Dili, East Timor
Information Not Currently Available
Approximately 4 Hours
Meals not included
Leaving the ship, you'll travel south through the central business district of East Timor's laid-back capital of Dili, which has taken on a new lease on life since Independence in 2002. The city is nestled into the base of the surrounding hills, which are lush and green in the rainy season. Watch for the many historical buildings, monuments and religious places that line the streets, including the Government Palace, Casa Europa (which was the original Portuguese military garrison built in 1769), and the Prince Henry the Navigator Monument.
Your first stop is at the Xanana Cultural Center -- originally the Xanana Reading Room. It is home to a public library, bookshop and exhibition spaces showcasing a permanent collection of photographs and paintings. Xanana was a resistance fighter whose trenches were the rugged jungles and mountains of East Timor. He was imprisoned in Indonesia during the 1990s and is a national hero.
Watch an exclusive cultural performance by the Le-Ziaval group, established by Timorese students living in Indonesia during the late 1990s. They adopted an alternative form of protest, keeping Timorese culture alive through dance and music.
Your guide will point out the National Parliament building and the Timorese Resistance Archive & Museum. The latter was built in 2005 and is dedicated to the Timorese Resistance's 24-year struggle for Independence from Indonesia.
Further south, you will arrive at the Santa Cruz Cemetery -- one the most important worship sites in East Timor and best known for the massacre that took the lives of approximately 250 youths in 1991.
A morning snack of Timor coffee and home-baked cakes is served at the Australian World War II Memorial and Museum located in Dare. The memorial was built in 1969 by the Australian Diggers -- veterans of World War II. It was dedicated to the Timorese people for their support for the Australian soldiers against the occupying Japanese forces from 1942-1945.
Due to the fact that Dili is in full development, there are no tour buses yet. Instead, the best possible vehicles in town are being sourced. Due to the lack of professional guides in Dili, your tour guides will be university students that are in training to become professional guides.