East Timor, also known as Timor Leste, is a sovereign country located in Southeast Asia. East Timor is comprised of the eastern part of Timor Island, Atauro island, Jaco island, and Oecusse. The country’s diverse culture is influenced by Roman Catholicism, Indonesian culture, and Portuguese culture. East Timor is also rich in art and amazing Southeast Asian cuisine. Aside from these, East Timor is also home to wonderful sightseeing spots that entices many tourists into the country.
With hardly-touched ‘best-in-the-world’ reefs to dive, dugongs to spot, mountains to climb, and ancient traditions that have survived the ravages of war, Asia’s newest country offers some of the world’s last great off-the-beaten-track adventures.
Tasi Tolu enjoys a somewhat legendary status both as Timor-Leste’s version of Lembeh Strait. This is rather overstating the situation though, as it’s just one site — albeit a very good one. It owes its existence as a dive site to the direct intervention of the country’s President.
Tasi Tolu takes its name from the three freshwater lakes just below the nearby foothills, which fill to capacity during the rainy season and then overflow, flooding the roads and villages in the area. To prevent this, the government commissioned a project to install a drainage channel so that the overflow could run off into the sea. The subsequent design that took the most logical path would have dumped the outflow right on to the Tasi Tolu site. The local diving community waged a campaign to get the drainage channel relocated and ultimately got the attention of Timor-Leste’s then-president, Ramos Horta. Seeing tourism as part of the potential solution to a lack of employment opportunities, President Horta stopped the project.