SUMMARY:Mystery enshrouds this tropical paradise that locals call "PNG". One of the most remote countries in the world, Papua New Guinea combines nations that have flourished, with mapped areas that have yet to even be explored. The country holds some of the most isolated, distant tribes who possess absolutely no contact to the outside world. The parts of New Guinea that have been witnessed however, are worth the trip. Rainforest country and jungles together with gorgeous islands and beaches in the South Pacific make up this mystifying, but picturesque land.
PROFILE: Full Country Name: The Independent State of Papua New Guinea Area: ,840 sq km (180,508 sq mi) Population: 4.5 million People:: 95% Melanesian, 5% Polynesian, Micronesian, and Chinese Language:750 indigenous languages; also Pidgin and Motu Religion: 44% Protestant, 22% Catholic, & 34% pantheistic beliefs Government:Democracy
MONEY & COSTS: Currency: Kina Exchange Rate: US$1 = 3 While the main currency is kina, pigs are highly valued assets. It is also not uncommon on the islands to trade shell money and necklaces.
Relative cost: US $10-15 dollars a day. Hotels and guest houses are also more costly than Southeast Asian hostels.
TRANSPORTATION: The most common way to get around Papua New Guinea is by trekking or boarding a plane. For short distances, public motor vehicles (or p.m.v.'s) are extremely common. While there are not very many tourists in PNG, these smaller modes of transport are convenient for exploring the local cities.
RELIGION: Papua New Guinea is surprisingly one of the few democracies in the world that recognizes itself to be a Christian country. The other major influence among the tribes is traditional Melanesian spirituality, which is characterized by various gods. Nevertheless, the society is incredibly Christianized, with about 2/3 of the people holding to Christian beliefs.
CALL TO MISSIONARIES: Because of the abundance of Christians in the area, New Guinea is unique in that it is remote, yet reached. Many missions have and are still going on there, which shows that there is a good amount of people who have yet to be shown the love of Christ. In some of the highland provinces, cannibalism is on its way out, while there is still much tribal fighting. However because of the heavily Christianized society, it is a wonderful place for the missionary to be refreshed and revitalized if working in un-reached missions has taken its strain.