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Vanimo is renowned for the long sandy beaches along each side of the peninsula on which it sits. Some of the beaches further along the coast are noted for their great surfing when weather conditions are right, but the rocky beaches in these areas makes them more suitable for experts than beginners.
Both of the main hotels in town, the Sandaun and the Vanimo Beach hotels are located just off the beach and provide suitable accommodations and meals for visitors. I cannot remember which of the two it was that I stayed in during my trips to Vanimo, but I also don't recall any bad experiences!
The north coast of Papua New Guinea between Vanimo and the nearby village of Aitape was struck by a major disaster on July 17, 1998. This was the result of a large tsunami generated by a Magnitude 7.1 earthquake just off the coast here, with the resulting waves killing an estimated 3000-4000 local villagers in their thatched huts located on the low shores and lagoons in this part of the country.
Updated Aug 27, 2005
Favorite thing: Vanimo is located in the far northwest of mainland Papua New Guinea, only a few miles from the Indonesian border. Located in the former West Sepik province, this off-the-beaten-path province has recently been re-named 'Sandaun' province in order to achieve greater distinction from its more famous neighour, East Sepik province. The new name derives from the local 'Pidgin' language word for 'sun down', because this western border town is one of the last places in PNG where the sun finally sets each day. From within PNG, there are no direct road connections to this remote corner of the country, islolated as it is by the vast swampy tributaries of the Sepik River, the Bismarck Sea and the wilds of eastern Indonesia.
Updated Aug 18, 2005