December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas !!

Management & Satff of PNG Explorers Internatioanl express Big "Thank You !!" for your support in 2009 and we wish you all a Happy Christmas &
a prosperious New Year 2010.

December 23, 2009

New Restaurant Open at Gateway Hotel

After a long construction period, work is almost completed at Gateway Hotel.
One of the latest features is the new "Wild Orchid Restaurant", which replaces the old "Ani Ani Brassiere". The new Restaurant is much spacious, brighter and comfortable.
If you come to Port Moresby, please try a Wild Orchid Restaurant.

December 15, 2009

Season for Flower

Port Moresby is starting to rain these days, and becoming greener and greener.
Colourful flowers have good contract with the green back ground and decorate the town with Red & Yellow. This is the start of flower season in Papua New Guinea.

December 12, 2009

Home-grown Aibika for Dinner

Yesterday, we have harvested the Aibika leaves from our home garden.

Some of you have never heard "Aibika". It is a green leafy vegetable common in South Pacific countries. It goes very well with chicken & other meat and a "Must" ingredients for coastal people of Papua New Guinea.
I did not know that Aibika flower looks like Hibiscus, because nobody awaits here until the plant is flowering - harvest and eat before the flower blossoms.

We cooked the Aibika with pumpkin & chicken for a Dinner.

If you are next time in Papua New Guinea, don't forget to eat Aibika.

November 27, 2009

Visit Team Eastern Highlands

Yesterday we have visited Team Eastern Highlands at Taurama Primary School outside Port Moresby and donated Rice Bags, Chicken & other food stuff on behalf of Goroka Trek & Tours.
They are here to participate in the 4th PNG National Games and are cooking their own food while staying at school dormitory.
The donation was a big surprise but much appreciated by the team members. - Hope it has filled up everybody's stomach.
Team Eastern Highlands are currently at 3rd Place after NCD & Morobe Province.

November 18, 2009

Highlands Highway Overland Tour

Highlands Highway, or Okuk Highway is definitely the nation's lifeline.
Main Export products like Gold, Tea, Coffee are transported to coastal town of Lae & Madang for export, and imported consumer goods go up the Highway.
Here is the virtual tour of Highlands Highway from Mt Hagen to Lae.

Mt Hagen at altitude of 1600m is a commercial centre in the Highlands Region.
Outside the Mt Hagen, you can see a large Tea plantation on the road side.
You will then pass the limestone country of Chimbu Province and arrive Goroka, Coffee capital of Papua New Guinea.

The Road will wind down the valley to lowland, through grassland country of Eastern Highlands.

On the way, you will encounter a breathtaking view of Yonki Hydro Dam. The Dam supplies most of the electricity in Highlands, Madang & Lae.

Further going down the mountain, you will reach Markham Valley outside of Lae.
The temperature dramatically changes from freezing 10 degree to "sweating" 30+ degree .
Travelling the Highland Highway is not as comfortable as you drive the highway in other countries. However, if you have a bit of adventurous mind, it is worth taking as you can enjoy different scenery, plants, people and culture.

If you next visit Papua New Guinea, don't miss this exiting part of the country.

November 13, 2009

Tree Kangaroo

One of the most unique, and cutest animals in Papua New Guinea is Tree Kangaroo.
As the name tells itself, it is a family member of Kangaroo, Wallaby & Koala in Australia - Marsupials. It doesn't hop much as Kangaroo & Wallaby, but is a very good tree climber.

Local people hunt the animal and eat the meat for thousand of years - many say the meat is "sweet" but I have never tried it yet...
There was sound population of Tree Kangaroo across the country, however, dramatic increase of human population and cutting down of the forest has been a great threat to the tree kangaroo these days. Thanks to the American-based NGO, first-of-its-kind Nature Conservatory was started in the remote mountains of Huon Peninsula to protect the bio-diversity in the area and particularly the Tree Kangaroo.
We also would like to support any positive action to protect the Tree Kangaroo.

November 12, 2009

Kundu & Kanu Festival, Bigger & Better

Kundu & Kanu Festival was held in Alotau over the last weekend (6,7 & 8 Nov).
People from all over the Milne Bay province, other provinces & overseas flocked into the normally quiet town of Alotau and witnessed the cultural festival.

