EAST TIMOR | The Beaches of Dili | Lakad Pilipinas

Dili Beaches

It took several days for us to finally hit the beaches of Dili. One of the main reasons why was due to its location. While it is right within the city limits—heck, we can even see it from the boulevard in front of the Palacio Governo—getting there by foot, which was our main mode of exploring Dili, was out of the question. So we asked around, not wanting to flag a taxi to go there, and eventually found it was possible to get there using East Timor’s public transport, the microlet.

Dili Beaches
THE BEACHES OF DILI, BORDERED BY MOUNTAINS

Dili Beaches
EAST TIMORESE KIDS PLAYING ON A WEEKEND

Dili Beaches
THE BEACHES OF DILI ARE WITHIN THE CAPITAL CITY

The beaches of Dili, East Timor’s capital city, is located on its eastern part. There are a couple of beaches right at the center of Dili, but these have course brown sand and almost no one swims there. To get to Dili’s white sand beaches, we took a white, number 11, microlet which passes along Largo de Lecidere, and alighted at the corner of Bidau Street. We then took a blue microlet that went straight to the Dili Cristo Rei jump-off where the Jesus Beach is located. En route, we also passed the Areia Branca Beach and an unnamed small pocket-sized beach along the road.

 

 

CRISTO REI BEACH

  ENTRANCE FEE: FREE | GPS COORDINATES: -8.5242239,125.608777


Cristo Rei Beach or Christ the King Beach in Dili is named after the twenty seven-meter monument given by Indonesia to the Timorese people. It sits on the north western side of the mountain where the statue is perched. It has white sandy shoreline—where you can actually see the Jesus statue—which stretches for about half a kilometer and is a popular swimming area for locals during the weekends due to its sandy bottom and gentle waves.

The beach is bordered by a stone fence from the road, with entrance gates topped by sculptures of monkeys. Food vendors hawking packed lunch flock this area during the weekends. We actually tried one of these for USD1.00, and it was good enough to quell our hunger.

We visited this beach twice—once during a Sunday, mingling with the weekend crowd, and the second time during a weekday, where we had the entire beach to ourselves, give or take a group of kids who seemed to have skipped school and decided on playing football on the shore buck naked.

Cristo Rei Beach Dili

Cristo Rei Beach Dili

Cristo Rei Beach Dili

Cristo Rei Beach Dili

 

 

DOLOK-OAN BEACH ~ THE JESUS BACKSIDE BEACH

  ENTRANCE FEE: FREE | GPS COORDINATES: -8.5218013,125.6144824


Cristo Rei’s twin beach, the Jesus Backside Beach is the prettier of the two. Accessing it is much harder though. To get there, one must climb a third of the way to the mountain where the Jesus statue is, then descend the concrete steps to the beach. It’s easy during the early mornings, but once the sun starts to heat up, it gets tiring real fast.

Its English name is a no-brainer, being located on the back area of the statue, but its local name, Dolok-Oan, needs more pondering. Translated from the Tetun language, Dolok means wet ground and Oan means a child.

With a length of almost one kilometer, it does get its share of the weekend crowd despite its location. During our visit, we saw families laying down beach mats, lighting barbecue pits, with a few setting up whole dining sets complete with chairs and tables. Us, we were content on lounging on a malong under the shade of a tree along the beach.

The sand is similar to its twin with its white sandy shoreline, but the waves here are much stronger and some areas along the water has rocky bottoms.

Jesus Backside Beach Dili

Jesus Backside Beach Dili

Jesus Backside Beach Dili

Jesus Backside Beach Dili

 

 

JESUS BACK SIDE UNNAMED BEACH

  ENTRANCE FEE: FREE | GPS COORDINATES: -8.521333,125.6212642


I was actually curious where the elevated dirt road at the far end of the Jesus Backside Beach leads to. So, braving the sweltering heat of the midday sun, I left C of Blissfulguro right by the beach and marched towards it. Other than a couple of mountain goats climbing up the rock face along the road, I met only a single truck loaded with beach-goers as I trudged on.

I was sweating profusely as I reached the bend on the road, pausing for a minute to enjoy the scenic stretch of the Dolok Oan Beach before moving forward.

Turning a few meters westward, the road sloped down and revealed a small beach fringed with white sand with the same bluish green waters. There was absolutely no one at the beach except for a couple, but I was worried for C, I was gone for far too long already. I headed back, thinking of urging her to see the beach too and maybe enjoy its water for an hour or so, but she was having none of it—it was too hot, she complained. Oh, well.

Jesus Backside Beach Dili

Jesus Backside Beach DiliJesus Backside Beach Dili

Jesus Backside Beach Dili

 

 

UNNAMED POCKET BEACH

  ENTRANCE FEE: FREE | GPS COORDINATES: -8.52724,125.6095293


On the second day of our beach outing in Dili, we walked from the Cristo Rei Beach back to town. We spotted this small beach right by the roadside on our way to Cristo Rei, so we thought of checking it out on our way back. The view on this side of Dili was, indeed, better outside a microlet. We enjoyed our stroll, waving no to a microlet every now and then.

About ten to fifteen minutes later, we arrived at the pocket beach. It’s located on a small bend, perfectly embraced by the road. A kid with his father was happily running around the small beach, again, completely naked. When they saw us, he quickly changed back to his school uniform and they sped off. These Timorese kids have no malls to skip school on, they have something better though, the beach!

Beach Dili

Beach Dili

Beach Dili

 

 

AREIA BRANCA BEACH

  ENTRANCE FEE: FREE | GPS COORDINATES: -8.5306121,125.6134809


One of the most popular beach areas for tourists in Dili is the Areia Branca Beach. Since we’re already walking, we went all the way there by foot. There’s a cluster of bars, restaurants, and lodgings on the road along the beach, and we even saw a few tourists having their breakfast set right by the shore.

Areia Branca means White Sand in Portuguese. And yes, it has, indeed, a white sand shoreline that rolls for about six hundred meters. It has a very shallow waterline with a sandy bottom—perfect for kids, but quite frustrating for us since we were unable to really swim. I’m just not sure how high it gets when the tide rises.

Since we’re unable to enjoy its waters and we have quite a lot of time to kill, we went to one of the free-to-use cabanas along Areia Branca’s tree-lined shore and dozed off to dreamland for a few hours. A chill way to end our day at the beach.

Areia Branca Beach Dili

Areia Branca Beach Dili

Areia Branca Beach Dili

Areia Branca Beach Dili

 

 






Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Wednesday, October 24, 2018

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