Papua New Guinea

One of the most culturally diverse countries in the world with more than 600 islands and 800 indigenous languages (25% of the world’s spoken languages) and 1,000 or more tribes.

The plane from Brisbane had about 100 passengers – 4 women and 96 guys in levi’s or shorts. This is mining country. LNG, oil, precious and industrial mineral resources abound and exploitation has taken place since discovery about 45 years ago. Whether the country is benefitting is open for debate, but they do have a leg up on the typical island tourist economy.

That aside, the recreational opportunities are purely world class – just maybe not the accomadations. The water is pure, there are many, many planes and sunken ships to dive, and fresh and salt water fishing is peerless. It is difficult to get here, and then go further by boat, chopper or small plane, but maybe that’s why it’s still worth it . Combine this all with visits to or staying in tribal villages where pigs are still the currency but cannibalism is passe and it’s a trip worth seriously considering.

We flew to the most populated city of Port Moresby.  Roads in the country are mostly nonexistent.

We hired a guides to take us around the city. It was not built as a tourist destination. Similar to Port-au-Prince, Haiti I was mostly able to photograph from the car window.  Poverty has led to an exorbitant amount of crime and muggings.  

A drive around the city allowed us to see street markets, stilt water villages, the nature park,  Koki Fish Market and kids playing in the gulf of Papua.

Our guide’s families live outside the city and have neither have running water or electricity much like 85% of the country. One is from the highlands where tribal warfare is still a way of life.

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