Does Anyone Visit Papua New Guinea

Mar 17th, 2015, 06:17 PM
  #1  
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Does Anyone Visit Papua New Guinea

I just agreed to teach a workshop in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea in October. I'm having trouble finding much info about tourism in the area. My hotel will be provided in Port Moresby, the capital, and I'll have two days off before I teach there. I'm assuming there must be other interesting and scenic places I should visit after traveling so far. I could spend an additional week exploring.

FYI, I'm not looking for suggestions in Australia or NZ. I've been to those wonderful places many times, including 6 weeks this past Nov/Dec.
Songdoc is online now  
Mar 17th, 2015, 06:51 PM
  #2  
 
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Hi Songdoc
Have a look at Trip Advisor & Lonely Planet - probably not too many Fodorites visiting PNG. Fodors apparently doesn't know it's in the South Pacific!

There is a bit of traffic on the TA site.
Bokhara2 is offline  
Mar 17th, 2015, 09:58 PM
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Hmmm...I knew a couple who lived in Port Moresby...they have some pretty scary stories.
Melnq8 is online now  
Mar 17th, 2015, 10:55 PM
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Hmmmmm....from me also. People DO visit PNG - Aussies head up that way to trek the Kokoda Trail - from all accounts - quite gruelling. There are attractions in PNG but few in Port Moresby. We lived on Bougainville Island for two years and it was....shall we say....often challenging?

We didn't venture too far but we did visit Rabaul which has some historical features from WWII namely the tunnels that the Japanese built for their mini subs. I liked Rabaul. We also visited Lae which was also fine.

There are the Asaro Mud Men of Goroka and I think there might be a show in Port Moresby - that would be worth checking out. That's about all I can offer culturally.

However, PNG does have an interesting history particularly during the war. Lots of evidence on Bougainville. Bougainville was one of the coast watcher points as the Japanese planes came down The Slot to Guadalcanal, they were part of a network that radioed the progress of the planes. We came across an old kerosene fridge full of ampules (of what we don't know - morphine maybe), in the bush one day. There are a few ship wrecks and planes etc that had crashed.

The shame about PNG is that it has so many beautiful, beautiful spots really. But there is trouble there for sure and I would encourage you to be very cautious and aware at all times. In our time we had trouble with The Highlanders from Mt Hagen way and they were known as 'rascalls'. I'm not sure what that situation is like now. I don't imagine it is much different to be honest.

There are many, many dialects in PNG but pidgin English is the common language and I have to say it is the cutest language ever, though I never really mastered it, I'm afraid.

I really can't offer much help other than to say always, always be on your guard - that's not to say you won't enjoy yourself, I'm sure you will. Just be careful.

Also be aware that the locals spit - a lot - they chew betel nut with crushed coral and crushed mustard seeds. This combination produces bright red liquid and this is what they spit. Yep it's disgusting. This stuff tends to put them into an altered state, shall we say?

I'm sorry to have waffled on a bit but despite some of the challenges living there we did have a lot of good times.

Good luck and I do hope you enjoy your visit.
stormbird is offline  
Mar 18th, 2015, 02:23 AM
  #5  
 
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There are a number of good reports on Cloudbirders and whilst these focus on birding, some have details of Moresby activities and acommodation.

Sicklebill Safaris from Kuranda in Queensland run a number of tours there each year and could probably arrange your accommodation and activities. There is a national park close to the city where there are good chances to see Raggiana Birds of Paradise - make sure you go with a recommended guide. There are also stilt villages built over the water down the coast from Moresby - again be sure to book a guide from a reputable agency.
Treepol is offline  
Mar 18th, 2015, 05:25 AM
  #6  
 
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I've been there twice for a total of about 5-6 weeks. First, there's nothing to do in Port Moresby except, I guess, speak at conferences. Get away from there whenever you can.

If you dive, and maybe even snorkle, there's great diving all around the Bismarck Sea and maybe off Lae (muck diving near LAE IIR but I haven't been there). Use a liveaboard for the best diving and be sure it's one with the waters near Kavieng on the itinerary.

Diving or not, get up to New Britain island for scenery, Rabaul to see drastic effects of many volcanic eruptions (including last year's) if it's possible.

A great (close to awesome!) thing is to take a cruise up the Sepik River and if you only have 3 - 5 days I would strongly suggest this as you get to visit primitive villages all along and experience things no longer seen anywhere else. I did it on the MTS Discoverer a number of years ago, out of Madang.
NoFlyZone is offline  
Mar 18th, 2015, 06:47 AM
  #7  
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Thanks so much for the replies!

I have a confession. When I was approached about doing this event I imagined PNG to be a beautiful exotic tourist destination along the lines of Tahiti or Fiji -- with the added bonus of an opportunity to see fascinating tribal costumes and rituals. It was only after I agreed to come there that I learned that it is essentially a third-world country with very limited tourism—and an undercurrent of danger.

So … I started rethinking this, thinking I might fly in to Port Moresby; do my job; spend an additional day or two—then leave for some other, safer, more tourist-friendly destination in that general part of the world.

But, thanks to NoFlyZone's post ... I saw some great reviews of a Sepik River cruise on TA and I've sent an inquiry to a U.S.-based tour operator. I'll keep you posted.

PS. We're not birders, divers or snorkelers.
Songdoc is online now  
Mar 18th, 2015, 04:31 PM
  #8  
 
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>>I'm having trouble finding much info about tourism in the area. <<

You should check the Asia Forum -- that is where threads re Papua New Guinea reside . . .
janisj is online now  
Mar 19th, 2015, 03:19 AM
  #9  
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janisj: Thanks so much!!!
I never would have guessed that PNG is considered to be in Asia.
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