23 Tantalising Facts About Timor-Leste

Looking to boost your local knowledge? Take a look at these 23 facts about Timor-Leste!

Geographical stats…Interesting Facts Timor-Leste

  1. Timor-Leste, formerly known as East Timor, is a beautiful country in southeast Asia.
  2. It forms part of the island of Timor and is bordered only by Indonesia to the west. It also has a coastline along the Timor Sea to the south and the Wetar Strait to the north.
  3. To explore this wonderful country for yourself, head for the coordinates of 8.5667° S, 125.5667° E.
  4. The terrain here is mostly mountainous and surrounded by stunning sandy beaches and crystal clear water.
  5. The total land area of Timor-Leste is 5,640 square miles (14,609 square kilometres)…
  6. …that’s almost twice the size of the Greek island of Crete.
  7. Timor-Leste’s population was 1,231,116 in 2015…
  8. …that’s also around twice the population of Crete!
  9. Residents here are known as Timorese.
  10. The capital is Dili; it covers an area of 18.6 square miles (48.3 square kilometres) and had a population of 228,000 in 2014.
  11. The Timorese enjoy a tropical climate with hot and humid weather and distinct dry and rainy seasons from May to November and December to April, respectively.
  12. Timor-Leste boasts a wide range of wildlife including water buffalo, monkeys, deer, pigs, horses, crocodiles, cattle, goats, chickens, ducks, rats and bats.

Social intricacies

  1. The official languages of Timor-Leste are Portuguese and Tetum, although Indonesian and English are also spoken here.
  2. Apparently, ‘Timor’ comes from the Malay word ‘timur’, meaning east; that means that when the country was formerly known as East Timor, it was actually called ‘East East’ when translated!
  3. United States Dollar is the official currency here.
  4. Timor-Leste has gained independence twice – firstly from Portugal in 1975 and then from Indonesia in 1999.
  5. The average life span here is 68 years.
  6. Fishhooks and beads made from shells which been found on the island have been radiocarbon dated to around 30,000 years ago! What an incredible find!
  7. Local legend has it that the island of Timor was formed from the body of an ageing crocodile as compensation to a little boy who helped him while he was unwell, and natives of the island are thought to be descendants of the little boy!

Industry insights…

  1. Timor-Leste grows coffee, corn, sweet potatoes, rice, soybeans, bananas, mangoes, vanilla, maize and cassava.
  2. Its industry consists of printing, handicrafts, soap manufacturing and woven cloth.
  3. The main exports include coffee, sandalwood, marble and oil.

Bonus Fact!

  1. Do you know someone lucky enough to live in Timor-Leste? You can make cheap calls to Timor-Leste with Cherry Call – don’t forget, you’ll also need to use the international dialling code of 00670.

To keep up-to-date with what’s going on in Timor-Leste, head over to The Dili Weekly website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with a *