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traveling to papa new guinea and i need advice!!?

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would like to know how expensive it is in PNG, if a visa is required and how touristy it is there.
5 years ago, November 8th 2008 No: 1 Msg: #53912  
greetings all,
i am planning to travel through papa new guinea around june next year. i have heard little about this country and some of the bigger questions i have about this country are mostly to do with travel costs and things to see and do.
do you require a visa for PNG if you stay under 30 days? what is the most popular and cheapest means of transport? Is it very touristy at this time of year in PNG? are there many dive sites and nice beaches around? can you rent a motor bike over there?
I would be intersted in anything anyone has to say about this country in regards to tourism, culture and adventure!!
Reply to this

5 years ago, November 8th 2008 No: 2 Msg: #53918  
Hello Daniel

I moved this to the Oceania forum.

Mel Reply to this

5 years ago, November 14th 2008 No: 3 Msg: #54586  
Hi Daniel,

Just a quick response. First of all, PNG is a great country and I would certainly encourage you to visit. But on your specific questions:
- Whether you need a visa depends on what passport you hold. Nationals of some countries can buy a visa on arrival which will allow them to stay for up to 60 days.
- Amazing dive sites and beaches. Madang, Kavieng, Kimbe, Tufi, Alotau are all recommended!
- Not many people here ride motor bikes, so renting one could be tricky.

Let me know if you have further questions.
Erik
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3 years ago, May 31st 2010 No: 4 Msg: #112122  
B Posts: 830
Hi Daniel, PNG is awesome but it is NOT a touristy country - as Erik has mentioned diving is awesome, I spent most of my time in Alotau and Kavieng is pretty special - please remember this is not a country that is developed - my recommendation rather than trying to do it alone where you will be a very obvious target for the rascal gangs is to try a liveaboard boat - theres a couple you can google - not sure if im allowed to mention specifics this but Mike Balls boats are up there. Im Australian so had a visa organised before I left. Again, this is not an easy country nor is there any real tourism infrastructure and the police can be as corrupt and dangerous as the raskols, by the same token you will find people who are just absolutely beautiful and try their best to be helpful. Language barriers are a problem as different tribes have different dialects from region to region. I dont recall seeing any bikes for rent or any bikes on the streets. Public transport is PMV that operate on a system I dont understand. I was lucky to be a guest on a private dive boat with full security organised by my hosts who live and work in Moresby. It is an amazingly beautiful truly wild country and I (selfishly??) would hate to see PNG developed for mass tourism. If you want bars, bikes and bintang head to Indo. If you want a real cultural experience that will stay with you forever, visit PNG.

For something stupid thats a once in a lifetime experience from Moresby catch the last flight to Moro today...the boarding call made me laugh so I did it..."last plane to moro to day"...also shared this flight with three chickens, a couple of piglets and two mackerel in a bucket flapping around!. Have fun! Reply to this

3 years ago, November 8th 2010 No: 5 Msg: #122590  
Erik & Cindy

How long was your stay and did you feel it was enough?
Can you provide a brief outline of what your trip looked like?
How much interaction did you have with the various tribes?
Did you see or participate in any festivals or rituals?

MJ Reply to this

3 years ago, November 8th 2010 No: 6 Msg: #122605  
Hi MJ,

I lived in Port Moresby for a little over 3 years, and during this time took a variety of trips around the country. As to the recommended length of stay, it really depends on which places you'd like to visit. - Would you like to go scuba diving, vsit a cultural show in the Highlands, go surfing, bird watching in Western Province... etc. As distances are large and nearly all travel within PNG is by plane, the more places you want to visit, the more time you'd want to take. Overall, I think 2 weeks is a good starting point. If you have a particular interest in the different tribal cultures, I'd recommend that you come around either the Goroka Show or the Mt Hagen Show, which take place in August and September.

