Timor, what to expect when travelling

Prospective travellers to Timor Leste often ask us about what to expect on our tours. People are concerned about the road conditions, accommodation style and what they will eat. These can be difficult questions to answer. It’s really a matter of perception and context.

If you have confidence in your driver, the sun is shining, you have a cold drink and are in the company of new friends then where you hang your hat or what is on your plate can be less important than the ambience, smiles and  hilarity of sharing the days adventures. It’s truly a matter of context and perception.

BUT, on a bad day if you are a bit tired, feel sick from bumping along on Timor’s roads, have an upset tummy and are in need of a hot shower then even cold beer can feel warm, your new mates can seem annoying and a mandi shower or swat toilet can be the last straw.


The roads are truly awful but …….

Timor pothole

For now help keep the amazing beauty of Timor Leste a secret and make the trip a real adventure and….

Motorcycles in Timor-mountains










water buffalo-on-road in Timor











Waterbuffalo-on-mountain in Timor

Pillows can be lumpy rocks and you really must bring your sleeping sheet, and rooms are very colourful but…

Basic bedroom in Timor

They are generally clean, there are mosquito nets where needed and beds are usually comfortable.

Timor guesthouse bedroom

Showers are usually of the mandi variety, and we have to say that bad plumbing is really the worst part of travelling in Timor Leste, no if ands or buts!

It can be chilly or it can be hot, especially when the power is off and the fan doesn’t work, but 24 hr. power is on the way across the country and…

We think everything looks better in gentle lighting and a shared coldish beer or warm red can really help smooth away the crinkles.

Drinks in Timor

Its chicken, rice, noodles and vegies again but …..

Timor lunch

be prepared for a surprise, Timorese women are great cooks and make good use of fish and are influenced by Indonesian and Portuguese cuisine. Timor coffee is some of the best in the world

Fish dinner

Dinner in Timor

It can rain when it’s not supposed to but….. I don’t think this is unique to Timor Leste and waiting for the rain to stop gives you the chance to make new friends.

Sheltering from the rain in Timor

You can either let the sound of the waves lapping in front of your door or the water fall rushing past your window lull you to sleep or it can annoy you all night long, or at least until the rooster thinks its dawn at 4 am! The experience is up to you.

If what you’re after is a true cultural experience and you’re willing to suspend your judgement about what comfort means then come visit Timor Leste, the country will deliver an authentic experience warts and all. Remember you have the rest of the year to snuggle under a doona or Egyptian sheets.

Seriously we are often pleasantly surprised when our guests tell us the best time they had was when:

When the car got stuck in the river

4wd in river

‘It was certainly a life changing experience for me and despite my whingeing I had a great time and was fortunate to meet some people and enjoy some experiences unique to Timor Leste.’

Smiles are priceless and can be infectious; Timor Leste has a way of getting under your skin but…

Kids in Timor

Be prepared to haggle with Rosa she’s fierce!

Rosa in Com
















  1. Rob W. says:

    Rosa is rwally fierce, and always ken to make a sale…