September 20, 2010

Goroka Show

Goroka Show, the oldest and largest Cultural Festival of Papua New Guinea has attracted many visitors this year. More than 80 tribes participated in the show during the independence weekend - 17,18 & 19 Sep 2010. For those visited, thank you for visiting the most colorful even of the country, and for those missed it this year, it is not too early to book 2011 show, as accommodation is easily booked out during the show weekend.

September 16, 2010

Happy Independence !!

On 16th September 1975, Australian flag was replaced by a new flag of a newly-born country, Independent state of Papua New Guinea. This year marks 35 years of its independence.
People who normally don't think about the country become very patriotic for this moment, national flags all over the places, people wearing PNG flag-designed shirts, caps and dresses. Celebrations going in the capital Port Moresby and other parts of the country.

Happy Birthday, Papua New Guinea !!

September 03, 2010

Life on the river - Sepik

Sepik River is one of the greatest eco-systems in the world and usually referred as "Amazon in the Asia-Pacific". Apart from its vast rain forest, rich marine and bird life, what makes it more interesting is the people & its culture along the river.

Because of its remoteness, western influence is very much limited and even all the tribes have been Christianized, people still keep their traditional customs and beliefs.

Life on the river has changed very little for centuries; people cultivate land and get harvest, catch fish - still living along with the mother nature.

Sepik River Canoe Safari is to see and experience the river people's life from their level, not from luxurious tourist boat or 5 star accommodation, but stay in the village hut, feel the nature and real culture of the Sepik river and its people.

September 02, 2010

Thoughts for Independence

This is already September.....Christmas is almost coming and we are getting older !!
But before that, Papua New Guineans celebrate independence day on 16th Sep.
Papua New Guinea will be 35 years old, if it is human, graduated from schools, hopefully get married, and have certain position in the society....maybe.

Papua New Guinea is blessed with natural resources, gold, copper, oil, gas in the ground, Marine resources like Tuna, Timber and so on....
But I believe that real resources of the country is human being.

Without developing human resources properly, the country's wealth will be deprived by foreigners/politicians and nothing will be left for the future generations.

Education of children is vital for Papua New Guinea to be truly independent and walk on its feet, rather than being controlled by greedy outsiders even 35 years after independence.

Future of the country is on the shoulder of our children.

August 17, 2010

Mt Hagen Cultural Show

Mt Hagen Cultural Show, or widely known as "Hagen Show" was held over the last weekend.
Colourful tribes got together and competed each other to be the best cultural groups.
There were lots of Tourists from around the world came to see the annual festival.
Photo - A male dancer is busy painting his face before the performance.

August 15, 2010

Between the Tradition and Development

The city of Port Moresby is changing very fast. Lots of New Hotels, Apartment Houses, Shopping Centres and Office Buildings are being built under the name of Development.
Here you can see the new Harbor City Development site, with new ANZ bank headquarter, New Executive Apartment and land reclamation site for further construction.
Right at back of it is Hanuabada village of Motuan people; life not much changed for hundreds of years since they have built the village on the water after migrating from other pacific islands.
It is a clear contrast of tradition and Development facing each other.
Everybody wishes for a comfortable modern life but if you believe in development and chase for it, you will lose your identity forever. Papua New Guinea is one of the last countries in the world which still keeps its own identity but it may have gone very soon....
Nobody knows where this country is heading for.

August 09, 2010

Miss PNG Contest

Miss PNG Crowning Night was held over the last weekend in Port Moresby.
The Event is organized by the Red-Cross Society and thus the charity side of the event is more emphasized than ordinary beauty contests.
The traditional part is unique for Papua New Guinea; each contestant dressed up in their tribal costume and being asked about the knowledge of their indigenous culture.
The Title of 2010 Miss PNG went to Ms James from New Ireland Province.
Unlike some other developed country, Miss PNG contest is still one of the biggest annual events of the country in Papua New Guinea.

July 23, 2010

National Mask Fetival 2010

16th National Mask Festival was held in Kokopo, East New Britain Province from 14-17JUL 2010. As usual, the event was opened up by the beat of Kundu Drum from the shore in the dawn by Tolai's Kinavai ceremony.

Lots of tourists visited the festival, including USA, Germany, French, Japan, Australia etc.. and enjoyed the indigenous mask culture of Papua New Guinea.

June 30, 2010

Body Paint

Body Paint is important for Traditional Dance in Papua New Guinea.
Different color is used in different cultures/tribes, such as Red, Brown, Yellow, Black, White etc....
Here in Madang, Body is painted with Red color before being decorated by leaves and feathers.

This is the secret of the red color. The fruit is smashed and red juice inside is used to paint the body, then rub the oil to make the body shiny.
Baby boy was looking at how elders are being painted and he started painting himself.
Yes, I am also a boy and need to dress up !!

