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Where is East Timor (Timor-Leste)?

Of all the countries we expect to travel on our trip, probably East Timor (correct: Timor-Leste) is the most unknown one.

Timor-Leste is an island country in the south-eastern end of Southeast Asia. It is only about 550 km north of the Australian coast and shares the island of Timor with Indonesia (except an enclave West Timor entirely belongs to Indonesia).

Today the country has about 1.2 million inhabitants. From the 16th century until 1974 it used to be a Portuguese colony, was then occupied by Indonesia and after a further period of disturbances and civil war in 2002 Timor-Leste became the first country in the 21st century, that obtained internationally recognized independence.

For us, this country is the gateway to Southeast Asia, since the cargo company with which we can ship our car, serves Dili (the capital of Timor-Leste). Alternative place to ship to would have been Jakarta or Singapore, but we want to travel as much as possible by ourselves, rather than shipping the car most of the way.

In addition to Tetum and Portuguese speaking inhabitants (next to others) here (next to others) the highest mountain in the country (Mount Ramelau) with its almost 3000 meters is waiting to be visited.

Location of Timor-Leste
Route to and from Timor-Leste

From East Timor, we later cross the border to Indonesia before the next ferry (from there we can join the ship as passengers, too) from Kupang will take us to Larantuka or Ende on the island of Flores.
Later we hop on the islands of Sumbawa, Lombok and Bali.