"Papua New Guinea" Top 5 Page for this destination Papua New Guinea by jadedmuse
Papua New Guinea Travel Guide: 527 reviews and 1,036 photos
"It sounded like a big bee. We looked up into the sky and there it was...
We were afraid! So we hid behind some bushes and watched as it got closer and closer.
When it landed we saw that it was not a bee at all...and from inside of it came two white men - were they ghosts?!?"
This was our guide's first experience with human contact outside his remote tribal village in the Highlands, back some time in the late 50s.
It was his first encounter with white man.
Today I realize with a mix of poignancy and wonder, that our guide surely represented the last generation of Papua New Guineans who can still recall a time when they had no knowledge of the white man's existence...or of anyone's existence really, outside of their nearest feuding tribe.
Most people will never get to Papua New Guinea, and if they do, it couldn't possibly be the same as it was when I visited it back in 1990. It seems a lifetime ago, in fact.
I've often wondered if there are internet cafes up there in the mountains where we came across feuding tribes with bows and arrows drawn....or down in the Sepik region where the men still carve their backs to scar the skin like crocodiles....surely in Rabaul, repository of WWII ship wrecks and ex-military outpost, there's high speed dial-up....
What we can be sure of is that even Papua New Guinea, considered to be the last frontier, cannot have escaped the fallout of today's progress: drugs, crime, and all the other sociopathic elements that go hand in hand with things like improved infrastructure, organized religion, better medicine, and yes - the internet.
Welcome to our 21st century's definition of progress.
> Papua New Guinea (PNG) is the second largest island in the world and takes up the eastern half of the island (Indonesia Irian Jaya forms the Western half).
> Over 800 languages (and around 3000 dialects) are spoken in PNG, and there are over 600 off- shore islands and atolls. PNG became an independent nation in 1975.
> In 1961, Michael Rockefeller, son of billionaire (and then governor of New York) Nelson Rockefeller, was reported missing. He'd gone on an exploratory mission to Papua New Guinea/Irian Jaya, a place known and documented for its headhunting practice - and was never seen or heard of again.
I wonder what it is they're hunting now...
The person who decides to go to Papua New Guinea is someone who is fascinated by anthropology, and/or an obsessive scuba diver looking for that next great dive destination. Maybe I was a little of both.
Either way, Papua New Guinea goes down in my travel logs as one of the strangest, wildest, and maybe the most exciting place I've ever been. The people were warm and wonderful, the coffee was SUPERB, the diving spectacular, the cultural elements were surprising, and the scenery....well, it was pretty out of this world.
My photos don't do justice to the trip, and my memory is fading more every day.
I knew if I didn't get this down into words now, I will just wake up one morning and think that maybe it had all been a strange and beautiful dream.....
- Pros:Curious, sincere people and a wild, untamed frontier feel
- Cons:Encroaching "civilization"
- In a nutshell:If you never make it to the moon, then at least shoot for Papua New Guinea
The local carrier (Air Niugini) is the best way to get to Rabaul. It's about 1.5 hours from Port Moresby, and about 20... more travel advice
If you visit Rabaul, do NOT miss the chance to stroll along the famous open-air market where you'll find all kinds of... more travel advice
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