East Timor isn’t exactly a hot cycling destination.  Tom Hermansson Snickars tells us why we ought to include this little-visited country on our next Asia bicycle tour

5. A young country with intense history.

It’s a fascinating time to visit this young country. It officialy
gained independence from Indonesia as late as 2002. The streets of
Dili are still full on UN personnel and NGO workers, but local institutions and the economy is being built up.

Warm smiles in East Timor...optimism for the future shines through.

4. Rough and empty roads with great views

Few roads are paved but rewarding for adventurous cyclists. Many small
mountain roads gives access to remote areas with some spectacular
views and interesting nature. There is hardly any public transport and
few locals can afford a vehichle so cycling is a great option.

A lack of paved roads just adds to the fun and sense of adventure.

3. Beautiful beaches without crowds.

Foreigners in the country are usually NGO workers or UN personnel,
rather than tourists. Many of the beautiful beaches and small islands
are still waiting to be explored by you and other eager beach bums
bored with crowds in Indonesia and Thailand. Camping wild after asking
permission from locals may be the only accommodation available.

Where else can you find beaches like these?

2. Climate

The island of Timor has a short wet season and a long dry season. It
may get a bit hot on the coast, but there are cooler areas in the
hills any time of the year. Camping wild or with a land owners
permission is an option all year round.

 

Head to the hills of East Timor for a little relief from the heat.

1. Amazing people

Despite their rough history, the Timorese are a happy and welcomming
bunch ready to smile at crazy foreigners on bikes or anyone else for
that matter.

A warm welcome from East Timor locals.
About the Author
Tom has cycled from Sweden to Asia on two trips around the end of the
last millenium, and within Asia during his last long journey. He
prefers smaller, steeper and rougher roads in the mountains, rather
than fast asphalt, and has travelled over 30 000 kilometers in total
by bicycle and a lot more with a backpack and various modes of
transport. Asia is his favourite continent so far.

You can follow his two-wheeled at adventures at Tallabomba.

Anybody else made a side trip to East Timor?  We’d love to hear about your experiences.

Top 5 Reasons to Go Bicycle Touring in East Timor
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