East Timor Backpackers
Avenida Almirante Americo Tomas
Tel: 723 8121
Rates: $10 for a bed in 4-person dorm, more for private rooms
Stayed there: July 10th to 16th 2009 (staying there at time of writing)
Like Kupang in West Timor, this is your only hostel in the East. $10 a night is pricey for a hostel bed in this part of the world, but Dili is an expensive place to visit comparitively speaking. If you look at the alternatives in the area, you will spend a lot more than this per night.
It’s very hard to book here. I did try ringing a couple of times, but nobody answered. Fortunately, the manager of the Lavalon Bar in Kupang knows the owner and sent her a text to forewarn her of my arrival. Worth doing if you can as the four bunks often fill up, I am told.
The dorm room is airconned and has a fan. The beds are metal bunks and not so bad, though the mattresses may be a little thin for some. If you’re over 6′ tall you may find yourself hanging out of the ends as well – the mattresses are actually slightly longer than the beds they’re squished into!
There are no lockers, so make sure you trust your room-mates. The door lock is fine and there’s a cupboard to keep things out of sight, but it’s not lockable. Generally, there are people around at almost all hours of the day (I’ve heard staff from the restaurant chatting well into the early hours) so I would say it’s fairly safe in that respect.
The showers and toilets are basic, but you have hot water and loo roll which is more than you could expect in most other places in the region.
The attached bar round the back is apparently one of the cheapest drinking holes in Dili and is nicely laid out. You’re still looking at $5 for a Bintang, though. Perhaps consider saving your boozy nights out until you’re back in Bali.
Dili’s a small city, and the hostel’s located towards the north west of the main area. Most things you’ll want to see are within a short walk – 15 minutes at most. The hostel rents motorbikes (including fuel, I was told) for $25 per day and can also help with booking travel tickets, dives and so on. The owner, Rita, is very helpful – even to people like me with far too many questions!