Different months bring different sense and January is always full of the festive cheer that entails the celebration of New Year. Besides, as months pass by, we usually relate each with a song or a title of a song. January seems to have the same romance and it reminds Indonesians with Timor Leste; Januari di Kota Dili. It is a song that tells about the beauty of this place and about a lover who left a love in Dili. That is a memorable song that narrates the charm of Timor Leste well. Timor Leste is indeed a young independent country yet its beauty mirrors the prettiness of ancient Europe- especially Portuguese really beautifully. Here is a glance of Timor Leste in the eye of a traveler.
Arriving at Presidente Nicolau Lobato airport, we will not be so amazed since it is just an ordinary airport with one arrival gate and waiting room only. Visa on arrival is 30 USD and travelers have to pay airport tax for 10 USD. After leaving the airport, we can start enjoying the pretty view of Dili. It is a wonderful city in the seaside where people know how to have some fun. During the afternoon, while waiting for the sunset, people gather in the beach for a mere sitting, jogging, or having roasted fish. For those who love the noise of nightlife and the extravagance of shopping malls, this country might be a waste of time. Those kinds of travelers will get bored instantly. But for those who love peaceful place, this is the one that is worth visiting.
Dili at night means tranquility. All shops and entertainment centers will be closed at seven pm. That is a big difference since in almost all tour destinations, that hour will be the open hour for evening enjoyments. In Timor Leste, people have bad experience and feel traumatic with chaos during the referendum in 1999 so they do not like to wander around after seven pm. However, during the day, travelers can enjoy shopping times in several places such as in Timor Plaza, W Four, and Kemanek. For souvenir shopping, travelers can directly go to Colmera. It is a traditional market with shops selling Tais fabric, bags, jewelry, and other Timor Leste souvenirs. The most interesting thing in Colmera is that visitors can meet real Tais fabric maker who are weaving the fabric traditionally.
How about the transportation? Even in the rush hour, traffic in Dili is never busy. The street is always empty and quiet. People will never feel burdened with traffic jam and even police is rarely seen working on the troublesome traffic. Dili does not have too many cars and public transportation. For your information, the rates of car in Timor Leste is relatively cheap than any other countries in South East Asia. This is due to the low tax. Yet, the problem will be in the gasoline for the price is much higher than other ASEAN countries.
Though partying at night clubs are seemingly impossible to do here, branded wines and alcohol beverages are sold freely and almost without regulation. However, Timor Leste rules its people to enjoy drinking and partying in Friday night. This country is so religious and Sunday is a church day. That is why people in that country are forbidden to get drunk in Saturday which will prevent them to skip praying in Sunday morning. That is also a unique thing about this serene country. Visiting Dili will simply leave a warm and extraordinary experience.