Always a pleasant, laid back little capital, Dili has sprung to life over the last three years. Although most of the city was destroyed during the militia attacks of 1999, many of the homes and businesses have been rebuilt.

Dili still sports a few Portuguese accents like the villa-lined beach roads, the former colonial garrison built in 1627 and the church built on the waterfront. But new shops, restaurants and bars are opening all the time, bringing a new energy and style to this once sleepy city.

The waterfront remains a center of activity from dawn till late at night. A park separates the beach from the road, with banyan trees and benches offering an excellent place to cool down in the shade with a coconut to drink! Fishermen unload all kinds of fish, squid and lobsters on the beach, making this one of the best places to find the freshest seafood in Dili. In the afternoon, join the boys in their daily games of football - an excellent way to meet the local people. Peddlers sell cold drinks, snacks and satay all day and into the evening. The nearby island of Atauro can be reached by charted boat or the new ferry service.

www.discoverdili.com - 6806 - Dili

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