East Timor Guide

East Timor Guide

The Democratic Republic of East Timor is a country on the island of Timor in Southeast Asia, in the Malay Archipelago. It occupies the eastern half of the island of Timor. It borders with Indonesia.

Until 1976 it was a colony of Portugal (about 460 years), the area is 14874 km2, the capital of Dili, coffee is produced, the population is 555 thousand. The official languages ​​are Tetum, Portuguese. Currency – US dollar. Religion – Catholicism.

The country’s climate is subequatorial monsoon, which is characterized by pronounced rainy and dry seasons. From May to November, the dry season continues, and there is practically no rain on the northern coast at this time.

The mountainous regions in the center of the island and the southern coast do not suffer from such a drought at this time, however, the amount of precipitation here is also significantly lower than during the rainy season. The rainy season lasts from late November to April (mostly it rains from December to March). Harvesting is at the end of the rainy season. The average monthly temperature in the capital is about +27*C and hardly changes throughout the year.

The central part of Timor is covered with small mountains and tropical savannah. Low plains reach the coast of the island and mangrove complexes have formed on them. On the coast of the island there are tropical forests of eucalyptus trees, bamboo, sandalwood.

In the interior regions of the island there are grassy savannahs. In these regions, flora and fauna are much poorer than on other islands. Timor has rare species of plants and animals characteristic of Australia.

Interesting Facts

According to local legend, the island of Timor was a giant crocodile. The name is a variant of the name “Timur”, which means “east” in Malay.

East Timor is currently the poorest country in Asia. Unemployment is about 20%. 41% of the population live below the poverty line. 78% of the country’s inhabitants work in agriculture, forestry and fisheries. 6% work in public administration, education, health and social services, local government and defense.

East Timor has the worst crime situation among all the islands of Polynesia. To eliminate the criminogenic situation in the country, an emergency regime has been declared, the streets are patrolled by UN troops.

Among the biggest problems of the country is the lack of infrastructure (roads and power supply were almost completely destroyed in 1999), the lack of skilled labor. These factors reduce the competitiveness of East Timor compared to neighboring countries.

Until 1975, East Timor was a colony of Portugal and was the least developed possession of the backward of the colonial powers. The basis of the economy was agriculture, which was carried out by primitive methods and did not provide the food needs of the colony. The production of export crops developed: coffee, rubber and copra.

Country data

Location: Southeast Asia

Time zone: CET + 7 (during summer time: CET + 6)

Total area: 14,874 km²

Land area: 14,874 km²

Water area: 0 km²

Length of the state border: 253 km

including: Indonesia: 253 km

Coastline: 706 km

Capital: Dili

Districts: 13
Aileu, Ainaro, Baucau, Bobonaro (Maliana), Cova-Lima (Suai), Dili, Ermera (Gleno), Lautem (Los Palos), Liquica, Manatuto, Manufahi (Same), Oecussi (Ambeno), Viqueque

Electric current: 220 V / 50 Hz

Telephone code: 00 670 (Source: Allcitycodes)

Highest point: Foho Tatamailau 2,963 m

Population

Population: approx. 1.26 million residents (Countryaah, 2021)

Population growth: 2.3% per year

Population density (residents per km²): 85

Life expectancy: 67 (male), 70 (female)

Official language: Portuguese, Tetum

Religions:

  • 97% Roman Catholic
  • 2% Protestants
  • 1% other

Climate

In the tropical climate it is hot and humid all year round.

During the dry season from late April to mid-November, there is often a major drought with very low humidity. Rain hardly falls at all. During the day the temperature is usually around 30-35 ° C and at night around 20 ° C. In the higher mountains it can get much colder at night.

The rainy season lasts from late November to mid-April and often brings with it floods.

Currency / finance

Currency unit: US dollar (USD)

Division: 1 dollar = 100 cents

ATMs: Only available in the capital Dili.

International credit cards: Very few shops accept them.

Regulations: Foreign and national currencies can be imported and exported in unlimited amounts. A declaration is required from an equivalent value of 10,000 US dollars.

In addition to the US dollar, own coins with face values ​​of 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 centavos were issued. One centavo corresponds to one US cent.

Travel advice

There is no embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Timor-Leste. The German embassy in Jakarta / Indonesia is responsible.

In urgent emergencies, German nationals can contact the Portuguese embassy in Dili.

Economy

Most of the population, around 70 percent, works in agriculture, forestry and fishing.

However, the highest share of the gross domestic product (over 75%) is made up of the extraction and export of oil.

Industries: handicrafts, soap making, textiles

Natural resources: natural gas, petroleum, gold, manganese, marble

Land use:

  • Usable land: 10%
  • Grain cultivation: 5%
  • Pasture area: 10%
  • Forests: 49%
  • other: 26%
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