Every main town in East Timor has a lively market with a wide array of colorful shops that sell local produce. Waterfront fruit stalls are very common and are mostly manned by friendly local women. Mangoes, papayas and bananas are always fresh. Haggling is unheard of, as you rarely see overpriced goods in local shops.


Organically grown East Timorese coffee is among the best in the world. The coffee beans are known for their low acidity levels, which result in excellent tasting brews. The country also produces a wide variety of flavors, including the caffeine-rich Robusta. Make it a point to buy beans only in traditional markets, as grocery store stocks are mostly pre-ground.


Tais are hand-woven clothe made using traditional weaving techniques. They are a large part of the East Timor’s cultural heritage and are customarily used for religious ceremonies, home decor and apparel. Historically, tais were the unit of exchange for livestock and other valuables. They come in many designs, styles and colors, influenced by either regional origins or familial heritage and ancestry. There is a large tais market in Dili where you can find authentic weavings sourced from all over the country. Local handicrafts like ethnic woodcarvings, embroidered fabrics, batik cloth, and traditional silver jewelry are also sold here.