This charming, lazy little seaside city suddenly found itself taking the role of national capital when East Timor became an independent country in May 2002.
Dili was the classic backwater during colonial times, being the main city of a remote colony in a remote part of the world. However, this heritage left Dili with a distinct Portuguese flavour and together with Macau, is probably the furthest east where you can savour genuine Portuguese food and architecture. The city suffered badly during the post-1999-referendum violence, when many buildings were burnt and much infrastructure destroyed. However, Dili has since recovered remarkably, although one can still see many gutted buildings.