East Timor budget and other numbers

You’d think that Asia’s poorest country would be a cheap place to travel. Unfortunately, the presence of huge numbers of expats on fat UN salaries means you’d be wrong. It turned out to be one of the pricier countries so far, although as usual some of that was due to my own profligacy.

The two big problems were food, drink and accommodation, which worked out more expensive than anywhere I’ve been except for the three rich countries (USA, Australia & New Zealand) that I’ve been to. To be honest, I could have saved a bit of cash on the food and drink by eating in more of the Indonesian-style warungs and not going srinking so much with the expats, but to be honest I was having too much fun (and enjoying a bit of a break from Indonesian food, which is pretty much all I’d eaten since mid-November).

One other little quirk of East Timor is that it doesn’t have its own currency – instead, it uses the US Dollar, although with its own locally minted centavo coins in use instead of US Cents. My favourite is the 10 centavo, which has a cockerel on the back. Cool.

So here’s how the daily averages worked out:
Transport: $6.60
Accommodation: $12.00
Internet, visa, laundry & postcards: $5.61
Food & drink: $30.90
Total: $55.10

Thanks to my time spent with the expats, Brits again topped the table of people I propped up the bar with. A new entry this time for Jordan, thanks to a UN Policeman I met from there.
UK: 10
East Timor: 5
US: 3
Irish: 3
Australia: 2
Germany: 2
Sweden: 1
Turkey: 1
Jordan: 1
NL 1
PT 1
NZ 1

And finally the other numbers. Nowt too exciting this time, but I’ve kept the count up this far so I’ve got to pop this in for completeness sake:
Taxis: 9
Mopeds: 8
Beaches: 4
Buses: 4
Postcards: 2
Cash: 1
Laundry: 1
Local brands of beer drunk: 0 (Yep. East Timor is the first country I’ve been to that doesn’t have it’s own beer. How sad is that?)

That’s it for my little 10 day stop in East Timor – back to Indonesia now.

4 responses to “East Timor budget and other numbers

  1. Hey, enjoyed the article, just one thing though. The centavos coins are minted in Lisbon not Timor, though of course the designs with Tais around the each are truly Timorese.

  2. Hi Geoff,
    I’m considering doing an internship in Dili for 2 months (late May through late July) and I’m looking for the most inexpensive accommodations.
    Do you have any recommendations?
    Thanks!

    • You may be best off starting in the East Timor Backpackers, which is the cheapest hotel, or alternatively ask the people you’ll be doing the internship with to help find you somewhere, there are lots of expats there on short term contracts so there are plenty of rooms available in shared houses I believe, so hopefully the people you’d be working with can help you

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s