Welcome to the Democratic Republic of Timor Leste, known as East Timor or Timor Lorosae in Tetum (the local language) – one of the world’s youngest countries!
East Timor lies off the northern coast of Australia, at the eastern end of the Indonesian archipelago. It comprises of the eastern half of the island of Timor, the small islands of Ata’uro and Jaco, and an enclave on the north-west side of the island called Oecussi.
Timor Leste achieved formal independence on 20 May 2002, following a UN sponsored referendum in August 1999 in which over 78% of the population voted for independence. It is one of the poorest countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
The country has an abundance of natural beauty, with rugged mountains and a spectacular coastline. Timor Leste also has mile after mile of pristine coral reefs, offering some of the best diving in the world. The reefs are home to a vast diversity of marine creatures, from turtles to whales sharks and dazzling shoals of colourful tropical fish.
Dili, the capital of Timor Leste is a small but buzzing city which is spread along the coast and has some beautiful beaches, interesting museums and markets that are definitely worth a visit.
Brief Summary of East Timor
- Capital – Díli
- Official languages – Portuguese and Tetum
- Government – Unitary parliamentary Democratic republic
- Independence Day – May 20, 2002
- Total area – 14,874 km2 / 5,743 sq mi
- Population (2010 estimate) – 1,066,582
- Currency – US Dollar
- Time zone – UTC+9
- Drives on the – left
- Calling code – +670