Lovely Dili – Day 1

Dili, Timor Leste, has been our bucket list since last year. Many beautiful landscape photos of this country had been shared on social media that made us fall in love at the first sight. Before our visit, we did some research of the location so we can plan our road trip through this ex-region of Indonesia.


As part of Indonesia in the past, citizens of Timor Leste apparently still can speak Bahasa Indonesia although their national language is Tetun, and their language is likely Portuguese at some part. However, they use US Dollar for currency.

We arrived at Presidente Nicolau Lobato airport, Timor Leste, with NAM Air from Ngurah Rai airport, Bali, Indonesia. Flight schedule from Bali to Dili only has three times in a day, and available airlines for now are only Sriwijaya Air, NAM Air, and Citilink. It took 2 hours for flight from Bali to Dili.

Timor Leste Airport
Timor Leste Airport

For the record, as Indonesian, we have to pay Visa on Arrival at the airport as US$ 30/person by cash. They have no EDC machine or ATM inside the airport, so if you don’t have cash, please do not hesitate to ask the airport staff. They will be kindly assist you for help.

We booked at Metiaut Apartment for staying, but when the staff picked us up at the airport, he dropped us at somewhere else. We thought he mistakenly dropped us, but he explained later that Metiaut Apartment was having trouble with the water, so they moved us to another apartment. The new apartment has the same facility as Metiaut though: Living room, dining room, kitchen, 2 bed rooms and 2 bath rooms (which we only need 1 room actually). Even so, we still couldn’t figure out the name of the apartment until now. Really.

We arrived at 2 P.M. and thankfully we had lunch at the plane before, because we just got our rented motorbike around 4 P.M. after checked in, and finally we could get around the city.

Somewhere around Dili

We were first heading to the beach near Cristo Rei statue and all we could see is… water. The vehicle traffic at Dili was not really crowding, therefore the air was less polluted. I could even stand up in the middle of the road for seconds without worry.

Dili Road
It’s a beauty, isn’t it?
Cristo Rei
To Cristo Rei
Cristo Rei Beach
Cristo Rei Beach

After had some fun at the beach with only a few people around, no bars, no loud music, and even no street vendors, we went back to our apartment. Before that, we were having our dinner at Padang restaurant in the city. Yes, the restaurant name was ‘Rumah Makan Padang’ with Bahasa. Texture and taste? Same with original.

We tried to find the restaurant with local culinary, like typical from Timor Leste, but it was so hard among others restaurant that serve nasi goreng (fried rice), bakso (meat flour ball) and gorengan (fritters). Yes, all of it is written in Bahasa. By the way, nobody told us that meal portion in Timor Leste would be a lot. It was delicious and rather cheap, but it was A LOT. Thanks God, we were not on diet.

Our first impression about Dili was this country is small yet blessed with beautiful nature view. Our exploration started on the next day. A lot of surprise awaits us!

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