Difference between revisions of "Port Moresby"
Revision as of 05:46, 16 November 2006
Port Moresby is a region in Papua New Guinea.
Port Moresby is the capital of Papua New Guinea.
The official language in central province of which Port Moresby is part, is Motu. Most people speak english and pidgin though. Remember to try and speak english to the locals first, otherwise they might interpret it as if you think they are too dumb to know it. It is considered rude to look people in the eyes and to speak loudly. You might sometimes have trouble hearing what the locals are saying because they speak very quietly.
Getting around in and around Port Moresby is somewhat of a problem. Walking is not advisable to foreigners at any time during the day and especially not in the night-time.
Car rental agencies are available close to the airport but driving in Port Moresby might not be what most people are used to. In some areas of POM the locals throw stones at the car, usually just for amusement but in some cases they manage to crack your windshield. There are cases of people standing in the middle of a stretch of road they have mended and demanding compensation from people driving by, and as soon as you get outside of the city the roads deteriorate to muddy trails that only a 4x4 with an experienced driver should attempt.
There are actually taxis in Port Moresby, which is quite unusual for [Papua New Guinea.|PNG]], but they are in the majority of cases not safe for foreigners to ride in. The locals usually travel in PMV's (Personal Motor Vehicles) which are minibusses that take you to your destination if it is in the general direction they are headed. The adventurous traveller could probably get around by using that service but there are incidences of PMV's getting pulled over by Raskols and everybody on board being robbed, so a warning is in order.
The best alternative for transport around Port Moresby is to get the hotel to set it up. They usually have a shuttle service from the airport and can organize excursions of different kinds if you ask them nicely. This of course depends on the hotel.
There are basically two stores to buy groceries if you are a foreigner in Port Moresby, they are: Anderssons Foodland and Boroko Foodworld. Anderssons is located right next to the Royal Papua Yacht club and usually suffices. Otherwise there is Foodworld which is larger and located over the hill in (yeah you guessed it) Boroko. What one should bear in mind though is that everything imported might not always be there. Often if you see something you like you have to buy a lot of it because there is no telling when the next shipment is coming. This doesn't apply to basic foodstuffs but rather to things that might not be in high demand such as herring.
The drink of choice in Port Moresby as in the rest of Papua New Guinea is South Pacific lager "SP beer" To buy alcohol you have to go to one of the characteristic yellow and green coloured shops that are usually integrated into the supermarkets. You don't want to go to the ones that aren't. They have a relatively limited selection of wines, mostly australian or new zeeland brands. The prices are higher than you would expect because of the taxation of alcohol. The locals tend to get quite rowdy when they drink so its best to avoid anyone that seems to be under the influence.
Port Moresby has a reputation, mainly amongst Australians, of being very dangerous. This is true to the extent that any place is dangerous if you do not know how to relate to your surroundings. The danger in POM comes mainly from the gangs of Raskols that are unemployed and have fallen to a life of crime. If you are careful and don't put yourself in situations that you feel might be dangerous you are probably safer in Port Moresby than you are in New York.