Papua New Guinea Assessment

Old Jan 14th, 2016, 07:24 AM
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Papua New Guinea Assessment

As I read rave reviews of visits to PNG, mostly by people who commend the tour operator they used, I wonder if there is anyone out there who did not enjoy his/her trip or who, afterwards, concluded that it was not worth the effort and/or expense. Anyone out there like that? ZZ
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Old Jan 14th, 2016, 05:29 PM
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I visited on a cruise which I'm sure was as expensive as a land tour would be. I've booked another visit, so I guess I'm one of those who thought it was worth it. The people were very warm and welcoming and staged great cultural shows. I would love to go for the birding one day.

What's the attraction for you?
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Old Jan 14th, 2016, 10:54 PM
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I also am very keen to visit PNG, Femi who is your tour operator and which month are you travelling?

I'm hoping to get to the Mt Hagen singsing and see some Birds of Paradise, hopefully this year.
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Old Jan 15th, 2016, 06:25 AM
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See Birds of Paradise? In the wild, in cages, ?? Of course, the extravagant wild plumes are certainly worth seeing and many such odd plumes can be seen worn as decor by the locals but trekking into the wild to see the birds seems very optimistic.

I wonder how rare those birds are and if threatened by collectors who seek to cash in via western curiosity, much as the Africans do with ivory and the chinese buyers.
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Old Jan 15th, 2016, 07:23 AM
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We are there and back, sometimes bi bigpellamixmastahimbilongjesus. That would be helicopter, if you can translate Pisin.

We are back next month. PNG on land isn't a quaint tourist place, but it is lovely if you have a gun. Preferably automatic. My husband has always carried his whenever we stepped off our boat at Port Moresby, even to go to the yacht club (which is one of the nicer ones in the islands, we'll be back there in Feb), but really, Port Moresby is Sierra Leone on steroids.

If you fly in, stay at one of the airport hotels. Airways Hotel is the best, they have a shuttle to get you inside the razor wire, and the armed security guys check you through the gates (plural).

This obviously sounds scary, take my advice seriously. We carry guns when we go, because the locals mostly carry bush knives.

If you hire a vehicle to drive on the occasional road, never pick up locals, and if you run over a pig, go to the nearest polis post and offer every bit of cash in your wallet (1 Kina=$2.50 AUD)" Pigs are valuable currency and bride price. 12 pigs = bride.

So, PNG is an interesting place.

Who wants to know about Madang, Milne Bay, and all the other islands of PNG?

I may report back from Wewak, West Papua and the Banda Strait, in a month or two.
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Old Jan 15th, 2016, 07:40 AM
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PS, PNG is the most beautiful place on earth. Milne Bay and the Louisiades, New Britain, New Ireland, Kavieng, the places we have sailed to, surfed, dived.

And the Boarders the spouse and his mates repelled by shot of gun, that's one of the hazards of sailing up there.

There's good reasons why PNG isn't a tourist paradise.

And yet we are back in Feb?
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Old Jan 15th, 2016, 07:56 AM
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Having traveled internationally for more than fifty years now and been to about every place I believe I want to go---India and Africa many, many times---New Guinea sounded more interesting to me than Tuscany. ZZ
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Old Jan 17th, 2016, 05:51 PM
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Treepol Noble Caledonia and Zegrahm Expeditions have cruises that are very similar. I think more ships have begun plying these waters in recent years.

I also wanted to go birding but it was just too difficult (and expensive) to arrange as a single traveler. The little zoo in POM (which turned out to be quite nice) had to suffice.

It was strange for me to understand that many of the locals in outlying areas were also avid birders- because they seek specific feathers for their magnificent headdresses! Jobin does have a point, but if enough birders (by which I mean bird watchers visit, eventually birds will become more valuable alive than dead.

Having seen the cultural presentations from other regions, I don't feel as compelled to visit the Mt. Hagen sing-sing which sounds rather like a Rose Bowl + super bowl combination with the equivalent price hikes and crowding.
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Old Jan 17th, 2016, 10:29 PM
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Femi, thanks for the information. I looked at Eldertreks (quite expensive but a great itinerary) and Wander Tours who have a shorter trip for a better price.

Happy travels,


Pol
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Old Jan 18th, 2016, 11:08 AM
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Thanks Pol, it was nice to review comparable land options. Seems like no matter the route, PNG is eye-wateringly expensive.
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