10 Oct 2013 - 31 May 2014
Tony Spano deployed to the country of Timor Leste firstly back in 2006 and secondly in 2008 as part of the International Stabilisation Force.
As a rifleman on the ground tasked with security of the country's popluation and it's assets, you get a chance to get amongst the people and thier culture and experience first hand the hardships they had to face every day.
When Tony Joined up with Shoes For Planet Earth 2 years ago, A return trip to Timor was definately on the cards, and what better way than to give something we all take for granted? A comfy pair of shoes.
With headquarters in Sydney, Australia, Shoes for Planet Earth is a non-profit organisation started in 2009 by people who love to run and want to give something back. Working together with local and international communities and companies we provide recycled running shoes to those in need around the world.
Our ‘soul journey’ is to help mankind by improving his well-being whilst minimizing his consumption of non-renewable earth resources. Shoes for Planet Earth aim to encourage exercising and a healthy lifestyle, to improve hygiene and disease control and facilitate the ‘feel good’ intangible benefits of giving and receiving.
Bemvindo! Welcome to Timor-Leste.
Now 12 Years young, Timor-Leste may not offer many traveller comforts but there are many memorable experiences, and its raw charm is hard to ignore. Newly independent, this recovering post conflict country is slowly rebuilding itself. Virtually untouched and unexplored, intrepid travellers are finding beauty and adventure in the thickly forested mountains and small, Portuguese-era port towns, with their whitewashed buildings and Timor-Leste hotels sloping toward the sea.
Welcome to the newest nation in South-East Asia, East Timor. The capital of Dili offers a taste of Portugal in the tropics, with soft sandy beaches, colonial towns and rugged mountainous surrounds.
Timor-Leste, also referred to as East Timor, is a new nation, which is now looking for a place on the world tourist map. Timor-Leste is going through a transitory phase adjusting to its new status as an independent country. Hence, development is at a slow pace. Timor-Leste has around 1 million people inhabiting its 15,000 sq km territory. It is an ideal tourist destination with lots to see and do, including lovely beaches, lush green forests, jagged mountains and old colonial style townships.
Timor and the crocodile
This traditional story about the birth of Timor is told to children all over Timor-Leste.
A young boy saw a small crocodile struggling to get from a lagoon to the sea. The boy picked the crocodile up and helped him. The crocodile was grateful and told the boy that if he ever needed help he should stand by the edge of the sea and call ‘crocodile!’
One day the boy needed to travel across the sea, so he called ‘Crocodile!’ he rode on the crocodile’s back. The crocodile took him on many journeys after that, but soon the crocodile’s instinct to eat the boy grew strong. The crocodile felt unhappy about this and asked the advice of many animals. They told him that he should not repay the boy’s kindness by eating him. The crocodile could not hurt his friend.
In time the crocodile grew very old. He told the boy that when he (the crocodile) died, he would change into a beautiful land where the boy and his children could live. The crocodile became the land of Timor.
There are several places of interest in Timor-Leste. Breathtaking natural landscapes, rich historical heritage, authentic places to stay, and friendly people make Timor-Leste worthy of visiting. Not having been visited by many outsiders, the land has a remarkably unspoiled beauty. There are scenic beaches in the east and south of the country and the capital Dili exudes an urban feel.
The white sand beaches, coral reefs, lush greenery and sparkling water of Timor-Leste beaches are captivating. Dili and Kom are where tourists will find most of the hotels in Timor-Leste and other amenities to make their stay comfortable. The beaches elsewhere in the country are yet to be discovered by the tourism industry. You can use our Timor-Leste map to choose your Timor-Leste hotel based on its location.
Visitors to Timor-Leste will find the people here to be very friendly. They have several traditions that reflect the rich cultural heritage of the place. Lack of exposure to the Western world adds a novelty value to any visiting Westerner. The attention you get will undoubtedly be an interesting experience.
Dili, the capital city is a pleasing, relaxed little town that is well equipped to cater to tourists. There are quite a few restaurants and Timor-Leste hotels here. You can also organise a tour in Timor-Leste from Dili. Any newsreel images of political unrest that you had associated with Timor-Leste will fade away when you unwind in Dili, and the lovely beaches will help you relax. The friendly locals mingle with visitors and make sure their stay is special.
The Island of Atauro provides an idyllic setting for snorkelling and diving. Areia Branca, a Portuguese colony in earlier days, has a giant statue of Christ, which will remind you of Rio de Janeiro. Baucau ranks second in terms of size; it is located on a ridge overlooking the coast. Baucau is one of East Timor's most scenic places, and visitors spend a lot of time savouring its beauty. The village of Tutuala at the eastern end of Timor is another interesting location. From Tutuala you can take a canoe ride to the nearby Jaco Island, the absolute eastern tip of Timor Leste. Taking a Timor-Leste tour to Jaco Island is a great way to experience the excellent diving and snorkelling in this area.
