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When in  Papua New Guinea ...

Please bear in mind while travelling in Papua New Guinea, that although PNG is situated relatively close to other well developed South Pacific and Asian, PNG is somewhat isolated and as a result, most services and facilities, including transportation and tourism, are relatively underdeveloped by comparison. As a result you may encounter different situations along the way which you would not normally expect in other more developed destinations. PNG also has an extremely wide variety of cultures, which are very unique - and to be an ethical tourist requires certain sensitivity to the local customs and traditions. Although these factors make for a unique experience, they may, at times conspire to create circumstances which may become frustrating. Please remain patient and keep an open mind. If you come to Papua New Guinea with a spirit of adventure and a positive outlook, you will surely have only good memories to take home with you. We look forward to welcoming you in PNG!

Currency, Credit Cards and Exchange

The unit of currency in PNG is the Kina, pronounced "kee-nah", and sub-units of 100 are called Toea, pronounced "toy-ya". Note denominations are available in K2, K5, K10, K20, K50 and K100.

Kina cash can be acquired at the Foreign Exchange counters on arrival at Port Moresby airport

It is highly recommended that you get mainly small denominations, such as K2, K5 and K10. Small denominations are preferred by villagers should you choose to make purchases in a village. American and Australian Dollars are the best foreign cash to bring to PNG, but please note that only Kina is accepted when purchasing art and crafts in villages.

Communicating

There are difficulties that even the best planning cannot account for. In PNG, anger, displeasure or irritability do not increase one's chances of obtaining positive results. Such expressions of displeasure often produce the opposite effect. When you experience the unexpected, please be patient and avoid dwelling on mishaps, it only worsens the travel experience for yourself and your fellow travellers. It is natural to be agitated or frightened in such a remote, foreign country. Be assured all arrangements are being coordinated to make your trip as smooth as possible.

 

Visits to PNG are very rewarding but the unexpected can easily occur.

Pidgin
Communications

Do mobile phones work? Yes, however, there can be network problems at time at certain locations.

Any areas that does not have network  All areas in PNG have mobile network but there can be difficulties at times when network problems are encountered but this will be very seldom.

Gifts

Please do not give gifts to individuals in villages. If you wish to do so, please discuss this expedition leader who will arrange to either distribute the gifts evenly amongst the people or they will help you to contact a community leader. Your understanding of this will help prevent turning the people and in particular the children of PNG, becoming dependent and expecting such gifts as normal as is often found in other countries. If you would like to take gifts for villages, items like basic school supplies, such as exercise books and pens are much more useful and appreciated, rather than trinkets, such as balloons or candy.

Tipping

Tipping is not recommended. However, for a service well done and you wish to show your appreciation, we recommend you leave your tips with the agent to deal with. This will then be distributed equally amongst all those involved in making your tour a success.

Things to Buy

PNG Art and handicrafts are world renowned and one of the most vital industries as such in the South Pacific. The art is extremely varied and reflects the great diversity of cultures in PNG. The Sepik River is well known for its unique art, which comes in many forms including pottery, wooden carved masks and cult hooks. In other areas of the country you will find carved bowls, bilum or string bags, baskets, ceremonial axes, clay and bamboo ornaments, charms and musical instruments, just to name a few of the items you will probably have the opportunity to buy. Please be advised that it is illegal to export the feathers of the Bird of Paradise. If you buy or even accept as a gift the feathers of these birds, you will encourage the hunting of these rare and beautiful creatures and thus help create an industry, which could possibly lead to their demise. Laws are very strict about the export/import of all endangered species. Please do not buy or accept these feathers and be advised that you will be prosecuted if you are caught trying to take them out of the country.

 

Please advise if you know if handicrafts available for purchase in the villages we visit and what currency accepted. Every viilage visited will have artefacts for sale. Village people prefer local currency because it is difficult for them to exchange foreign currency.

Pidgin-English known locally as Tok Pisin, is the lingua franca of PNG and is almost universally spoken throughout the country. It is derived from English, German and Indigenous languages, with the occasional Spanish, Dutch and Portuguese words thrown in.

 

Some helpful Tok Pisin phrases

Monin                                      Good morning

Apinun                                    Good afternoon

Gut nait                                   Good night

Tenk yu                                   Thank you

Em hamas?                              How much is that?

Toilet We?                               Where is the toilet?

Wara                                        Water

Inap mi kisim poto?                May I take a photo?

Kai Kai                                    Food

Mani                                        Money

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