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Day 029 - Crossing Borders: Journeying from Indonesia to Timor-Leste

Updated: Oct 1, 2023

Day 029 (30 Jan 2023) - Atanbua, Indonesia to PLBN Mota'ain, Timor-Leste to Dili, Timor-Leste. Timor-Leste is my third destination on this solo bike world tour.


DAY 029 (30 JAN 2023) – Started my journey to Timor-Leste early in the morning. Headed to PLBN Mota’ain, which was about 35 mins away (22 km) from Atambua.

The Mota’ain Border Crossing Checkpoint (PLBN Mota’ain) is a major border crossing checkpoint with customs, immigration and quarantine services for pedestrian and vehicular traffic crossing between Indonesia and East Timor. It is located in a mini village known as Mota’ain, on the Indonesian side of the border. The corresponding checkpoint on the East Timor side is Batugade.

Upon immigration and customs clearance at both borders, I crossed over to Timor-Leste without any hassle.

As I crossed the border, I met a fellow biker, Dr Sam from Timor-Leste. Dr Sam (center in the picture) is very well-known in Timor-Leste. This is my first time meeting him, and he was kind enough to greet me at the border. I was impressed with his BMW GSA 1250 bike.

We rode on our individual motorbikes to meet another biker friend, Boy Sabak (right in the picture). I have known Boy Sabak since 2021. He has been helping me to get contacts and providing info about Timor-Leste.

The 3 of us then headed to Dili on our individual motorbikes. Along the way, we stopped by to say hello to a few other bikers. As we continued our long journey, we had to ride carefully all the way to Dili as it was raining heavily.

Upon reaching Dili, I checked-in at the ‘Rocella’ hotel, which costs about USD 40 per day with breakfast. In Timor-Leste, the currency used is USD.

Later at night, Boy Sabak visited me at the hotel with another friend, Maik. Maik, who’s real name is Edinho, visited my house when he came to Malaysia 3 months ago. I took him for a banana leaf meal and showed him around KL. It was nice to see meet him again on his side of the world.

Fun Facts : Timor-Leste came under Portuguese influence in the 16th century and remained a Portuguese colony until 1975. The Portuguese language is compulsory in schools, 2nd being English and 3rd the Indonesian language. ‘Tetun’ is the traditional language spoken in Timor-Leste.



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