Being a recent entrant on the world tourist map, Timor-Leste doesn't boast of a tourist season yet. However, for practical reasons, it is best to visit Timor-Leste during May-November when the weather is dry but pleasant. Later in the year it becomes dusty and then the rains set in. As the road network in Timor-Leste is still under development, travelling becomes tedious during the rains. On the one hand the roads become difficult to navigate and on the other the rivers are in full spate. Some rivers do not have bridges to help you cross. The end of the rains signals the beginning of the festival season in Timor Leste.
The early 16th century brought the Portuguese to East Timor. By the 1550s the eastern part of the Timor Island had been fully occupied by the Portuguese. The Dutch occupied the West and the region later came to be known as Indonesia. Timor-Leste became independent in May 2002 after throwing off Indonesian rule.
There is still an atmosphere of political uncertainty in East Timor. Dili has been the scene of several protests and UN troops have been stationed here to keep peace. Travellers to Timor-Leste are advised to exercise caution, take adequate precautions and follow suggestions offered by the locals. It is probably safer to take a guided tour in Timor-Leste when exploring the countryside.
This Timor-Leste Hotel Reservation Service is locally owned and operated by Jim Richards and Ames Richards of in collaboration with whl.travel. We offer a range of hotels in Timor-Leste, tours and activities to suit every need and budget.
From: USD 50
Hotel Dili is a great choice if you are looking for outstanding comfort and convenience. Set in a pretty location right on the seafront boulevard, handy for banks, restaurants, shopping, beach and government Offices. This friendly, family-owned hotel has a good range of rooms to suit all budgets. ALL ROOMS ARE NON SMOKING - BREAKFAST is INCLUDED along with FREE Airport to Hotel Transfers.[more info]
From: USD 20
Dili Beach hotel is one of the most popular relaxed hotels in Timor Leste. The Restaurant is overlooking the water and Atauro Island. Located with in 10 min Drive to all local sites and Goverment Office locations. Great place for a relaxing and cheerful stay. Free Wireless Internet and Breakfast are offered.
- Also Dili Beach Now offer Free Airport Transfers for stays of 3 nigts or more
- Breakfast is included with all the rooms plus you will have broadband internet availalble with Laundry also included.
From: USD 99
Beach Garden Estate is Dili's newest premier accommodation. Featuring Deluxe Hotel rooms and 2 Bedroom apartments. Located on Panti Kalapa (Ocean Road) enjoy the sea breeze/ocean views from the Restaurant or relax in your well appointed accommodation. Opened in December of 2010. Come and enjoy today you will not be disappointed.
Free Airport transfers are only available for reservations of 3 nights or More
- Spacious Private Meeting Rooms are also available for a maximum of 15 Persons.
From: USD 75
Excelsior Resort is located only 15 minutes from Presidente Nicolau Lobato International Airport, Timor Leste and is one of Timor Leste's newest resort/hotels. Excelsior resort offers gracious hospitality, luxurious guestrooms and exceptional conference facilities for groups of up to 60 guests. Within Easy Driving Distance from our Excelsior Resort/Hotel you can discover all the attractions Dili, Timor Leste has to offer including white-sand beaches, fishing, diving and excellent restaurants.[more info]
(assuming 2 travellers)
The one day tour to Baucau and Venilale will take you along the north coast through the busiest road in the country - connecting its two main cities.This is a day to lazily soak in some of the features of the Timor Leste landscape - beaches, mountains and markets. This is a good tour if you are looking for an overview of the Timor Leste landscape.[more info]
(assuming 2 travellers)
Go Where you Want to Go..!!
Self explanatory really. Operated by JJ Tours this activity is for guests who have specific places they want to GO..!! See the sights you want to see in and around Dili or let us show you the sights on a mystery day. GO at your pace or our pace this is why you will find this Activity independently unique. There is no specific Itinerary.
- The maximum size of the Group is 4 guests.
From: USD 150
Well appointed Hotel & Apartments will offer the individual, family or company executive a fresh and vibrant accommodation alternative.A seamless blend of comfort and convenience close to the city, airport..
The 50 room hotel will be a 3.5 star catering for the business travelers who wants to enjoy the convenience of a centrally
located property with the additional business facilities such as meeting room and convention centre.
The facilities include:
• 24 hour Security
• Wireless Internet Connection
• Satellite TV
• Complimentary Tea & Coffee
• Laundry facility
From: USD 35
The Venture hotel is one of Dili best Budget Hotels offering Single / Twin / Bunk Bed Rooms and also Single Rooms with en suite. The Hotel offers a good restaurant with plesent surronding. Located in Bidau Lecidere which is a an excellent quiet location to many restaurants, banks, parks and the sea side. So please come and join us for your visit in Dili and meet our informative and helpfull local staff.
Wecome to Timor-Leste !
Meet Jim & Ames Richards your local connection in Timor Leste ! We are proud to be a member of the WHL family in our endeavour to preserve Timor’s unique natural and cultural environment. Being conscious of Timor’s wonderful tourism assets we work with our suppliers to ensure they are preserved for the future. Let us help you explore our home of pristine reef and coast, cloudy mountains and down to earth people.[more]
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Mr Luis G. - United States