buy a local prepaid sim card for US$3 on arrival from any Timor-Telecom store. Please remember that whilst international phones work in East Timor, costs are very high so it is worth considering purchasing a cheap phone package, even for a short visit. Internet is available in cities and main tourist hotspots.

Electricity

220 volts, take an international adaptator with you . A flashlight can be helpful as there are frequent power cuts.

Dive info

Timor- Leste offers divers the opportunity to discover remote diving spots.

The diving is world- class with miles of majestic walls with reefs in pristine conditions and an abundant marine life.

The best time of the year for diving is from February to June and from September to December .

Dili East : Diving from the shore, it is a gentle slop of diverse soft and hard corals that we appreciate for sharks.

Lospalos and Com: undoubtedly offer the best diving in Southeast Asia. A protected place it is a great place to see some pelagic.

The island of Atauro : different types of marine landscapes and dives for all levels with anC excellent visibility and a constant abundance of fish.

General information

We will ask for your diving certificate upon arrival in the diving centres. Please don’t forget it! For the PADI certified divers, It should be possible to check your certification online with your name and date of birth.

Diving and Health

Diving requires to be in good health so please consult your GP before leaving. If needed, numerous decompression chambers are available in Thailand.

Insurance

You need an insurance to practice diving, we recommend that you take a diving insurance before your departure such as Divers Alert Network or Dive Master Insurance.

Equipment

For obvious baggage weight issues, we recommend that you do not travel with your own weights or bottles. The equipment we provide is of good quality and is regularly checked. We use Scubapro, Aqualungs, Apex. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need any further information.

Due to the comfortable water temperature, it is not necessary for you to take a wetsuit thicker than 3mm unless you practice TEC diving.

Most international airlines give you a 20 to 23 kilos baggage allowance + 8 kilos in cabin and will charge for overweight and sport equipment.

 

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