Planing a trip to Papua New Guinea

This country has been on my bucket list since many years even though I barly knew anything about it. Just that it is little developed and home of tribes with a wide range of cultural diversity.While I was working in Thailand I have booked a plane ticked to go there for one month after finishing the diving saison on Koh kood.
Time passed and I had little time to investigate. Also I am not used to do much preperation for my travels. Usually I just go there and see.

The bit I read about PNG later on was quite descouraging. Exeptional high crime rate, aboundance of violance, gang rapes of women.
Also that travelers should expect the trip to be very expensive as for high hotel pricing as well as they would have to fly domestically because of a lack of a road network.

I met an Australien who had lived there for some years and his statement was: “As a white female solo traveler you never gonna make it! Or you spend thousends of dollars to stay safe.”

Great…

But let me tell you that it is not exactly like this. I spent one month in PNG, manly in remote areas. Even though I was struggeling with cultural differances frequently I was amazed by the support and friendlyness of the people.
I spent little money as there is nothing to buy in he bush. And I made friendships which are ment to last.

Let me give you some insights:

Try to get contacts before you enter the country. You can use Couchsurfing (Hosts as well as travelers who had been to PNG), Workaway, traveler plattforms like Lonly Planet or Weltreiseforum,…
On your way inside of PNG collect names of relatives, missionaries,.. who stay in the areas you wanna go. “Call the name” opens doors in PNG, even if the particular person is not present.

Check the road network. I figured out quite late there is no vehicle road connecting the capital with the rest of the country. Also expect the road to be in terrible condition. A whole day of traveling for a distance of 200km is common.

Use your credit card at the ATM instead of changing money. The banks and exchange offices in town charge more then 20%.

Get a local simcard. You can buy a Digicel one directly at the airport in POM and download a topup app before you enter the country. Choose a fitting data plan. Because..

Expect the internet to be very slow and quite expensive.

Be patient and prepared to wait for whatever you wanna do. PNG runs slowly and inefficiently.

Also for that reason be clear about what you wanna do in PNG and get as much information as possible forehand.

And last but not least:
Be careful with your belongings especially in town. Choose what to bring and where to go. But don’t be afraid. You are a centre of attention and if a car stops at your side they just wanna ask if you are alright or might need some help.

 

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