When to travel
There are two clear seasons: the wet season, from November to May,
where the temperatures are also highest, and the dry season, from
June to October. Spring (May-July) is the best time of the year to
visit, as it is just beginning the dry season and the temperatures
are relatively mild.
Temperatures vary between 15º Celsius in the mountain areas and
30º Celsius on the northern and eastern coast.
Food and beverages
Drink bottled water only. Avoid ice and wipe off any water from
the tops of beverage cans before drinking. Salads should also be
avoided if washed with tap water. Fruit should be peeled. Be wary
of non-cooked food; antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals are
easily bought in Dili, but are hard to find elsewhere.
Animals and insects
Avoid contact with animals as they are generally not vaccinated
and can transmit diseases. Use insect repellent, especially at dawn
and dusk and sleep with a mosquito net.
Although criminal rates are very low in Dili and almost
non-existent elsewhere, it is wise not to carry jewellery or other
valuables and to take a copy of your documents (e.g. your passport
should be kept in a safe place). Theft most frequently occurs from
cars, with mobile phones a prime target.
The driving in East Timor is generally passive and traffic is far
from dense; however, vehicles and roads are generally in poor
condition, and are made more hazardous by wandering livestock.
Sudden wash-outs of roads is just one reason why driving after
nightfall outside Dili is foolish.
Be aware of limitations to exports of artefacts and other
souvenirs made of organic and local products. The acquisition and
export of corals, birds and turtle shelves are punished by law.
Remember that Timor-Leste is a new country with little
experience with tourism and foreigners. Respect their traditions
and ways and be patient. Everybody will do their best to welcome
Source: adapted from Turismo
Customs and etiquette
The handshake is the most common form of greeting in East Timor.
Men shake hands when meeting a woman from a foreign culture but
rarely when greeting a Timorese woman.
Timorese traditions of clothing are modest. Garments above the
knee (for both men and woman) are rarely acceptable in a
professional or traditional social occasion. A relaxed dress code
applies with short-sleeved shirt/pants appropriate for most
business meetings. More formal attire is suggested if visiting
senior East Timorese business and political leaders, however, men
don't need to wear coats/jackets and ties.
Pre-arranged appointments are highly recommended as contacts
frequently move around East Timor and to and from Australia, often
at short notice. It's a good idea to confirm meetings a day before
the scheduled time and be prepared to reschedule at the last
It is polite to wait until your host invites you to sit down, or
to eat and drink.
The Australian Embassy
Avenida dos Mártires da Patria, Dili
Phone: (670) 332 2111
Fax: (670) 332 2247
FIRE: (670) 723 0686
POLICE: (670) 723 0686
AMBULANCE: (670) 723 3212
There are 3 banks in Dili; all have ATM services available for
Visa, Maestro & Cirrus.
Banco Nationale Ultramarine (BNU)
Tel: (670) 3324 301
Tel: (670) 3324 800
Fax: (670) 3324 822
Tel: (670) 3317 777
Source: Discover Dili