What to expect on arrival

Although Papua New Guinea’s infrastructure and accommodation have improved over the last few years you are still likely to feel a sense of culture shock as you arrive. Here are some important things to bear in mind as you travel through this fascinating country.

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What to expect on arrival
A few thoughts on what to expect when you arrive in PNG for the first time:

  • Papua New Guinea is a developing country and things that we take for granted in the West may not be present here.
    Tourism is still a new industry and even at the top end standards of service can be very different to what you have experienced elsewhere.
  • There is extreme poverty in Papua New Guinea which can be shocking, and the living conditions of the local villagers are very basic.
  • In remote areas the hotel choice is extremely limited, and the general standard of accommodation in these areas may be more basic than you are used to.
  • Government action, weather and local conditions can sometimes disrupt itineraries and it helps to be flexible and patient if such situations arise.
  • Never drink tap water, bottled water is available everywhere.
  • Use an insect repellent for mosquitoes and be careful to protect yourself against dehydration, heat exhaustion and sunburn.
  • People in PNG are not very formal but attitudes are quite conservative. So whilst wearing shorts and T-shirts is accepted for the most part very skimy clothing is frowned on. Please dress casually but respectfully.
  • Papua New Guinea is still incredibly tribal and tribal wars are not uncommon in the highland regions. However tourists are rarely caught up in such events.
  • Ask before you take someone’s photo as unsolicited picture taking can sometimes cause upset or offence.