If you had asked me 2 years back if I knew anything about Timor Leste, I would probably be like a sitting duck and wait for the answer to be fed. This all changed when I first met my first Timor Leste friend through an international exchange program in Spring 2019, where I got to know that it is a nation with great resources, youthful population and pristine beaches that can be develop into a tourism powerhouse in the region.

Here are 3 facts that you may not know about Timor Leste:


Map of Timor Leste © Britannica

1. From Portugal to Timor Leste

Timor Leste (formely known as East Timor) is a country size of 15,007 km2 located at the west region of Indonesia. Previously colonized by Portugal till 1975 and was occupied by the Indonesian military. It has battled hard against the occupation of Indonesia and eventually gained independence in 20 May 2002. The capital of Timor Leste is Dili and minority of the population still speaks Portuguese, while Indonesian and English are considered to be the working language.

2. Relationship with Australia

Truth to be told – The closest neighbor you have may just be the partner you turn to in crisis or not. Sitting in close proximity with Timor Leste, Australia is the go-to country when Timor Leste needed help to reform, reshape and revitalize it’s economy. In the case of debating the ownership and development of the Greater Sunrise oil and gas fields worth US$50 billion, series of negotiations was carried out from 2002 to 2006 which did not ended very well as the Australia government accused of spying during important ministerial and cabinet meetings.

Watch this video to find out more!

3. Tourism in Timor Leste

Home to the pristine beaches in Asia – not mentioning Thailand or Philippines, Timor Leste has the capacity to develop itself into a tourism hub to fuel its economic development. However, relative unknown political situation in the country and limited international flights may have dampened the transformation process.

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