June 29, 2010

German vs England

World Cup match between German and England on Sunday ended with historical win for Germans and left a question about introducing the Video Referee. Video ref does not deny the human referee but helps to make a fair decision in a crucial moment, and it has proven very helpful in Rugby. FIFA should seriously consider it.
However, even the goal was admitted, the score would have been 2-4, so Capello should accept the defeat. - Simply Germany was too good for England this time.

Papua New Guinea was colonized by UK & Germans in November 1884 and for us, the game was between former colonial masters. Although Germans officially withdrew after World War 1 defeat, we have lots of German remains, including names like Bismark Sea, Mt Wilhelm, New Hanover, Alexishafen, Finschhafen, to name a few.

Congratulations for Germany and keep going for the World Cup !!

June 20, 2010

Reef & Rainforest

Papua New Guinea is where Tropical Reforests meet with Coral Reefs.
Coral Reef is mother for all kinds of fish & marine life, while Reforest provides food & shelter for insects, birds, reptiles and mammals alike.

Local people are fishing on a dugout canoe, just enough for their family to eat for the day.
Very peaceful....
Due to the western influence, life is changing dramatically here but many people still live on the gift of "mother nature".

June 15, 2010

Best Cot in Papua New Guinea

This is the Best cot in Papua New Guinea.
The baby is in a Bilum (string bag) hanging under the High-post house - it's cool, soft and tender.
I wish I could go back to baby and sleep like this......

May 24, 2010

Future for PNG Football

Soccer World Cup is around the corner.
While Papua New Guinea is not doing well in the FIFA ranking -ranked 202 ----last on the list !! - at Club level, PNG's Hekari United won the Oceanic Club Cup Championship recently. (See Oceania Football Website for more detail.) Congratulations for Hekari !!

At Junior level, inter-school football match is going on in Port Moresby.
(Photo - Under 6 Koroboro Hunters vs. TEMIS Tigers)
During the colonial era, Football was brought by Germans to New Guinea. After the change of colonial master, Rugby League is the most popular sport across the nation.
But there are lots of young kids playing football these days. By the time these kids become senor level, PNG may be going for World Cup -- who knows ??

May 19, 2010

Parasitic Plants

Parasitic Plants are type of plants that lives on other plants.
Here in tropical climate, we can see a lot of parasitic plants on the trunk or branch of a large tree. It is amazing how different plants live together under a "house" of usually larger "Host Plant".The photo was taken at NCD Botanical Garden in Port Moresby.

By the way, I thought that Orchids were also parasitic.
But, according to the expert, none of the orchids are parasitic.
"In nature, many orchids cling to trees and bushes as a growth habit; but they take nothing from the host plant and do not injure it in any way. Orchids that can grow on trees are called epiphytes or, more commonly, air plants" ---- from website of "Orchid House"

May 16, 2010

Unusual Tour Guide

Another story from Madang. While we visited Haya village, baby Cassowary came around. As we walked around the village, he walked ahead of us like a Tour Guide, almost everywhere. - Unusual Tour Guide !
But later I found that he was not guiding us, but made sure that we did not invade his land or spoil his area.... He was actually on Patrol !!
I know Cassowary is very "territorial", but I couldn't imagine that this small bird claimed the whole village as his yard and suspect the new visitor like a criminal.........

Cassowary is very important bird, pet, or domestic "animal" in the traditional village society of Papua New Guinea. Although it maybe not be as important as Pig, it has certain prestige in the society and it is no doubt the "King of the birds" in Papua New Guinea.

May 15, 2010

Divine Word University Tourism Expo

The main reason to visit Madang this time was to attend "LIKLIK DIWAI TURISM EXPO", - the tourism exhibition by Tourism & Hospitality Management (THM) students by Divine Word University, Madang.
As a Tourism Promotion Authority officer at that time, I remember the discussion to establish Diploma course of THM at Divine Word Institute (later became University) back in 1995.
Now I am very glad to see that the course is well-established and have been providing resource persons to the Tourism industry in PNG.
Congratulations for the students & teachers involved for the success of Expo and once again, "Tenkiu Tru" for inviting me to this great event !!

Photo with Nadia (centre), who was one of the student coordinators of the Event.

May 13, 2010

Visit Amele villages outside Madang

Have visited Amele villages on the South coast of Madang.
After a short trip by 4WD, we have arrived in a beautiful Haya village.
After dropping off food stuff for our dinner, we have visited Hobe village where beautiful flower garden setup is made. Pomelo (a kind of orange) was so juicy and tasty especially after a walk in a tropical garden.

The sunset view from Suyao Lookout was amazing... On a clear day, you could see Mt Wilhelm and Sepik Plain stretching all the way to West Papua.

