Holiday makers are not the only ones to return to Tonga’s shores on a regular basis. After a long journey north from the icy krill-laden depths of Antarctica, southern humpback whales take shelter in the tropical reef-protected waters of Tonga to give birth to their young.
The arrival of the whales from July to October completes a remarkable cycle, as the new calves return to where they were conceived 11 months earlier.
Timor-Leste has a strong culture of hospitality and most socialising involves food.
A traditional Timorese lunch or dinner meal includes rice, meat or fish, beans and corn, and seasonal vegetables, with clever use of local spices, fresh herbs, tropical fruits and sometimes coconut milk, accompanied by extremely hot ai-manas (chili paste). Timor-Leste is rightly famous for its rich, dark and delicious coffee, grown organically in the hills. As you explore Timor-Leste it is interesting to sample the different regional coffees.
There is vibrancy and youthfulness about Timor-Leste. This is definitely part of its charm, which most who visit find very refreshing. Timorese in general are gregarious and they like to party. Usually that means joining together with family, friends and neighbours, sharing food and drink, music, dancing and sometimes fireworks. If passing by you are likely to be asked to join in. At the national level, in addition to important religious holidays such as – All Souls, All Saints, Christmas and Easter, most other public holidays celebrate Timor-Leste’s recent independence as a nation.
If you are a coffee drinker you are in for a treat when you holiday in Timor-Leste! Coffee produced here is high quality, delicious and exported all over the world. It is a hot commodity selling at a premium price on the global market, exported to the United States, Germany, Portugal, Indonesia and Australia. The Timorese are also great coffee drinkers, with a preference for it black and very strong.