mate....please come to papua new guinea, and specifically the new ireland province. it is the safest destination in the whole of the pacific.i know because i come from there and you will not have to put up with the re-invented 'cultural' experiences that you find in other pacific island countries. we have the shark-callers, the sacred tumbuan mask [secret society] performances, the renowned malanggan culture and a thousand activities that is culturally enriching to our many visitors. whatever stories you hear about papua new guinea in this forum, crime in only confined to the urban areas of Moresby, Lae and Mt. Hagen. these three cities/towns should be avoided at best when in papua new guinea. kavieng, the provincial centre of new ireland however is more laid back, and people are sure to greet you or you will find yourself moving around unmolested most of the time you are there. the culture is intact and this shows in the respect that people accord to their visitors, either foreign or national.
I did not do many of the typical tourist things - I was either on a working trip somewhere in the country or taking in the Moresby area with family and friends. Even the crocodile farm outside Moresby gave you good value for the entrance price! Also, a nice drive up into the mountains behind Moresby made for a refreshing climate change and there was a nice swimming area at Crystal Rapids and a motel where a cold beer could be had.
Unique Suggestions: Photo of the waterfalls at Crystal Rapids on the Laloki River. This was a great weekend spot where people congregated for the day with picnic lunches. Photo of our two oldest daughters making the plunge! This river normally supplied all the electric power requirements for Port Moresby, but there was a drought for most of the 3-years that we were in PNG, requiring expensive jet-fueled generation to be run. Consequently, there were restrictions on the use of air conditioning in homes. I have loved ceiling fans ever since!
while travelling around the Trobriand Isands by car we got 3 pucture. Having no spare to repair the tire that had as much tread as a baloon, we had to go to the nearest village . While the driver found a way to put a patch on the puncture [with the other 20 -30 patches] we looked around the village.
Mt. Hagen Cultural Show in Western Highlands Province.
Mt. Hagen Cultural Show was first staged in 1964 by many different tribes from Western Highlands Province as a means of (1) sharing the cultural experience with each other, and (2) to celebrate the diversity of cultures among the natives. It has changed its focus to a new one, that is, performing for the tourists.
Please try to book for this festival well in advance as the hotels in the region get booked that much in advance.
Dates of the show are normally in August.
If you want to mail something send your mail only from the lodge, and see that it is being stamped. Our cards never reached the destinations when we mailed them at the post office at Port Moresby. Later we learned that they take the stamps at the post office..and make some money. People are poor so watch your pockets.
be very curfull going with people to their houses, ask them a lot of quastions make sure the answeres that you get match with each other