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cootha Madang - A travel report by Catherine
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Madang,  Papua New Guinea - flag Papua New Guinea
6626 readers

cootha's travel reports

A backdrop of coral and mountains

  18 votes
Page: 1 2
Madang is the tourist haven of Papua New Guinea and where the rich visit. It is a lovely place with beautiful rugged coast line and the tallest mountains in the country on view across the water.

An old woman performing at a wedding ceremony
An old woman performing at a wedding ceremony
Madang is a small city in the northern coastline of Papua New Guinea and is the capital of Madang Province. The airport (the same as all the other airports in the country) was very basic, but this is the place where everyone comes when they visit Papua new Guinea for a holiday. It is really the only place in the country geared toward tourists and most of the tourist activities are organised by the Madang Resort, making it very expensive.

Favourite spots:
The Sulfur Springs
The Sulfur Springs
My favourite spot was the Sulfur Springs about 20 minutes by mini-van from Madang. It is located on private land and is out of town a bit along the road to Lae. We were dropped across the road from the entrance by one of the local mini-van drivers (he went out of his way to take us there) and an old man who spoke no English yelled out to a young boy to take us across the road to have a look. We were then hooked up with a young man who showed us the springs and the beautiful turtles. The springs pour out of the base of a steep hill and the water has a white tinge to it. It is cold and smells strongly of sulfur, but has no taste.

What's really great:
The people - as elsewhere in Papua New Guinea. Everyone was always keen to help us out and make sure we got to the places we wanted and to see the things we wanted. Madang is a very relaxed place and there's not a lot to do in the town so it was a good place to be lazy and enjoy the sunshine.

Madang is located on a beautiful piece of coastline with loads of coral just out from the edge and sharp craggy rocks along the shoreline. There is so much beautiful coral to see and it was great to watch a young boy out diving while we snorkelled. He was trying to catch a turtle (which he eventually did) and it was a big one!

The Madang Lodge
The Madang Lodge
The Madang Lodge is a bit out of town (only a 2 kina bus ride) and was a little oasis. The gate is guarded 24 hours a day and it has very high scary looking fences, but it is a sad necessity there. Inside it had beautiful orchid gardens, its own restaurant, cafe and souvenir shop, and the small army of staff were wonderful. We stayed in the backpacker section (beautiful clean twin rooms around a central court yard) but there was also a lot of other up-market accommodation as well.

The restaurant at Madang Lodge was fantastic. When we were there it was being run by a French-man who had married a local woman and so was living in Madang. The food was quite expensive (when compared to buying beautiful fresh produce at the markets) but we had no way of cooking our own food whilst there.
We also ate at the main markets where there was all sorts of beautiful tropical fruit and other wonderful things we didn't recognise.

Other recommendations:
The markets were fascinating and probably the best ones we saw in Papua New Guinea. It is a great place to watch people as they go about their business. Ultimately the local people are unable to afford even the cheapest food at the markets, which by our standards was amazingly cheap. We got avocadoes that would have weighed almost a kilogram each and they were 3 kina each (about AUD$1.20).
The other great thing about the Madang markets was the abundance of billums (the beautiful string bags that everyone carries). I brought home 5 different ones!

Published on Friday July 14th, 2006

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Mon, Jul 17 2006 - 09:41 AM rating by marianne

Good information about an unusual place

Sat, Jul 15 2006 - 05:46 PM rating by mistybleu

Nice report, I really loved the Sulphur Springs picture.

Take care.

Sat, Jul 15 2006 - 05:36 AM rating by davidx

Interesting report on a county that's less visited than most.

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