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Timor Leste: From the Ashes

It’s got miles of sandy beaches and pristine coral reefs. It’s got a rugged mountain landscape and wide open plains. It’s got friendly people and great coffee. Yet, Timor Leste is perhaps most famous for being invaded.

Horseman

A Timorese horseman

Ever since the first invasion in the 16th century, this ex-Portuguese colony-turned Indonesian province-turned independent nation doesn’t seem to bear any grudges. Where guns were used just under a decade ago, today’s choice of shooting is done with a camera. Everywhere you go, folks would wave, smile and do just about anything to get photographed.

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Hut in the Timorese Hills

A hut in the highlands of Timor Leste

Huts like these can be found dotted around Timor Leste’s highland interior, which in addition to small villages, often sit in the middle of dramatic terraced rice fields with a backdrop of rolling Timorese mountains that seem to stretch for miles.

When driving along the roads, children can often be seen smiling and waving at passing cars, some hoping to get their photos taken. The scenery and the friendly locals all add up to make a wonderful drive.