December 31, 2007

New Look for New Year

We have New Uniform ready for the New Year, and wore it 2 days before the actual new years day on 30th Dec, when welcoming exactly 100 guests who will spend New year holiday in Papua New Guinea.

Please see some of the staffs wearing the brand new uniform with full of smile !!
Yes, with New Look for New Year, we will continue to commit ourself to look after our valued guests and make sure they enjoy the holiday without trouble in PNG.
The lucky tourists who spend New Year in PNG are going to
Mt Wilhelm, Goroka, Walindi, Tufi, Kavieng, Rabaul, Madang, Milne Bay, Loloata and so on...

Happy New Year to you all and hope it will be a good year for everybody !!!!!

December 28, 2007

Dinosaur in PNG- Cassowaries

Cassowary is one of the largest birds in the world.
It is a family of Ostrich (in Africa) and Emu (in Australia), but Cassowaries have much more fierce looking than its relatives.Among the 3 species of Cassowaries found in Papua New Guinea, the Southern (Double Wattled) Cassowary is the largest (up to 1.9m), heaviest, and has most scary look. - That is why I have personally named it as Dinosaur in PNG !
It is very territorial birds, and can fight with others with the high, blade like casque on its head, and can run at maximum speed of 50km/hour. So when you meet the Cassowary in the wilderness, it is no use trying to escape from it.... (please be assured that it is not carnivorous and will not be interested in human being)
*Photo taken at National Capital Botanical Garden, Port Moresby

December 27, 2007

Living Museum - Tubuan

Papua New Guinea does not really need Museum, as the people themselves are like Living Museum. Here in Rabaul, East New Britain province of Papua New Guinea, Tubuan Society of Tolai people has kept tradition and secret of Tubuan for hundreds of years, and it is still alive.
It is very interesting to see one of the most civilized people in PNG are stick to the very unique custom and tradition. Even former Prime Minister, Secretary General of International Organisation are member of the society and has kept the tradition.
When we were walking the street of Rabaul, we have found group of funny shaped men.
With Cone-shaped head, body covered with leaves, dancing and walking towards us.
This was the famous, yet full of secret initiation ceremony of Tubuan.
Since it is a sacred ceremony, it is not shown commercially, or shown upon request, unless you are lucky to be there when the ceremony is on.
As a tourist, only way to see the ceremony is to visit the Mask Festival held every year in July.
If you want to see the living museum of Tolai people - Tubuan, please hurry to book for your next holiday with National Mask Festival.

December 26, 2007

Mobile Phone War

One of the biggest events of 2007 in PNG was a Mobile Phone War.
Monopoly by Government owned B-Mobile has ended when the new company Digicel came in this April. Despite numerous efforts by the government to change the law and kick the Digicel out of the country, many grassroots people supported the Digicel.
Digicel has offered <Buy 1 Phone and Get 2 Phones> campaign, and B-mobile has reduced the SIM card from K125 (US$50) to K25(US$10).
Cheapest mobile phones which used to cost more than K200 (US$80) without SIM is now selling as low as K49(US$20) inclusive of SIM. In Town, many shops, buses, sports ground fences and walls are painted either Red (by Digicel) or Blue/Green/White (by B-Mobile).

Thanks to the severe competition, now many people afford to buy mobile phones.
It is also good for the tourists, as Digicel offers international roaming service and B-mobile is tying to follow it. Now you can use your own mobile phone while in PNG !

December 25, 2007

Merry Xmas from Papua New Guinea

Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year for you all !!

December 21, 2007

Most important pet in PNG

What is the most important pet for you ? - it could be dog, cat or fish ?
Here in PNG, Pig is most important domestic animal, especially in Highlands. It is taken care of as a family pet, until its life is sacrificed for either wedding, funeral, compensation ceremony, or Christmas celebration.
Traditionally, wealth was measured by the number of pigs you have, and even today, cash economy is widespread, it is still a valuable asset of people in Highlands of PNG.
People value pig so much that you have to be very careful of pig belong to other people.
The first advice on driving in PNG was – if you hit the pig on the road, never stop, and go straight to police station to ask for a help, otherwise you will get into a serious trouble. – I had to stop at a terrible traffic jam on one morning, only to find out that the cause of it was a family of Pig crossing the road !!
This was in Port Moresby, and you can imagine what the situation would be in Highlands… Thanks to the advice, I have never hit a single pig so far and I am still alive….

December 20, 2007

World Travel Award - Airways Hotel

Airways Hotel in Port Moresby has recently awarded World Travel Award 2007.
It is a worldwide recognition of excellence in its facility and service, and good for Papua New Guinea as a whole. Congratulations for the team Airways Hotel and we other member of tourism industry has to catch up with !! We normally include Airways Hotel for Executive tour package only but if you want to taste No.1 Hotel in PNG, we are happy to arrange for any type of tour.

December 19, 2007

Coral Tree - Black or White ?

