4 Things to Know Before Going to Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea is not like the other places you have traveled to. It is not a big tourist trap like many places in Europe or Asia, and it can actually be a bit dangerous at times. Papau New Guinea can seem a bit "wild" in some respects, so it is a good idea to do your research before you go. That being said, Papau New Guinea is still a stunning place to visit on your next vacation, as long as you keep the following four things in mind.
You'll Need a Guide
In most of the world's most popular tourist destinations, you can get around on your own without the need of a guide. In fact, sometimes these "guides" are just a way to scam you out of some money you could have spent on souvenirs or other adventures. In Papua New Guinea, though, a guide is a necessity. All of the land here belongs to either a local tribe or a local family, and if you try to strike out alone and find your way by yourself, you might end up trespassing on someone's land, which could lead to some disastrous consequences. A guide can help to make sure you are always heading in the right direction, and can smooth over any sticky situations you might come across.
Food and Drink
In spite of its rich culture, Papua New Guinea doesn't have a set "national cuisine." So expect to find things like meat, vegetables, fish and tropical fruit prepared in the same style as you would find in Australia. Also, don't expect restaurants to make changes to the menu based on customer requests: Aside from a few vegetarian options, the meals laid out on the menu are set in stone. Another thing to keep in mind is that it would be wise not to try to bring alcohol in your carry-on, as many bags are checked at the airport. Alcohol is not allowed in some provinces, so showing up with some in your bag would start you off on the wrong foot.
Bring Malaria Medication
Unfortunately, thanks to its tropical climate, malaria is a fairly common malady in Papau New Guinea, as is Dengue fever. The hospitals in the area are perfectly capable of handling this illness, but the problem is that many places that are traveled to are far from the doors of said hospitals. If you plan to travel to Papau New Guinea, it would be a good idea to talk to your doctor beforehand to see if you can get inoculated to prevent getting sick.
Interacting with People
Over 800 different languages are spoken in Papua New Guinea, but don't worry, you don't need to know them all! Most natives can speak some English, but it would be a good idea to try to learn some of the local Pidgin language, as only around 20 percent of the people in this country were taught English in school (not to mention that it makes you look better for trying!). When it comes to interacting with people, though, it would be best to do it during the day and try to stay in your hotel room at night. Walking at night in Papua New Guinea is not advised, as the area is well-known for its criminals that come out to pick pockets and steal purses after dark.