All roads lead straight to Com!
On the top of tourist lists who visit East Timor are:
You never hear of anyone planning a trip to Com.
Com is located at the eastern end of East Timor in a District called Lautem. It about a five hour drive from the capital, Dili. It’s got that sleepy coastal town feel. The main road hugs the coast line along with a resort (think caravan park), guesthouses and restaurants.
What is most surprising is how developed the area is, especially compared to other villages in the Districts. I can understand why people have invested so much in its infrastructure because Com is an idyllic spot. Nothing compares to sitting on the beach & watching the sun rise and set there. And did I mention, they have white wine? There aren’t many places outside of Dili that you’ll be lucky enough to get a glass of white! Tiger beer yes, white wine, no way.
The most beautiful view from the beach in Com
Com’s beach is the perfect place for swimming. On arrival, we wanted to jump straight in and wash away all the sweat we’d amassed from a day of bumping around in the car BUT we’d heard that Com was a haven for crocodiles. We didn’t want to believe that our private beach was also being shared with crocodiles so we asked the waiter at a restaurant for advice.
Us: Can we swim here? Are there any crocodiles?
Waiter: I have lived here for ten years and I’ve never seen a crocodile.
Those were his exact words.We didn’t go for a swim. By the time we set up our tent we didn’t really feel like it. Later that night we ordered dinner from the same restaurant & decided to eat out the front on the sand. There was a massive flood-light lighting the beach and the first few metres of the water. As soon as we sat down, what do you think we saw? Two red eyes swimming right in front of us: the red eyes of a massive crocodile! It was so casual just riding the waves. It was exciting because we’d just seen our first wild crocodile and frigging relieving because we didn’t choose to go swimming earlier in the day. Although, if we had gone swimming and been bitten or even just brushed against a crocodile, well that would’ve made for a pretty incredible blog post!
So with swimming off the cards, what else can you do in Com?
Getting some help as I try on a vest made out of tais
To do in Com (without the swimming)
- Buy some gifts for friends from the local cooperative stores (see picture above)
- Like fishing? There’s an amazing concrete pier where you can cast a line off. If fishing isn’t your thing, it’s also the perfect spot for sitting, taking in the view and enjoying a cold can of Sagiko
- Discover the old Portuguese buildings dotted along the hillside east of the Jetty. Just head up the dirt road, you can’t miss them
Jason setting up our camp site at the Com Beach Resort
|Places to stay
- We camped in the grounds of the Com Beach Resort. It’s a cheap option if you’ve got the gear to camp and of course it means you can use the toilet and shower facilities. The Com Beach Resort is an attraction in itself. There are cabins, a massive conference space, concrete-pebbled water features and a great restaurant. They even have a pool-side apartment for rent, pity there isn’t a pool (yet!)
- There are also lots of local guest houses, but you have to drive past the Com Beach Resort to see them. Mostly simple places, but you’ll feel good knowing you’ve supported the local economy.
While I’m not going to recommend just a trip o Com
, it certainly is worth a night or two as stop off point on the way to Jaco Island
which are only a few hours away. And if you’ve got a conference coming up, there would be no better place. So, ‘Com’ on and get out there!
Can you recommend any other things to see and do in Com? Well then COMment away….