The Timor-Leste blogs I love

Please note! This page was last updated in December 2018, and there are very likely newer and more helpful community resources around. If you know something, write something, film something — let me know.

When I was first preparing to move to Timor-Leste, I spent a lot of time nervously googling terms like “expat blog Timor-Leste”, in an attempt to find some spelled-out and relateable lived advice from my fellow foreigners in a new and daunting place. I had some trouble!

Most of the blogs I found were the sparse and outdated Timor-Leste pages on popular expat blog sites like, and — SEO-optimised to pop up in the first page of your search results, but with little helpful or up-to-date information about actually living in Timor-Leste.

The blogs I did find I leaned on heavily and read right to the end — which is part of the reason why I started Sophie Rai Liur when I arrived in Timor-Leste in March 2017: paying that knowledge forward.

On this page, I’m keeping a list of the current and former Timor-Leste blogs that I have found interesting and helpful. If you’ve got a tip that you don’t see on this list, please let me know.

Timor-Leste expat blogs I love and recommend

Dili Dally — the detailed and now-dormant blog of two New Zealanders who volunteered in Timor-Leste between 2013 and 2015; I read every single post here before I arrived and found it wildly useful and illustrative of the daily life I might have. Pip’s writing is wise and lyrical, and the couple’s perspective on life in Timor-Leste is deeply insightful.

Adventures in Life and Living — another older blog; another wonderfully illuminating look at life in Dili from Lizzie, an Australian who volunteered in Timor-Leste around the same period as Pat and Pip. I again read every post on this blog before I moved and again really appreciated the thoughtful, reflective writing, and Lizzie’s clear love respect for Timor-Leste, even with its challenges.

Snail in Timor-Leste — a more recent blog from American Haley, who only just recently finished two years with the Peace Corps in a suco in Aileu municipality. Again, I find Haley’s perspectives deeply poignant and thought-provoking — I feel like she often captures in 200 incisive words what I waffle on for paragraphs trying to untangle for myself — and while her blog is personal and reflective, she’s also the author for Peace Corps of some extremely practical Timor-Leste public transport information.

Also, I’ve just found Timor in Translatation – another former Peace Corps volunteer blog! Short, fun posts about life in Liquica.

Timor See Saw — another one I’ve read every page of! This is the beautifully written family blog of the Australian couple who arrived in Timor-Leste a couple of years ago to work at the Bairo Pite Clinic and who now run Maluk Timor. I love this for the contemplative, sage and funny writing; the diligently uploaded photos showing not just telling life in Timor-Leste; and for the perspective that encourages reflection on privilege without preaching it.

Mobilis Divers — the fun, chatty blog of divers Noelle and Chris who have recently arrived in Timor-Leste. This one reminds me how important and intriguing it is to listen to people who have arrived in a place after you; no need to wallow in my smug expat comfort when people are sharing quirky, interesting new observations about life here.

Betty Loves Blogging — how did I not find this blog in my early panicked googling? Ashlee spent six months in Timor-Leste in 2012 and produced reams of the chatty, helpful, thoughtful, reflective blog posts I try to write myself (I have to link some specific useful posts here: top 10 places to eat in Dili, how to catch a taxi, strange town) — I’m opening tab after tab on her site right now.

Helpful, one-off blog posts about Timor-Leste

Timor-Leste isn’t the most popular tourist destination, but some of the people who have managed to visit have written excellent, informative posts about their trips. I’ve liked:

What else?

Do you agree with my choices? Do you write a great blog yourself? I’d like to updatethis list, so please get in touch if you’ve got any recommendations.

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