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What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?
There are some great places to hike or ride your bike here in Dili. At one end of town, there's a giant statue of Jesus overlooking the waters around Timor that you can climb the stairs to and the beaches behind the statue are gorgeous. Snorkeling and diving here are great, especially if you go out to Atauro Island. There are several places that offer diving certification classes. Trips to Bali are common since there's a short, direct flight. It's also easy to get anywhere in Australia through Darwin, which is also only an hour away by air.
East Timor is truly a beautiful, untouched country with gorgeous mountains and hundreds of miles of un-touristed beaches. If you're looking for 5-star resorts, go to Bali; but untouched Timor can be breathtaking. If you're into serious cycling, the annual Tour de Timor bike race runs in September. It is grueling but worth looking into. The Timor Plaza shopping center has a movie theater that usually shows 4 films per week on its two screens. New movies are almost always released here at the same time as in the US, so we get a lot of the biggest blockbusters. - Sep 26, 2017
Definitely biking, running, diving and snorkeling. We really enjoy sitting at a restaurant on the beach and eating while watching the water. You can also hike up the mountain here, visit some coffee plantations or other things in the area.
Visiting Atauro island is a must as well. You are likely to see dolphins and maybe whales. - May 30, 2017
Timor is in the coral triangle. One of the world's most biodiverse reef areas is just off the coast of Dili, about an hour long boat ride away, the island of Atauro, which is delightful for a weekend getaway. Further away, there is also another diving hotspot, near the island of Jaco.
You can dive, free dive or snorkel within the vicinity of Dili, or find great spots about an hour away in each direction. Walks along the beach, hiking in the hills and mountains, exploring the countryside, whale watching near the end of dry season, visiting weekend markets, taking in a cockfight or football match on the weekend.
If you don't mind a more rustic holiday, Timor is for you. If you are looking for high-thrills, urban life or nightlife, this is not the place. - Sep 30, 2016
Ataruo Island, Jaco Island, Bali (not so hidden!). - Nov 21, 2013
Going to the beach/pool is the major pass-time. There is world-class snorkeling and scuba here as well. - Apr 25, 2013
Diving, hiking, off-roading, beach, snorkeling, the pool, boating (I wish I had brought a kayak). - Mar 12, 2010
Diving, hiking, going to the beach - Feb 23, 2010