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Introducing Dili

Dili is a city undergoing a rapid transformation, and while some changes seem at odds with common sense (oversized embassies lining prime beachfront land, for instance), most changes capture the essence of reconstruction in Timor-Leste. Burnt-out buildings still form a small part of the scenery, as do century-old banyan trees on the foreshore.

Dili is a good place to recharge batteries (literally) and base yourself for jaunts into the regions; it’s a chance to indulge in international food, buy supplies and meet some of the locals and expats. Dili itself spreads from the airport, along the waterfront and all the way to the Jesus statue in the east. Most of the action occurs on the waterfront, or one or two blocks north of it. You’ll find travellers’ hubs at East Timor Backpackers and Castaway Bar.