Kanu (=Canoe in Tokpisin) has been a main transportation in the Milne Bay where more than 600 islands are scattered around.The larger canoe was used for the "Kula Trade", traditional barter system involving circle of islands.
Even now, people use the canoe for going to school, church, fishing and carrying the garden crop
for sale. Canoe is still one of the lifeline in Milne Bay and rest of maritime provinces in Papua New Guinea.

November 11, 2009

Underwater Jungle

Papua New Guinea has Forest everywhere, from Lowland Tropical Jungle to "Cloud Forest" in the Highlands. But it is not only found on Land.
If you go for snorkeling or scuba diving, you can also enjoy the "Underwater Forest."
The coral reefs are so healthy and attract thousands of colorful reef fish.
Diving & Snorkel ling are available in different locations all year round, namely in Alotau, Kavieng, Kimbe bay, Madang, Port Moresby, Rabaul & Tufi.

November 03, 2009

Mandarin Fish

Colorful Mandarin Fish is always photogenic.
This one is looking at the Lens as if he (she ?) is waiting for a kiss !!
Mandarin Fish has been identified in different diving locations in Papua New Guinea, i.e. Tufi, Madang, Kavieng, Alotau etc...

October 31, 2009

Welcoming Orchid

This is another orchid I have seen at the nursery of the National Capital Botanical Garden recently. I reckon it is Dendrobium species, but not sure about the name...
What made me interested was that the flower looks like a "person is bowing down for the visitor, with hands open to hug you." So I decided to call it ""Welcoming orchid." - sorry if there is any other common name already exists !!
There are more than 3,000 species of orchid in Papua New Guinea, which accounts for more than 2/3rd of all the orchids in the world, and they are waiting to "Welcome" your visit.

October 27, 2009

Jelly Bean or Passion Fruit ?

The other day, I have found a funny-shaped orchid - Dendrobium smilliae - in the botanical garden. Well, this orchid was "found" in 19th century, so it is not "new" spices but the shape of the flower is very unique compared to other orchids.
For me, the seeds resembles like the inside of a tropical fruit so I named it "Passion Fruit Orchid".

However later, I found that it is called "Jelly Bean Orchid" by village children.

I have looked at pictures but I still support my idea of "Passion Fruit Orchid"......
What do you think ??

October 24, 2009

Cancellation of 49th Morobe Show

It is regretted that due to cholera outbreak, this year's Morobe show which was scheduled for 31st Oct & 1st Nov is now cancelled.

With the support of many business houses in the province, Morobe Show has been one of the most successful shows in the country, and as far as I know, it has never been cancelled in its long history since 1959.

It affects many tourists who have booked the tour for a long time but the decison was made due to the health concern and we asked understaning of the guests.

Show will definetely come back in 2010, on 23rd & 24th OCT.

October 23, 2009

Pacific Cup Rugby in Papua New Guinea

Pacific Cup Rugby Championship is on the way in Port Moresbty and we have Fiji National Team "Batis" at Gateway Hotel. Here is the snap shot with the Batis members.
Batis members were so friendly and now the samll boy is at a loss whether to support his own National team "Kumul" or Fiji "Batis"......

October 09, 2009

Tsunami panic

After huge earthquakes hit Vanuatu islands yesterday morning (local time), Tsunami alert was sent across the pacific island countries including Papua New Guinea.
Being our memory still fresh after Samoa Tsunami disaster in late September, people are rushing out of downtown Port Moresby for higher area.

I was in a meeting in one office in downtown and around 1040hrs, I was told to vacate the building because of Tsunami alert, some even saying that Tsunami has already hit neighbouring Solomon Islands and on its way to PNG !!

Later I came back to office to find out that there was no Tsunami, and the alert was cancelled at 1018hrs, some minutes before I was told to vacate the building.

Most of the offices, including Banks and schools were closed for the day, even after the Tsunami alert was cancelled as most of the staff has gone home and never returned....

