East Timor

East Timor Destinations Travel Guide

Flag of East Timor

Language: Tetum, Portuguese

Currency: US dollar (USD)

Calling Code: +670


East Timor, whose official name is the Democratic Republic of East Timor (in Portuguese: Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, in Tetun: Republika Demokratika Timor Lorosa'e) is a Southeast Asian country. Island of Timor, the nearby islands of Atauro and Jaco and the exclave of Oecusse (Oecussi-Ambeno), surrounded by territory of the Indonesian region of West Timor. In total the country has a territory of  14 874 km2 and a population of more than 1 million one hundred thousand inhabitants.

The territory of the current East Timor was colonized by Portugal in the sixteenth century and became known as Portuguese Timor. The colony declared its independence in 1975, but a few days later it was invaded and occupied by troops from neighboring Indonesia, a country that turned the territory into its 27th province. In 1999, after an act of self-determination in East Timor, sponsored by the UN, Indonesia abandoned the former Portuguese colony and East Timor became on May 20, 2002 the first sovereign state that was born in the XXI century. After its independence, the nation became a member of the United Nations and of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries. In addition, East Timor is one of only two Asian countries whose main religion is Catholicism (the other is the Philippines).

East Timor has a middle-income economy. In 2014 GDP per capita was $ 5,479 according to World Bank data. Nearly 40% of its inhabitants live below the poverty line, that is, they subsist on less than $ 1.25 per day, 6 and about half of the population is illiterate, and East Timor still suffers the consequences of the struggle against the Indonesian occupation that lasted for decades, leaving damage to the country's infrastructure as well as the death of around one hundred thousand people. Although the country now has an average human development index (previously low), it is expected that the percentage growth of its economy will be among the highest in the world in the coming years, East Timor is the only country in Asia whose language is official the Portuguese.


Travel Destination in East Timor


Atauro Island

Atauro Island is located on the extinct Wetar segment of the volcanic Inner Banda Arc in East Timor.