Beach Road

easttimor_009.jpgBeach road
Dili – East Timor

A road follows the beach from the Pertamina pier all the way around to the Cape Fatucama.

Most of the embassies are lined up alongside each other on the beach road. Two exceptions are the Australian embassy located on the road going to the Comoro bridge and the Indonesian embassy on a side street near the Backpackers Guesthouse.

East Timor was once a common place for travelers to get Indonesian visas but things have slowed down because of the unrest going on in Dili.

venture_103.jpgThe border between east and west was closed for a few weeks but things are back to normal for getting visas at the Indonesian embassy.

It costs 35.00 USD but they will not give out 60 day visas unless you already have a sponsor arranged with a letter from them. It takes about 5 weekdays but can be done quicker under certain circumstances. (ie. You know someone)

It is an easy but long bus ride from Dili to Kupang with one of the travel services like Timor Travel. The trip takes around 12 hours with the lunch breaks.

The US embassy is out there in the line up with the others. It is kind of an oversized operation but they seemed to be the only embassy not flying a big flag out front.

easttimor_021.jpgDive Lorosae or Dive Timor are located in the lower level of the Castaways bar and restaurant. It is a good dive shop and the bar upstairs is a popular hangout. They have a great view of the sea from up there. There’s a tattoo shop up there as well.

The nearby Dili Beach Restaraunt and Hotel seems like a nice clean operation with reasonably priced rooms.

The Esplanada Hotel is further along towards the Pertamina pier where a big local produce market has just sprung up in the last month. They have a pool that is used by some instructors for dive training.

The Freeflow Dive Shop is a few doors down from the Esplanada. It has a big blue wall with fish painted on it by the Arte Moris guys and 3 dogs sleeping out front. Usually there is a blue dive truck parked out alongside the road.

venture_088.jpgBoth of the dive shops do shore dives and boat dives to Atauro Island. The boat dives are more expensive but Atauro is considered to be world class and worth the extra money to most divers that have been there.

The shore dives off of beach east of Dili can be amazing if the conditions are right. There are lots of undamaged sponges and corals.

You can even dive the Pertamina pier when the surfs not up stirring up the visibility.

The dock where the ferry leaves to Atauro and Oceussi leaves from the downtown harbor. They only make 1 or 2 trips a week.

As you go through town the road passes by the Palace where many of the demonstrations took place in June 2006. It was an exciting time.

easttimor_022Further along you go past the One More Bar that has a tourist information and shop set up on the lower level. The Xanana Reading room is just around the corner. There is a lot of info about East Timor and it’s recent history in there.

Dili Hotel, Lita’s Supermarket, Hotel Turismo and a few other hotels are also on that road.

If you continue on over the small bridge you will eventually get to the statue of Christ about 4 km distant. It is a good hike to the top. The pic at the left is from the top looking back towards Dili.

There are several cafes along the way that serve beer and reasonably good food.

The beach is quite nice near the cape and is usually packed on weekends.


Aug 9, 2006

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