East Timor

Capital city Dili
Surface 14,874 km²
Population 1,340,000
Road network length 2,500 km
Length of highway network 30 km
First highway 2018
Motorway name ?
Traffic drives Left
License plate code TL

East Timor or Timor-Leste is a country in Southeast Asia. The country is about half the size of the Netherlands and has about 1.3 million inhabitants. See East Timor population density. The capital is Dili.

According to ABBREVIATIONFINDER, East Timor includes the eastern part of the island of Timor or Timur, and an exclave in the west of that island. The country has land borders with Indonesia, and is located 650 kilometers northwest of Darwin in Australia. To the south is the Timor Sea, to the east the Arafura Sea and to the north the Banda Sea. The island is mountainous and covered with tropical rainforest, which is partly deforested. At 2,963 meters, the Tatamailau is the highest point in East Timor. The country has a tropical climate. The capital Dili is located on the north coast and has 150,000 inhabitants. Baucau is the second largest city in East Timor with 16,000 inhabitants.

East Timor was a Portuguese colony between 1796 and 1974, and declared its independence in 1975, after which Indonesia occupied the area. East Timor was declared a province of Indonesia in 1976. After this, a period of conflict broke out, ruining East Timor’s economy and infrastructure. In 1999, a referendum followed, in which a convincing vote was taken for independence. In 2002 East Timor became a sovereign state, the first new state of the 21st century. East Timor is one of the poorest areas in Asia due to the long conflict with Indonesia.

Timur means “east” in Malay and Indonesian. So East Timor actually means “East East”.

Road Network

There are approximately 5,000 kilometers of road in East Timor, of which 2,500 kilometers are paved. Most roads are in poor condition and many bridges have been rendered useless by floods and conflict, making land transportation very difficult. There is a coastal road around the island, which is partly unpaved. There are no motorways in East Timor, and much of the traffic consists of 4×4 vehicles from international aid organisations. Large parts of East Timor have been deforested, causing soil erosion, and many roads are impassable due to landslides. Because there are no cities of any size outside Dili, intercity traffic is very limited. Large parts of the population live in rural areas.

With support from China, construction of the 155-kilometer Suai – Beaço Expressway along the south coast has started. Initially, 30 kilometers was built at Suai, which opened on November 17, 2018 as East Timor ‘s first highway.

Road numbering

There is no road numbering in East Timor.


Little is known about the signage in East Timor, but it can be assumed that it is sporadic to almost non-existent. The signage consists of green signs with white letters in Portuguese. The new highway to Suai has Indonesian style signage with exit numbers.

East Timor Location Map