Kind regards,
Erik Reply to this

3 years ago, November 8th 2010 No: 7 Msg: #122606  
Thanks Erik,

I'm a diver but will want to explore the culture. I will take your advice. Reply to this

3 years ago, November 11th 2010 No: 8 Msg: #122763  
B Posts: 830
Again, cannot stress highly enough this is NOT a country set up for Tourism. Last dive trip was 17 days...Alotau has a nice little place called Driftwood but it is not a cheap option. There are very few backpacker/dorm type accoms anywhere in PNG and you may find those that do exist are unfortunately filled with mine workers. If you google tourism papua new guinea you will find links to all accomodation in the country - and take note that backpacker listings say the starting price is $50 - $100 AUD per night so not exactly budget. Realistically expect a budget of at least $150AUD a day.
You will also find that the accomodation places listed generally organise any tours you may want to do for good reason - you cannot just wander along hoping to bump into different tribes because the tribe you may have just met may be in conflict with the next tribe you come across so you will not be given a warm welcome. Papuans are lovely people but it is not a safe place for anyone travelling alone or in small groups and the logistics of going off trekking by yourself are ridiculous......the humidity and terrain make trekking very very difficult. Several people have died trying to trek the kokoda trail with organised guides so dont expect it to be a walk in the park. The owen stanley ranges are like knife edges..add in mud, torrential rain and humidity and you will find its not like trekking anywhere else.
You dont see backpackers in PNG for all of the above reasons...You see plenty of PSAs (private security agents) for good reason......its a dangerous place. There are no similarities between travelling in asia and travelling in PNG, its a whole world and 40,000 years apart.
As Erik has said you cant hire motorbikes and go do your own thing. I hate organised tours but the best advice I could give would be to contact one of the places listed in the PNG tourism website and ask them about rates and tours.

Regarding visas -
A 60-day Tourist Visa is available on arrival in Port Moresby at a fee of K100.00. To obtain a visa before you enter the country costs K75.00. You will need travel documents, sufficient funds for your stay in the country and airline ticket with confirmed outbound flights before expiry date of your Visa. As some restrictions apply to several Asian, Eastern European and African countries check with the PNG government via their website.

June is in the dry season but it doesnt mean its not going to rain - if it does expect roads to get washed out - As Erik has said the main method of getting around is air transport for this reason..plus corruption and risk of raskol gangs so driving yourself around isnt really an option - walking after dark or walking alone in PM including the Ella Beach area is just asking for trouble. It WILL find you.

Dave & Merry Jo - I have dived Alotau and the Trobriand islands, Kavieng, Madang and Tufi and once you've dived PNG you will be spoiled for life. Under the sea is just amazing. Really awesome variety of diving from muck diving to wrecks. As you are divers, the best recommendation i could make is book on a liveaboard or the dive resort at madang. There are no dive shops around to hire gear from and go for a DIY dive. Currents can be pretty intense. Vis is amazing.

People out of Port Moresby are a lot friendlier and are generally very curious about travellers. We had many encounters with villagers in dug outs paddling up and hanging behind the boat for hours before plucking up the courage to say hello. Try and learn a few words of pidgin. Theres an online pidgin dictionary. For all the difficulties, if you can get there, it will be an amazing experience you will never forget if you do it properly. Papuans dont look people in the eye until they know you so dont be suprised to find people shaking your hand but looking at their feet. Dont be suprised to have kids following you with wide eyes. Its amazing, beautiful, raw, humbling and when you do make contact with local villagers they will more than likely adopt you as a family member - and when they have nothing, they will find something to give you - and a gift from a papuan is truly...a gift from the heart.

Im not trying to put anyone off going to PNG im just trying to make people aware that this is not a tourist destination with infrastructure to cater for tourists on a budget. Its a difficult place to get to and you will pay a lot to get there but if you can.........you will never forget it :)
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3 years ago, November 11th 2010 No: 9 Msg: #122786  
Sounds great, thanks. Reply to this

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