Beautiful postcard by an artist from Arte Moris
A question from one of our readers:QUESTION: Hello Unofficial East Timor- How do I receive old-fashioned mail (are there PO Boxes or poste restante?)

ANSWER: With no street numbers and hardly any visible street names, post can only be delivered to the main post office in Dili. You will need to purchase a PO Box to receive your snail mail.

The mail system can be unreliable and often mail is accidentally sent to Delhi (India) instead of Dili!  We suggest you get your senders to write “Dili via Darwin” on the envelope especially if they are posting from Australia.

Also, if you are working somewhere in East Timor, it’s likely they will have a PO Box already so ask them if you can have your post delivered to theirs.

Address of the Post Office in Dili:
Av Bishop de Medeiros (across from the Alola Foundation and the Exhibition Centre.

Map of Post Office in Dili:
How much does a PO Box cost?
Around $50US/yearWhere can I buy postcards?
There are an increasing number of different postcards on sale around Dili. If you can’t find any check out the ones at Xanana Gusmao’s Reading Room, Venture Hotel, Dili Beach Hotel, Arte Moris and Hotel Esplanada.

Postcard from East Timor

Postcard from East Timor ‘Freedom’
And for all of those stamp collectors out there it’s worth a visit just to get one of their beautiful stamps (see below):
Stamp East Timor

Stamp from East Timor 2011
Some extra advice

  • Take small notes or coins if you are buying stamps or envelopes. When I went, they couldn’t even change a $5 US note so I had to go and buy some chocolate and water off a street vendor to get some change.
  • Expect long delivery times- at least a month for post to even reach Australia!

Other options
If money isn’t any issue and your pressured with time then there are plenty  of courier companies in town including:

If you know of any other courier companies operating in East Timor, or you have any other advice, please let us know in the comments field below.