Talking about Coral reef, we have received latest photos from Walindi resort.
The Coral tree on the left is called Black Coral Tree, but it is not Black at all: it is all in white just in time for Christmas season. - just as if the tree was covered by snow. Only school of Barracuda is telling us the fact that it was taken in the tropical ocean.
Walindi Plantation Resort, set among the tropical jungle in Kimbe Bay is an internationally renowned Diving Resort, but also famous among the Bird Watchers and Nature Lovers.
If you are Nature Lovers, don't miss Walindi while visiting PNG.

December 18, 2007

International Year of the Reef 2008

2007 is almost finished, and new year is on the way.
New year means different things to different people, but it will be good for Coral Reefs around the world, thanks to
The International Year of Reef 2008 campaign.
The International Year of the Reef 2008 is a worldwide campaign to raise awareness about the value and importance of coral reefs and threats to their sustainability, and to motivate people to take action to protect them. All individuals, corporations, schools, governments, and organizations are welcome and actively encouraged to participate in IYOR 2008.

Underwater world of Papua New Guinea is recognized internationally as one of the Healthiest in the World. - Last Paradise for Coral Reef.
In some countries, mass tourism is a cause of reef destruction but in PNG, tourism industry has learnt a lesson from other countries, and through PNG Divers Association, we have been trying to protect this great asset of earth from destruction.
Even if you are not scuba diver, please try snorkelling on your next trip to PNG, and feel the life in the mother nature. - It will be worth trying.

December 17, 2007

Best Bed for Baby

You will never miss Bilum or string bags while in PNG.
There are dirrefent types of traditional bags, some use coconuts leaves, pandanus leaves etc...
Today, Highlands Bilum made out of wool is more popular than others and even many coastal people are carrying them around. The strong bag is used for carrying the garden products in the villages and as a shopping bag in towns.

When I was new to the country, I was walking around the busy Mt Hagen market: a lady with Bilum on her head was ahead of me - looked like potatos inside, and I was shocked to see that Bag was moving, and next moment started crying !!There was a baby inside, and at that time, I did not know that Bilum was also a good bed for Baby. - It is a movable soft bed and protects baby from the hot sun, and has good air-circulation.

December 14, 2007

New Airplane arrives

We have seen a strange airplane since Wednesday, White in color, and marked as "White".
The Airbus A310-304, leased from White Airways in Portugal is a new solution for Air Niugini until it will have its own wide-body aircraft (B767).
It will join the other aircrafts, B757, Fokker100s & Dash-8s to serve busy Christmas period.
Air Niugini is a flag carrier in PNG and fly to Cairns/Brisbane/Sydney in Australia, Singapore/ Hong Kong/ Manila/Tokyo in Asian ports, and Honiara/Nandi in fellow south pacific ports.

December 13, 2007

Local Diet Yum-Yum !!

Local food is one of the enjoyment of the trip, yet it is very difficult to find local food in Papua New Guinea.
Most of the Hotels are serving only Western cousin, and there is no restaurant offering local food. - simply because people can cook local food in their home and nobody wants to eat outside !
This does not mean PNG has no local food.

There are different ways of cooking and different ingredients.
In Highlands, people use heated-stone to cook the food in an earth oven (in the ground), commonly known as Mumu.
The main protein can be Pork or Chicken, and cooked with Banana, Sweet Potato, Taro, Corn etc...
In Coastal area, some use Clay Pot to cook the Fish and vegetables. It is common to use Coconut Milk to give sweet taste in Coastal & Island area.

What is common in all the local dish is that there is no artificial ingredients, all chemical-free fresh food grown in the rich soil of PNG. Being a tourist, only way to eat those Yummy local food is to join the village tour, but make sure to ask if they offer local food.

December 12, 2007

In Wewak Boutique Hotel

In Wewak Boutique Hotel is one of the latest hotels in Papua New Guinea and its standard is far-beyond and not comparable with any other Hotels & Lodges in Wewak area.
It is small but clean & comfortable, especially good to relax yourself after the village trip in Sepik river. Why there are not many places like this ?
In our package tour of Sepik River Canoe Safari, we include stay at In Wewak, regardless of the budget.

December 11, 2007

Future Leaders of the country

Education is vital for Papua New Guineans, yet many schools don't have enough teachers, not enough class rooms etc... and not all the parents afford to send children to school.
In remote area, some students walk 3 hours to school everyday to get education.
If you are interested to visit one of the schools, we are happy to arrange the visit.
Although it is not a "Must", any small gift or donation - pencils, notebooks, soccer balls, books etc.. will be very much appreciated.You will be welcomed by shy, curious smile of the kids.

Whenever I am tired or have problem, I am always relieved by those innocent smiles of the children.

Today, one of the Kindergarten had its Christmas & End of the year party, and I was invited to attend the occasion. Look at the future leaders of the country !!

December 10, 2007

Kumul Lodge - place for nature lovers

One of my favorite lodges in the country is Kumul Lodge outside of Mt. Hagen.
"Kumul" means Bird of Paradise in Pidgin English.
There are not many places in PNG where you can see wild Bird of Paradise inside the Lodge yard, sometimes from your own room !!
More than 70 species of birds are recorded in lodge yard alone, and more can be found in nearby sites, it is undoubtedly a birdwatchers heaven, but not only that. The misty Highlands Rainforest is home to many undiscovered wild orchid species. Based at Kumul Lodge, we can arrange bird watching, orchid watching, culture visit to nearby village, Mt Hagen trekking etc...
At altitude of 2800m, it will be very cold in the night (you cant believe it is near equator...), but there is a stove in the room to keep you warm. If you are interested in nature, please don't forget to include Kumul Lodge for your trip to Papua New Guinea.

