Andersons Foodland is one of 3 main supermarkets in Lae. It has a wide variety of locally available fresh produce and imported goods, and is a good bet for finding the food item you crave.
You can also buy wine and beer (local and imported).
What to buy: This is a good place to stock up on toiletries and foodstocks on your travels. Rice , tea, sugar, milk (UHT or powderd), salt are all a good idea and highly valued by people that live outside of town.
See Cultural tip: Village Travel Tips
If you are looking for an inexpensive gift - PNG coffee is a good bet (if you plan to travel to Goroka, buy it there at the source).
What to pay: You can get everything, at a price in one of the 3 supermarkets in Lae. The cost of imported frozen and refridgerated products tends to be high. Locally produced 2 minute noodles, and food basics such as rice are inexpensive.
If you do not have a car, the supermarket you choose will relate to proximity alone; if you do have a car, be prepared to visit all three major supermarkets to find exactly what you need. Located in "Top Town" Foodmart is a supermarket and limited department store (upstairs: homeware department). Here you can get imported and local fresh produce. This supermarket is also a good place to stock up on supplies before travelling.
What to buy: Same as the other supermarkets: PNG Coffee always makes a great gift.
If you are going out to a village: unless you are on an organised tour, it is a good idea to bring some basic supplies:
Rice , tea, sugar, milk (UHT or powderd), salt are all good and highly valued by people that live outside of town.
See Cultural tip: Village Travel Tips
What to pay: Same again: Imported refridgerated items are expensive, while; locally produced items are inexpensive.
Papindo is a supermarket/department store and it boasts the only escalator in Lae! Located a few shops down from Andersons Foodland; this is as good a store as any to get basic supplies if you are heading out to a remote destination.
What to buy: For Lae Residents: this is the one-stop for asian food supplies...
For those travelling: the department store upstairs means that you get more than just foodstuffs in one location. Bedding, torches/flashlights, tin and plasticwear, and towels are all inexpensive.
What to pay: Papindo is a terrific alternative to Brian Bell for inexpensive housewares. If you are setting up house in Lae, you will need to visit both to get all you need. (See also Foodmart).
Brian Bell is the alpha and the omega of homewares in Lae. This is where you can get the best and the most expensive.
What to buy: If you are going into the field; Brian Bell is a Coleman dealer and you will find a limited selection of camping products. If you are serious about "going bush", do not rely on PNG suppliers for your equipment. Seasoned travellers come equipped.
This is also first stop shop for expatriates setting up house in PNG.
What to pay: There are bargains to be found on clearance items, but otherwise you can expect to pay at least as much as you would normally pay for the same item in your home country.
The Melanesian Arts Centre is a great place to see artifacts from the Province and the rest of PNG. It is a great place to find cultural treasures and it is a must-see for travellers to Lae.
If you can't make it to the big shop, there is a smaller gift shop "The Nook" run by the same store, at the Melanesian Hotel.
What to buy: From Morobe Province: a Tami hardwood bowl is a great item that translates well to life back at home...every salad you serve in it will bring memories of PNG.
There are so many terrific items to choose from, it is wise to plan two trips to the store: one to get an idea of what is available and another to make your choice.
What to pay: Tami bowls range from 20 - 100 kina (approximately 5 - 25 US$).
In front of Chemcare and Huon Gulf Pharmacies, from Monday to Saturday, local crafts-people sell their wares. From bilums to baskets and necklaces to carvings there is a wide variety of items to choose from.
What to buy: This is the best place in Lae to buy bilums; local string bags (made using the same ancient method as the Aboriginies make Dili bags), constructed from natural fibers or imported and colourful wool.
A number of basket weavers sell their goods here. The baskets, made from cane, are robust and fairly light to carry home. Upon returning home, the main concern of customs agents is the near microscopic cane beatles that can reside within. You can freeze your basket for 24 hours, and/or bang the base on a flat surface to remove dust (and beatles). A final spray with some sort of insect spray ("Mortein" or "Baygone") will ensure that your item is safe to travel.
There are many inexpensive beaded necklaces for sale - avoid jobs tears (pale grey seeds) and banana seeds (long black beads), as they present a threat to agriculture in other countries, and will be denied entry.
What to pay: Bilums: K15.00 - 70.00 (US$ 4.00 - 20.00)
Baskets: K20.00 - 100.00 [Laundry basket size] (US$6.00 - 30.00)
Beaded Necklaces: K1.00 - 5.00 (US$ .25 - 1.50)