For those of you looking for the postcard-esque tropical getaway but without the crowds of a Bali beach holiday then look to the Pacific, and look to Papua New Guinea to be specific. The stories of cannibals and tribal conflict tend to travel further than the mostly understated beautiful scenery of this island. Still hugely unexplored, Papua New Guinea is one of the most naturally beautiful places in the world.
The harrowing stories of Papua New Guineas cannibals are nowadays just old tales, in fact it is a relatively safe place for tourists. Any hassle encountered on the busy streets of Port Moresby will rarely require more than a bit of common sense to navigate through. Past the bustle of Port Moresby lies the more remote and rewarding islands such as New Britain – home to some of the worlds most pristine coral reef which to this day remain untouched by mainstream tourism.
Global Village Tours recommend (in fact we insist) that you get to Papua New Guinea during one of its festivals. Due to the division that existed between its numerous tribes over the generations, Papua New Guinea has developed an amazing diversity – with many different local dialects and cultures flourishing throughout different parts of the island. There are many different tribal festivals but our favorites are the Mt Hagen and Goroko Festival. Both are nestled in the remote mountains and boast some pretty amazing spectacles of feathered head dresses, painted faces and mud masks. This year we have chosen to explore the sights, sounds and aromas of the Mt Hagen Festival. It can often be an adventure in itself to get to, which all plays in to the experience.
The festival runs every August and is a melting pot of friendly exchange between different tribes. The locals perform dances known as sing sings and at night time they roast wild boar and yams. Some of the traditional costumes are outstanding and are rarely seen outside of PNG – most notable are the Huli Wigmen and tghe Skeleton people, they’re about as shocking as they sound!
As far as how to get there, the Pacific Islands are not the easiest to get to (it does what it says on the tin in terms of remoteness). Port Moresby does offer some very reasonable options from Singapore, Manila and Australia.
People are often concerned about safety when traveling to PNG. Although there are still some tribal conflicts, tourists are rarely if ever caught up in these. It really is nothing a bit of common sense wouldnt allow you to avoid. Global Village Tours are used to treading where others dont, and just like with any of our tours, safety is our primary concern – so leave the heavy lifting for us and just worry about having the time of your life.