October 01, 2009

Thanks a million - Goroka Show

Goroka show has finished with huge success this year.
This was not possible without the support of the business houses, goverment body and individulas who tried to support the show from their heart.
And not forgetting the people who made a visit all the way to Goroka to see the show from all over the world. Because of you, we could make an effort until last minutes to sustain the show.
The show will be bigger & bettwe next year.
For those came this year, we would like to see you again next year, and for those missed 2009 Goroka show, it is not too late to start a booking for 2010 !!

September 30, 2009

Earthquake in Samoa

Huge Earthquake measuring Richter scale 8.3 hit Pacific Island of Samoa and surrounding area on Wednesday morning. Papua New Guinea, at far west end of the Pacific was not affected, but as a Pacific Island neighbour, we are very much worried about the people who have been affected.
We extend sincere condolences to the family & relatives of who have been affected and wish the quick recovery of country.

September 22, 2009

Nature's wonder at Sialum

You have never heard of Sialum (or Bobongara) at the North Coast of Huon Peninsula of Morobe Province, but the name is archaeologically very well-known for its "terrace" landscape which has risen up every year.
You can find the fossil of fish & shell at the top of the mountain.
Large waisted blade artifacts dating to 38,000 years ago have been excavated at the Bobongara, making it the oldest human habitation site in the South West Pacific.
The area is nominated for World heritage listing and may be the next World Heritage from Papua New Guinea after Kuk in Western Highlands.

September 18, 2009

Wewak Airport Maintenance Completed

After a long period of maintenance work, Wewak airport is reopen for bigger aircraft.Now Wewak airport can cater for Fokker 100 aircrafts (100 seats) and direct from/to Port Moresby.

It is a releif for travelling public, including residents, business community & tourits who have been much affected by the limited seats by 36 seater aircraft.

Wewak is the gateway for mighty Sepik River, cultural treasure of Papua New Guinea.
Photo is Haus Tambaran (Spirit House) of Yessan village in Upper Sepik.
This place can be reached by motor canoe safari tour.

September 16, 2009

Talking about 16th Sep....

Talking about Nation's Birthday on 16th Sep, I forgot that one of our staffs was born on the same day, but bit younger than the nation. Other Staff members bought Jumbo Pizza during the Lunch hour and had a small Birthday Party in the office with Coke.
Happy Birthday !! photo --- Noel gobbling the pizaa up with full smile.

September 10, 2009

Nation's birthday

On 16th September 1975, Australian flag was replaced by the flag of a new country called Papua New Guinea.
We will have 34 years "birthday" of the young nation tomorrow.

Happy Birthday, Papua New Guinea, despite all the problems, I trust your future is bright.
The photo was taken at Independence celebration at Korobosea International school.
From top left, Tolai (Rabaul), Mekeo (Central), Rigo (Central) & Simbu groups dancing away with their traditional costume.

September 08, 2009

Goroka show will go on despite....

Less than a month ago, Goroka Chamber of Commerce who has been in charge of the famous Goroka show for last 5 years has suddenly walked out and tried to cancel the famous Goroka show.
However, Air Niugini, Bird of Paradise Hotel, Pacific Gardens Hotel, Goroka Trek & Tours and other stake holders came in and told the "old boys", "OK, if you can't run the show, please vacate so that we can run it."

Even though it was a start from the scratch without assurance of the funds, we believed in the old saying "where there is a will, there is a way."
With the limited funds, the committee has purchased the laminating machine and making thousands of show tickets by hands with the help of the volunteers.

Eventually Corporate sponsors have responded for the appeal by the New committee and assisted with funding.
The show can not be cancelled by the people who don't have a heart for Goroka and the show.
The show is the pride of Goroka, Eastern Highlands and Papua New Guinea.
The show will go on.

August 20, 2009

village scene - outside Madang

Photo from the recent visit to the remote villages outside of Madang.

People are so friendly and curious about the visitors, get together and entertained us with their natural smile & hospitality.
Cuscus also came and entertained us, even though it is supposed to be his sleeping time.

August 17, 2009

Rabaul - Simpsonshafen

Rabaul, the provincial capital of East New Britain Province of Papua New Guinea is once called "Simpsonshafen" in German New Guinea time. It was shriving business centre by the early settlers including famous Emma Core - "Queen Emma".

The town has been devastated by the 1937 & 1994 volcanic eruptions & World War 2.
However, people who love the "Frangipani town" has come back and rebuilt the town.

