Suai – Eastern Dragon

maliana_145.jpgSuai Eastern Dragon

In Suai, the Eastern Dragon is across the street from the police station.

There are rooms available at 25.00 to 45.00 a night. It is not a backpackers budget place but more of a UN or NGO workers place.

There is a round shaped restaurant that has very good food. Most meals are around 6.00 dollars.

I got beef and potatoes with rice. They did not skimp on the meat and it was one of the best meals I had in a while.

maliana_139.jpgCokes are a dollar and beer is 2 dollars if I remember right. It is really comfortable in the bar/restaurant.

It must be the main meeting place of expat workers when they are doing contracts in Suai.

There is a local loseman down the street as well but I didn’t check it out.

I prefer not to pay over 10 dollars a night and have no problem with camping out so I headed down the highway after finishing my meal.

maliana_147.jpgThere is a long stretch of beach at the end of the road in Suai. In it’s day it was probably a popular beach resort judging by all the abandoned buildings along the shore. Suai took a beating in 1999 according to a local guy that I spoke with.

The entire village was basically destroyed and he says that slowly the town is rebuilding.

Many of the local people have built traditional grass huts that they stay in. They’re are nice and cool but harbor a lot of mosquitoes. a friend of mine got malaria down there so take precautions.

maliana_126.jpgThere is a fleet of small fishing boats along the beach. Nothing too fancy. No paint or decoration on these boats. They are strictly working boats without any extras.

If a person had a tent it would not be any problem to camp along the beach but there are very few facilities in Sui.

There is a mangrove swamp between the beach and town that might harbor mosquitoes. I didn’t stay there but it seems likely.

maliana_133.jpgIt would be kind of neat to camp there on the beach with a small stove to heat water for coffee etc.

Be sure to take anything that you might need because there is little available there including drinking water, but there are wells in town where you could draw water and boil it to for purification.

There was only one place to get benzine at one of the roadside vendors so I topped off the tank on the Yingang Chinese bike that I was using. It was one of the rentals from the Backpackers Guesthouse in Dili.

maliana_124.jpgDon’t take a run down to Suai too lightly as it is quite a drive from Dili and there is not a lot going on down there. There are no repair facilities and few benzine dealers to get fuel from.

If your bike breaks down and you can’t get it going you could to organize a lift on one of the trucks heading back to Dili or one of the other bigger towns for repairs.Problem is that you won’t find parts even in Dili.

At Mape-Zumalai the road had been washed away and it was necessary to drive through the river.

maliana_152.jpgIt was deeper than it looked and I almost lost Henry’s bike there but with the throttle wide open the old Chinese bike made it across.

I got soaked almost to the waist but was thankful to have not flooded the bike.

The gear shift had been crunched and the bike would not come out of first gear. I did not want to shut it down until the bike had dried out so went along in first gear for a while.

maliana_140.jpgWhen it seemed to be dry I shut it down and worked on straightening the shifter.

My confidence in Chinese technology was strengthened that day. It could have been the second bike that I lost in a month. The first being one of the Australian postie bikes that I got stolen outside the internet bar in Dili a few weeks prior.

(Update – A friend reckons he got malaria camping on the beach down there. Use caution.)

Suai – East Timor

Aug 4, 2006

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