A February 2005 trip
to Papua New Guinea by Bri like Cheese
Quote: It's difficult to describe a place that appeals to me so completely. The smell of copra oil, the children who found my freckles so amusing, and a culture so vivid and determined to maintain its heritage made PNG an unparalleled experience...
The local market is also a highlight, showcasing many fruits, vegetables, and other goods that you'll never see state-side.
However, beyond all the beautiful reefs and exotic fruits were the people themselves. Gracious, curious, and forever smiling, they are what made my trip memorable. If a local exhibition of dancing is coming up, I highly recommend that one go see it... it's sexually charged movements would give the blue-haireds a conniption!
Malaria is there. So before you go, check with the CDC website or your local clinic and find out what shots you or medication you'll need. (I got away with good old anti-malarials and Hep. C shots.)
A Visa is required and all Visa/entry info can be found at www.pngembassy.org.
Some have mentioned that crime is a major issue, and it can be. Dress simply, keep your money in an inner pocket, and don't flash expensive elctronics... just the general rules of travelling should get you along just fine!
Our deepest point in the dive was at 120 feet, and there was a sandy bottom replete with large - lllaaaarrrggggeee!!! - Gorgonians, crinoids, barrel sponges, and a happily lazy white-tip reef shark. Anemones (mostly pink and Clark’s anemone fish species and their host anemones) were everywhere, along with the large schools of jacks and other species that scream to the ecologist in me that this reef is still healthy (a declining phenomenon I've noticed lately). I highly recommend heading to PNG to any enthusiastic divers interested in experiencing what a dive should be like. Say hi to Skeeter for me!
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 22, 2005
Tropical fruit is everywhere, and the locally grown peanuts are an interesting treat (they're boiled, I think). The daily catch is often displayed as well, and bargaining in the local currency, kina, is fierce. They accept dollars readily, however, and are amenable to bargaining. (Frankly, I didn't really think paying $2 versus $1 was bad if a child ate better, and I'm a sucker for the grandchildren’s smiles - I just couldn’t bargain down).
Wear comfortable shoes and breathable clothes but nothing flashy. As a blonde-haired and blue-eyed girl, I definitely stood out, but tight clothes and ostentatious electronics are unnecessary, as this is still a patriarchal society.
Carvings, woven baskets, decorated crocodile heads, and shelled necklaces also abound and shouldn't be missed, but the people selling many of these objects only emerge from the forests up the Sepic River whenever large groups of tourists are expected. Otherwise, the Madang Resort has several locals they endorse on their property who are wonderful people. Enjoy!
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 22, 2005
Bri like Cheese
San Francisco, California