With its unique culture tradition such as as Tubuan (by Tolai) & Fire Dance (by Baining), colonial & war history and natural beauty represented by the volcano, it is one of the major tourist destinations in Papua New Guinea.

August 13, 2009

Traditions must go on

Young Theresa was among the Dancers when German TV crew visited Gaire village outside of Port Moresby. She got an instant tattoo on her body & face painted, dressed up in Grass skirt with shell necklaces, and swang her body to the rhythm of the Kundu Drum.
While Western influence is coming to the villages, she learns how to dance at young age and tradition will be passed onto next generations.... Yes, Traditions must go on !

August 07, 2009

Family trip to Loloata

Who said Port Moresby is one of the worst cities in the world ?
Off course there are problems from time to time, just like any other big cities in the world, whether be London, New York, Amsterdam or Paris. But we are living here, going to work and shopping, kids going to school, and on holiday, visiting place like Loloata Island for a relaxisation & fun.

Ready for Snorkeling at "Lion Island"

Afternoon walking up the hill (Loloata means "One Hill" in local Motuan language) to the end of the island until we see "Danger" sign.
After a tiring day, Dinner time !!
Loloata island is located in the middle of great coral reefs, where many scuba divers come from all over the world, but is a place for fun for local residents as well.

August 01, 2009

You can take my photo, but not.....

Papua New Guinean kids are always photogenic by nature.
Especially those in the villages and remote location are not used for Camera, and their shy smile is very precious.
The photo was taken in remote Bogia station, north coast of Madang on the Bismarck Sea.
Yes, you can get my photo, but not......!!

July 23, 2009

Remember the past for the future

23rd July is Remembrance Day in Papua New Guinea, when we remember the people who have devoted their lives for the country, especially during the World War 2 (even Papua New Guinea did not exited at that time).
We can still see the scars of War which ended 64 years ago through the wrecks and remains.
The Photo is the Japanese Bomber (NAKAJIMA 49i "Donryu") sitting down at Alexishafen outside Madang.
We are probably the last generation who knows the cruelness and helplessness of the War, and thus it is our responsibility to tell the future generation not to repeat it again.

July 10, 2009

Amazing Farmers

Highlands people of New Guinea Island are believed to be the first organized farmers in the world, starting drain-equipped gardens more than 9,000 years ago.
They did not, however, formed a country or did not develop modern technology on top of that advantage. Maybe they were happy as they were so they did not have to look for a better life...
Today, Highlanders of Papua New Guinea are known as amazing farmers, making gardens on the hill side of very steep mountains, some climb up to more than 3,000 meters.
The photo was taken from Daulo Pass, border of Eastern Highlands & Simbu Province on the Highlands Highway at altitude of almost 2,500 meters.
This is where people make Sweet Potato, Cabbage, Carrot, Tomato, Broccoli, and all kinds of vegetables you can imagine.
The fertile soil of Highlands and amazing gardening are supporting the livelihood of 6 million population of the country.

July 02, 2009

National Mask Festival on again

National Mask festival will be staged in Kokopo, East New Britain from 15th Jul 2009.
This is one of the most unique Festivals in Papua New Guinea with different mask culture of the country, especially in New Guinea Islands Region get together.

When I visited Sepik River earlier this year, Middle Sepik dancers from Palimbe village- "Mai Mask" - were planning to visit all the way to Kokopo to participate in the Festival. It will be interesting if Sepik & Tolai Mask collaborate and dance together.
One of the main attractions of the Festival, apart from stunning Fire Dance Performance by Baining Tribe is the Kinavai Ceremony by Tolais, main ethnic group of Rabaul/Kokopo.

When the sun rises, Group of cone-shaped spirit figure called "Tubuan" are emerging from the sea. This will be followed by series of sacred ceremonies; Tubuans sit down in line and are whipped by the tabu (shell money), and the ceremony goes on... The real meaning of the ceremonies can not be disclosed outside the secret society members.....
What makes me more interested is that East New Britain , with early contact with European settlers, is one of the most civilized provinces in the country, yet those highly educated people still believe in the secret society and keep the tradition.

If you miss this year's festival, please do not forget to book the fabulous festival in 2010.