Amale villages (Haya, Hobe, Suyao) can be visited as an extended half day trip out of Madang town, but for those looking for a real PNG experience, village home stay at Haya village, with early morning jungle walk would make your visit much more interesting...

April 01, 2010

New Service Started

Air Niugini has commenced its Second Port Moresby-Narita flight from 31st March.
This will make connection from Japan, North Asia, Europe & USA much easier than before.
Photo above, CEO of Air Niugini making speech before the inaugural flight.
The lucky first passengers were escorted by Dancers to the Boarding Lounge.

March 24, 2010

QANTAS will be back in Papua New Guinea

QANTAS will be back in Papua New Guinea after almost 8 years.
Local papers this week revealed that QANTAS has already submitted an application for 12 x weekly services between Cairns & Port Moresby starting July 2010.
This reflects the economic growth and recent resource industry boom in Papua New Guinea, but it will surely have a positive impact on Tourism sector as well.
It will be a challenge for local airlines, but we hope this will lift the overall service up to a world standard level, and become a Win-Win situation for everybody.

March 20, 2010

Back home in PNG

Finally we are back home in Papua New Guinea.
As the airplane was approaching Jackson International Airport, Port Moresby, we saw the the ever-green landscape & reef-fringed blue ocean.
We normally complain about the heat & humid, but for now, the warm sunshine is comfortable for the body after spending sometime in ice-covered land.
The words came out naturally - "Thanks God, we are back in Paradise..."

It is funny we always admire sophisticated & efficient society in "developed" countries, but when we come back to Papua New Guinea, we always feel healed from inside. It is difficult to express in words, but Papua New Guinea has something special, for sure.

As soon as we were back, we ate Kaukau (sweet potato), Banana and chicken cooked with coconut milk. Although I like Eisbein & Pilsner, nothing is better than home food with SP Beer !

March 17, 2010

In Praha

Team PNG has visited Praha after ITB Berlin for a one day work shop.
On the next day, we became tourists in the historical township.
Photo at the famous Charles Bridge on the Vltava river overlooking Phaha Castle.

March 14, 2010


It is very unusual weather in Germany (& Europe in general).
There should be a sign of spring by now, but we had big snow fall on Sunday - Freezing !!

ITB Berlin is finished and we are on our way to Czech Republic.

March 11, 2010

Asaro Mudman is not a superman - ITB

"Asaro Mudman" is a popular figure at ITB Berlin. As he stands at Papua New Guinea booth, many people gather to get his photos, or even try to touch him.
Everybody expects him to stand whole day, but he needs a rest, since Asaro Mudman is not a "superman". If you really want to know who he is, please come to Papua New Guinea and visit Mudman in his Asaro village outside of Goroka.

March 05, 2010

On the way to ITB Berlin again

We are on our way to ITB Berlin, the world largest tourism industry trade fair.
Papua New Guinea booth will be Halle 5.2.a (Hall 5, second Floor), near South Pacific Village/Australia. (image from 2009 ITB Berlin show)
For those visiting the Show, please hop in and say hello to us.
See you in Berlin !!

March 01, 2010

New-Look Website is Up & Running

After some period of reconstruction, is finally up & running.
We hope the site is more user-friendly, and "sexy" according to Wolfgang, who was in charge of website design. Thanks for the good job, Wolfgang !

Please make use of the site for information, tour planning, and booking.

February 23, 2010

News Paper Artical about Goroka - from Sydney Morning Herald

The drive up the Highlands Highway from Goroka to the Daulo Pass not only reveals landscapes that earn this area a reputation as one of the most beautiful parts of Papua New Guinea, it's also a fascinating snapshot of the culture of a people who are renowned for their friendliness and hospitality.......

This is part of an Article called "Highland Hopping" on the Sydney Morning Herald by Ben Hall.

For a full story, please check

Goroka is one of the mot interesting places to visit in Papua New Guinea, full of culture & treks, from easy one to Mt Wilhelm Trek at 4,509m.

February 07, 2010

LNG project

(Project image by PNG LNG project)
No single day passes without hearing about "LNG Project" in Papua New Guinea these days.
It is US$15 Billion project joint venture led by Exxon Mobil to commercialize the gas reserve in Southern Highlands of Papua New Guinea and connect it via Pipeline to the plant near Port Moresby. The gas will be cooled there to its liquid state at very cold temperature - "minus 160 Celsius" and shipped out overseas for export.

From politicians, businessmen to local villagers, everybody is talking about LNG Project which is said to bring economy up and thus to improve the life of every Papua New Guinean.

Well, I also wish it would happen, but at the same time would not be surprised if things get worse or nothing good would happen.

