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Traveling to PNG - personal safety

Seattle, Washington
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4 posts
40 reviews
27 helpful votes
Traveling to PNG - personal safety
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Hi,

I plan traveling to PNG with my wife. We plan to land in POM , stay there for a night and then fly to Hoskins, from there to Lae followed by a bus ride to visit friends around Goroka, take a bus back to Lae and fly to POM to head back to Cairns.

Will be very happy to get some feedback on the following:

- Safety on the way from Lae to Goroka (and back)

- Staying a night in POM and Lae

- Will we have enough time to reach Goroka on daylight if we touch the ground in Lae 15:30?

Thanks

Rotem

Edited: 11 years ago
10 replies to this topic
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
8 posts
8 reviews
6 helpful votes
1. Re: Traveling to PNG - personal safety
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Hello I'm thinking of the bus from lae to goroka to ! Did you end up doing the trip ?

Cheers warwick

London, UK
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1 post
64 reviews
24 helpful votes
2. Re: Traveling to PNG - personal safety
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Hi there,

I have travelled to PNG twice for about 1 month each trip as a young, white, single woman, and I have been fine safety-wise. Lae is a messy and dangerous city by international standards; Goroka is nicer; Moresby has bad areas but also has most of the conveniences of any Western Capital. (Lae and Goroka are a lot more limited.) Minor things have happened to me (e.g., pickpocketing, bag-slashing), but actuality paled in comparison to the warnings.

Bus (PMV) travel is a bit haphazard and the roads suck, but generally safe and very affordable. I'd suggest taking a bus based in Goroka, not Mt Hagen--Western Highlanders have a reputation for being more dangerous drivers. If you are female, choose a bus with plenty of women/children on it.

Cheers!

Level Contributor
5,145 posts
618 reviews
1,948 helpful votes
3. Re: Traveling to PNG - personal safety
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Fly to and from Goroka, don't drive. You can 1-stop from Hoskins thru POM and then maybe not have to stay in Lae or POM at all, which is a good thing. Neither town is pleasant. Definitely allow yourself an overnight stay - the chances you will actually arrive when scheduled are remote.

Cairns, Australia
Level Contributor
408 posts
22 reviews
38 helpful votes
4. Re: Traveling to PNG - personal safety
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See my detailed reply to this duplicate thread here:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g294115-i3592-k5437648-Traveling_to_PNG_personal_safety-Papua_New_Guinea.html#41846807

Cairns
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1 post
31 reviews
16 helpful votes
5. Re: Traveling to PNG - personal safety
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So for 2 months. You were lucky.

Melbourne, Australia
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1 post
25 reviews
12 helpful votes
6. Re: Traveling to PNG - personal safety
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Hi,

I visited Lae this month via Port Moresby by plane. I was horrified at the standard of facilities beginning at the airport and then the shameful state of the road into Lae from the airport. Security is a priority on this journey from the airport into Lae some one hour of travel on a very dangerous road and neighbourhood . The visit to the war cemetery was very moving and the upkeep of the grounds and surroundings was outstanding.Be careful have a security guard everywhere you travel. Sad that progression has been so slow.

Michael O'DONNELL

Saipan, CNMI
2 posts
2 reviews
11 helpful votes
7. Re: Traveling to PNG - personal safety
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I want to travel in the Highlands in August of 2014 to do bird photography, especially of Birds of Paradise. My idea was to start in Lae and work my way inland but I see some advice here to fly directly to Goroka. So, is that what i should do? I haven't found out yet if there are any good birding areas between Lae and Goroka but i suppose i could do without them.

I want to continue on from Goroka as far as Mt Hagen. I would like to do that by road so I can see the sights and make stops along the way - at least on the trip TO Mt Hagen. What do you think?

I'll be carrying valuable photography equipment. Will it be at great risk?

Does anyone know of the good birding areas in the Highlands, guides or other resources I will need? Thanks.

john fraser

Portland, Oregon
1 post
8. Re: Traveling to PNG - personal safety
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I am an American having been to Lae City for two work stays of 1 month each time. I am traveling again there soon for the same time. POM, my 1st time was intimidating as reading all the USA Gov. posts about travel warnings had me a bit troubled in 2010 but I met no one that wasn't pleasant and helpful. The people of PNG, as with all countries I have worked and lived in, are as friendly and warm as you are to them.

Lae City is not an urban town in the USA. Lae City a is not the wealth of a western or Australian town so go there with open mind and open heart you will be surprised. Safety is a common sense attribute. Use the buddy system, it's more fun than alone anyway. Talk to the locals at your hotel and ask where to go. Treat people with respect and kindness, looking down your nose at people, anywhere, creates instant resentment so use your head and remember you are the guest, act like a guest. If you don't like less than hospital sanitary then stay at your hotel. Remember, more people come out of a hospital with additional illness than when they came in....

PNG is a wonderful country full of wonderful people. You will be amazed while there and long after you go home.

-mscmbl

Cairns, Australia
Level Contributor
408 posts
22 reviews
38 helpful votes
9. Re: Traveling to PNG - personal safety
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Sorry but it doesn't matter how nice you are to the locals, there will always be low-lifes and opportunists who will seek to take advantage of you by snatching your bag or conning you out of money. When in Port Moresby, Lae, Mt Hagen however tempting it might be to "experience" the place DON'T go to the open air fresh food and fish markets and other crowded public areas like bus stops by yourself because this is where most of the opportunists, drunks and druggies hang around and most of the trouble between locals erupts in these spots. Also I recommend you should politely decline invitations from locals to visit their homes in shanty towns ("settlements") in the urban areas - the locals will with good intentions assure you that it is safe but your arrival in a settlement may draw unwelcome attention from drunks and opportunists that may not impact on you directly but could impact on your hosts after you have left (people will assume you have given money or gifts to your hosts and may rob them). Urban settlements are usually a melting pot of people from different parts of the country and are not harmonious communities like rural villages.

10. Re: Traveling to PNG - personal safety

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