This charming and notoriously slow coastal city is a city that has suddenly found itself as the leading national capital after East Timor became an independent country in May 2002. Located on the northern coast of East Timor along the narrow plains between Timor and the mountain range that runs through the Ombai Strait, Dili is also the capital of the region of the same name.
Dili, a remote colonial city in a remote part of the world in colonial times, has now become the bearer of its rich heritage. With a pronounced Portuguese influence, Macau is probably the furthest eastern city where you can experience the most authentic Portuguese food and architecture. In the city, where a lot of violence took place during the referendum period after 1999, Dili, which had gone through a bad period when many buildings were burned and many infrastructures were destroyed, however, recovered in an extraordinary way.
The south side of Dili, which is quite small, is surrounded by the Palacio Governo, the State Palace and impressive Government Buildings, and is referred to as the heart of the city.
To the east, the commercial district of Lecidere was conceived as part of Portugal, to the west it is surrounded by Colmera and the old Central Market. Head west along the coastal road (Ave de Portugal) and you can follow the Portuguese Farol houses, several embassies and restaurant districts. To the east of the Comoro Road, which is quite touristic, is the region also called Metiaut. This place is famous for its seaside restaurants.
Trip To Dili
Cristo Rei: Standing on a ledge in the east of Dili, Cristo Rei, also known as the Statue of Christ, is one of the must-see places. Legend has it that the structure, built by mostly Muslim Indonesians as a gift to the mostly Christian East Timorese, was designed for Jesus to return to Jakarta. The statue is about 27 meters high and stands on a globe.
Following the steps to the statue of Christ along the beach of Dili, the path passes through various niches representing popular and cross stations where international and local fishermen also gather to exercise. The view of the statue in Dili Bay is magnificent. Fatucama Beach, in the form of the letter C, just behind the statue, is fascinating with its clear sea.
Museum of the Resistance: Located within the borders of Rua University, just near the center of Dili, this museum is the right address for those who are curious about what happened during East Timor’s 25-year struggle for independence.
Brave War Memorial: The monument, which is 10 kilometers away from the mountains along the main line of the south road, leans its back on a magnificent view. Next to this memorial to the Australian Sparrow Force, which fought the Japanese for several years in Timor, there is also a permanent exhibit on Timor’s war experience. This part, where the visit is free, also hosts a cafe with a very wide view.
Beaches: There are many beaches in Dili. Among these, Areia Branca, right next to Cristo Rei, is one of the cleanest and most popular. Since there are many bars and restaurants along this beach, this is a very lively area not only during the day but also at night. The Jesus Backside beach, which is also within walking distance of Cristo Rei, has an insatiable view lying at the foot of the mountain.
Outdoor Sports: Dili is a unique opportunity for outdoor sports enthusiasts. Diving is available in the area between Dili and Aturo Islands. In addition, tours are organized to the Jaco Islands for those who desire a more distant route, and diving is offered in this region. Another popular activity in the area is hiking and climbing. Mountaineers from all over the world come to Mount Ramalau. It is the highest mountain in East Timor.
Even if you are not a professional climber, you have the opportunity to climb the mountain, which can be freezing at night. Because many tour companies provide services in this regard.