Stay Safe in East Timor
East Timor is still experiencing occasional ethnic and political tensions, with the potential for bloodshed. This is not intended for outsiders or visitors, but please follow the rules below. Even when this isn’t a problem, keep in mind that you’re in an impoverished nation where crimes like violence and theft are common: East Timor still has a significant foreign presence, including a United Nations mission as well as international police and military personnel (mostly conducting capacity building and training for national security forces).
Foreigners or tourists have been the target of violence in East Timor; visitors should be cautious and take the same measures as they would in any underdeveloped nation. Remember that you are in an impoverished nation where crimes such as assault and theft do occur. The way to avoiding such crime is to use common sense and limit your exposure to potential opportunity crimes such as:
- Avoid big crowds (demonstrations have had the potential to escalate with little or no warning in the past).
- If you are leaving your vehicle alone, remove any apparent valuables.
- Women should avoid using cabs alone at night.
- Women should avoid strolling alone in calm neighborhoods at night.
Stay Healthy in East Timor
There are hospitals in major cities and clinics in many sub-districts across the country, but medical treatment is inadequate for dealing with long-term or complicated medical problems. In the event of complicated surgery, injuries, or serious disease, medical evacuation is often the only choice. Travelers are strongly urged not to visit East Timor without some kind of medical insurance that covers medivac by air ambulance, whether this is through your travel agency or an employer if you are going for professional reasons.