Weekend with Jesus at the Beach, Cristo Rei, Dili, East Timor

cristo rei, dili
The 88.6 foot high statue of Jesus standing at the top of the globe, while looking over the magnificent mountains and ocean of Dili has to be the most prominent landmark of East Timor.

Back in 1996, when East Timor was still considered as a province of Indonesia, then President Suharto has unveiled the Cristo Rei statue as a gift and to appease the predominantly Catholic Timorese.

Situated at the beautiful coast line and open beach of Cape Fatucama, Cristo Rei is easily reachable from downtown Dili, either via private car, taxi, motorbike or do as what I usually do- walk.

It takes 500 steps or so to reach the statue while passing by several niches showing the Station of the Cross. The pathway is covered with trees and it is nice to stop by each station to read both the English and Tetun (Timor language) version of the station.
cristo rei, dili
cristo rei, dili
cristo rei, dili
cristo rei, dili

On my way up I was accompanied by two groups; kids who are playing at entrance and teenagers who just finished swimming at the beach and now heading up to the statue where more friends were waiting for them.
cristo rei, dili
cristo rei, dili

Despite the very hot Dili afternoon, climbing the stairs is easy and fun, the view keeps getting better and better as I reach higher elevation.

I took the final steps playing the counting game with a kid while he happily refers to me as “China” to the delight of his mother.
cristo rei, dili
cristo rei, dili
cristo rei, dili

Finally, I reached the Jesus statue where I met the rest of the family.
I never been to Brazil, so for now this has to be the tallest Jesus statue that I have seen.
cristo rei, dili
cristo rei, dili

On every turn and corner around the statue is a magnificent panoramic view of Dili. My favourite has to be the Jesus backside view of lush mountain range, white sand and unspoiled coastline.
cristo rei, dili
cristo rei, dili
cristo rei, dili

Cristo Rei is the most popular weekend getaway for the locals.
cristo rei, dili
cristo rei, dili

What I can only assume is the offered free ride from the government is how most of the locals reached the beach area. How they squeeze happily on the yellow truck with one leg out is a sign of a worthy visit and over-all good weekend.
cristo rei, dili
cristo rei, dili
cristo rei, dili
cristo rei, dili
cristo rei, dili

There are picnic huts and benches scattered at Cristo Rei, they are often occupied by families who bought packed lunch and snacks with them. I can’t count how many times I was invited for a meal- a stranger with a camera and that is a true testament to how warm and open Timorese are.
cristo rei, dili
cristo rei, dili

The beach side is quite pleasant, clean and good place for a swim. The only annoying side has to be the motorcycle riders with their noisy engine zooming back and forth at the street across.

There is no denying how beautiful Cristo Rei is.
cristo rei, dili
cristo rei, dili
cristo rei, dili

When there is nothing else to do or nowhere else to go in Dili, which is the real case, Jesus statue at the beach is the answer.

2 thoughts on “Weekend with Jesus at the Beach, Cristo Rei, Dili, East Timor

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s