Clear example is everywhere - 20 Years of Oil export did not have positive economic impact for the majority of the Southern Highlanders, and what Gold production has changed the life of Western Province people or Misima island people ?
I don't want to see another Bougainville crisis - a civil war originated from world class Copper mine. I wish fair and transparent government will share the benefit of the LNG project via improved service delivery system.
Only Historian of the future generation would tell if LNG project was the right answer for PNG.

February 03, 2010

Bit of Science - Ornithoptera Priamus

"Ornithoptera priamus" is a common species of Birdwing Butterfly which lives from New Guinea Islands to Solomon Islands to the East.
We normally find Green-coloured male in mainland New Guinea.
On our last visit to Mioko Island. we have found the Blue-colored species, not knowing that it was one of the unique examples of Darwin's Theory of Evolution.

The Butterfly changes color from Golden-orange in the West Papua to Green in Eastern Half of New Guinea, and change to Blue/Green at this small Mioko Island. Further to the East at Bougainville and Solomon Islands, Blue dominates.

Just as culture is diverse and some 800 different languages are spoken, nature is also very much diverse and different in each islands here; After 15 years of living in this place, I am still amazed at the "Nature's Wonder".

January 29, 2010

Farewelled the "Kopex" town

After an overnight trip to Duke of York Islands, we are back at Kokopo.
This was the last day at East New Britain and we strolled around the town.

When I first visited here in 1995, there was few permanent buildings. No Kokopo Beach Bungalow, No Rapopo plantation; ANZ bank was operating from barrack-type house.
Now it is one of the fastest growing towns of South Pacific - it has many new permanent buildings, big shops, warehouses, as well as historical buildings - one of the oldest Catholic Churches in Papua New Guinea, Modern History Museum .....
Kokopo Market was very busy with people selling and buying the food, cloth, basket etc...
Unlike other big towns in Papua New Guinea, people mind their own business and very safe.
We wish Port Moresby is safe like East New Britain ....
After several days of re-discovering Rabaul & Kokopo, we reluctantly left the "Kopex" town.

Vunapope = "place of the Pope" is one of the oldest catholic missions in Papua New Guinea .
The cathedral has been refurbished recently.

Queen Emma portrait at the Kokopo Museum.

Japanese Fighter "Zero" at Kokopo Museum.

January 26, 2010

Duke of York Island Adventure

On the next day, we have set sailed for Duke of York Islands. Duke of York Islands are group of 13 islands lie between New Britain & New Ireland on the St. George's Channel.

Today's main destination was Mioko Island, some 45 minutes boat ride from Kokopo. After we left our bags, we have departed again for snorkeling, and then fishing on the way. Not long, Dominic has caught a big Barracuda !!

After the marine activities, we have done a nature walk from the tip of the island to the Guest House. Mioko Island is where Queen Emma has set up her first plantation in 1878 and remains of her resident & Pool can still be seen in the jungle. (Photo below: remain of Queen Emma's swimming pool)

The flat walk can be done by any age group, and is full of attraction, history, tropical flowers, houses and curious local people etc...

The village life is very simple, people don't have anything luxurious yet have everything to live.
The trip was adventurous, heart-warming & educational.

Duke of York can be visited as a day trip if you want a modern comfort & hot shower, but if you really want to feel the village life and its hospitality, it is worth visiting by a overnight trip.
The next day, sea was very calm. When we are leaving the Duke of York, dolphins were chasing the boat and jumping as if they are saying "Goodbye and please come again !!"

January 24, 2010

Village Tour our of Kokopo

We have visited a village called Menebonbon outside of Kokopo.
The village is 45 minuets away from kokopo on the hill side towards the tip of Gazelle Peninsula and have living with substitant agriculture with Copra/Cacao as cash crop.
When we visited, villagers were busy cutting the Copra (dried Coconut). The cut Copra is dried in an oven in the village and later sold to the Copra factory in town before being exported to overseas.
After the "factory inspection", we have moved to a nearby house. The ladies were already preparing the today's lunch called "Aigir."
Aigir is traditional dish in Rabaul area and it is similar to the "Mumu" in a way that they use heated stone for steaming the food, but it is unique in its own way and ingredients.
The biggest difference from Highlands "Mumu" is Aigir use full of Coconut Milk.
Heated stones are placed on top of the Banana leaves and coconut milk is boiling up.
Then you add Taro, Chicken, Aibika, etc... and cover it up with the Banana leaves.
After 30 minutes or so, delicious Aigir is done !!
Sweet taste of Coconut milk is absorbed in all the ingredients and all I could say was "Oh, its beautiful !"
The village is situated on the hill looking down Warangoi Bay (on the other side on Tokua Airport) and blessed with nature. When I carefully look around, I could see Avocado, Paw paw, Cacao, Star Fruit, Coconut... everything was there.
Village visit experience is something you should not miss in Papua New Guinea, and I can say that Menebonbon is one of the "secret treasures" of Rabaul/Kokopo.