Timor-Leste is a place that will appeal to everyone in many different ways. From spectacular underwater sceneries, palm tree-lined serene beaches, remarkably eventful past to upcoming urban destinations, this island nation has it all to suit people of different mind frames. Timor-Leste or sat Timor, as it is popularly known, also has got a certain mysterious thrill attached to it with its collection of unexplored natural landscapes and unspoiled beaches. Located in Southeast Asia, this island of Timor is part of the Malay Archipelago. Being the largest and easternmost of the Lesser Sunda Islands, Timor-Leste includes the nearby islands of Atauro and Jaco and Oecussi-Ambeno and an exclave in Indonesian West Timor under its jurisdiction. The topography of the country is basically semiarid and mountainous. Mount Tatamailau is the highest point in the country at 2,963 m.
Once inhabited by Vedo-Australoid and Melanesian people, the islands of Timor were first colonised by the Portuguese in 1520. The Dutch arrived a century later and after wars with Portugal forces the islands were divided among them. Portuguese achieved the eastern part or present day Timor-Leste, as ‘Leste’ means east in Malay dialect. East Timor declared itself independent on November 28, 1975 only to be occupied by Indonesia 9 days later. After much international pressure and UN intervention, the Democratic Republic of East Timor or Timor-Leste was born on May 20, 2002. The country is famous worldwide for its sandalwood collection.