December 08, 2007

Shopping at Craft Market

Craft Market was held at Port Moresby Grammer School Ground on Saturday, 8th Dec.
We took some tourists there for shopping this morning.
On weekend, some schools are providing safe & affordable sales grounds for artifact sellers to get together and sell thier items to the residents and tourists as well.
Ela Beach Craft Market is the most popular one and held last Saturdays of the month (Between February and November), followed by Port Moresby Grammer school one.
Unlike street markets of Asia, the price is almost fixed even in street market like this, but there may be a chance of bargain. Please give it a try !

December 07, 2007

Marketing Training for Tourism Industry

Tourism Marketing Training was held in Port Moresby today, 7th DEC.
Hotels, Lodges, Tour Operators from small to big have attended the seminar, - as young as 20+ years of age and as old as 70+ years old. - Never too old to learn !
We have learned how to plan, what to prepare and how to present our self for the Trade Show.
We hope to see you in next trade shows (maybe in Paris, Messe Berlin, or London) - hopefully with much better presentation (who knows, we may all come in style of Asaro Mudman !!)

December 06, 2007

Surf is Up !!

With North-West Monsoon Swell coming in, Papua New Guinea is in the middle of Surf Season.
We work closely with Surfing Association of Papua New Guinea and orgaize surf trips to Kavieng & Vanimo.
If you are looking for casual, fun wave, Kavieng (or New Ireland) is best place with more selection of accommodations. If your family is non-surfer, there are snorkelling, diving, fishing, and land tours available. The surfing style is basically boat trip looking for best wave for the day.
On the other hand, if you are hard-core surfer looking for a powerful wave, nobody disputes that Vanimo is No.1 spot. Thers is a beach point catring for both Regular & Goofy.
In either way, the biggest advantage of surfing in PNG is that you can surf without fighting for a best wave.
Surf Season runs from November to April, and all the quality waves are waiting for you to be exploered !!

December 05, 2007

Living with a Hope - Malolo T-shirt

Like other developing countries, large cities and towns of Papua New Guinea have a problem of urban mobilization, producing lots of "street kids" every year.
They are thrown out of formal education system, no chance of employment, boring & hungry, eventually got into trouble, alcohol, drug, and criminal activities.

Thanks to the City Mission PNG, those street kids are given opportunity for the training and gained skill to be self-reliant. City Mission provides Agriculture training, Literacy class and now produce one of the highest quality screen T-shirts in the country- called Malolo T-shirt & products.

The boys once lost hope in life are now busy designing, cutting, painting, sawing and selling the T-shirts & other items. The profit of the sales is returned to the Mission for community project.

And it is not only helping the people, but it is one of the best souvenirs in PNG - the design is very unique and represent different cultures of PNG.
We support the initiative of City Mission and have been selling the Malolo products since 2003 at our shop located in Gateway Hotel, Port Moresby.
If you happen to visit PNG, please don't forget to drop in to our shop and buy Malolo T-shirt for your souvenir.

December 04, 2007

X-treme Adventure in Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea is rugged country with lots, lots of mountains.
If you are looking for a real Tough & Extreme experience, PNG is a place to be.

Among many adventurous treks, Mt Wilhelm trekking is not a toughest one but much harder than Mt Kilimanjaro (5,895m) in Africa.

Mt Wilhelm -4,509m (approx 14,800 feet) is the Highest peak of PNG (and Australia/Pacific) , and can be accesible from Goroka by road (3 Nights 4 Days from Goroka)
With Breathtaking view and some of the friendliest people on earth, you can enjoy the X-treme Adventure in Papua New Guinea. Our Team Goroka is waiting for your visit !!

December 03, 2007

Presents for Christmas

Apart from religious meaning, Christmas is also a season for presents.
Bagi , reddish-pink shell necklace is probably one of the most famous accessories and valuable presents in Papua New Guinea. It is only produced in remote islands of Milne Bay Province, and was a important trade item in oldern days.

In a Kula trade circle in islands of Milne Bay, Bagi was used as currency, passed on from the islands to islands in clockwise. There was another item - Arm band made out of shell (Mwali) which was going anti-clockwise on the group of islands.

Unfortunately, it is not a mass-produced item and can not be found in shops.
If you visit Milne Bay, ask people if they have Bagi. If you are lucky, you may be able to buy one and it will be your treasure for life.

December 01, 2007

Christmas is around the corner

Being a Christian Nation (more than 90% is Christian in different congregations), Christmas is very important in Papua New Guinea.
Golden Shower Tree & Royal Poinciana (Flame Tree) decorate the town in Bright Yellow & Vivid Red from late November to December, commonly known as Red & Yellow Christmast trees.
Unlike London, Paris or New York, PNG does not have enough money to have illuminated Christmas Trees on the street, but is blessed with Natural Christmas Trees !