Village Huts Has Gone Online!

Sign at the Gateway Hotel, Port Moresby on the launching of their website.

I was a guest of the PNG Tourism Promotion Authority (TPA) at the Gateway Hotel in Port Moresby on Thursday evening, 22nd March, 2012 to witness the formal launch of the website for Village Huts. A good number of guests attended the launching  as well as members of the TPA Board including the Deputy Chairman of the Board and the CEO Mr Peter Vincent and TPA staff and media representatives.

Countdown...the Deputy Chairman of the PNGTPA Board 'launching' the website.

From what I gathered at the launching, Village Huts is a small team of big thinkers who are doing a brilliant job in amassing information on ‘village guesthouses’ and accommodation throughout Papua New Guinea that will suit any budget but mostly for backpackers and others wanting to conquer new territories in their quest for adventure on a shoe-string budget.

So far they have gathered information for 80 guesthouses and the challenge now is for us to find others to add to this growing list no doubt. The aim is to get to 200 if possible. The website and the database are certainly going to place PNG at the top of the list for budget accommodation in the Pacific Islands.

I was amazed at the many places the owners of were able to cover. The photos of places the team visited were absolutely awesome.  The guesthouses found in PNG according to the photos come in different shapes and sizes but no doubt they are now in the public domain not within PNG only but on cyber space for the whole world to see.

Village Huts has built and will continue to build a nationwide database with information on budget accommodation in PNG, that will be current, reliable, certified by world standards and community-based.  For the adventurous in heart, the possibilities now for finding information about accommodation in PNG has got easier with innovative approaches such as Village Huts.

Fear not, for there is sufficient and affordable room in PNG!

Some of us who joined TPA for the launch of From left to right...Air Niugini, PNG Dive Assoc., yours truly, Art Stret Gallery and a friend from the Land of the Long White Cloud...

This is another amazing journey for those who dare to be innovative and are not afraid to scale the heights for success, all in service for mankind. Thank you Village Huts for discovering the best in PNG and are creating awareness for a country that has a lot to offer for tourism.

I truly believe that if we make travel possible for ourselves within PNG, other people will look at us through this lens as well. My 10 points this week go to TPA for a great product and for putting PNG squarely on the map for budget accommodation.

I guess we are not far off from adding home-stays and the development of our own brand of B & Bs (bed and breakfast) and more affordable tourist accommodation in PNG. Bring it on!

Perhaps we can develop a game called ‘find a guesthouse’ and as we find one whether in a remote village or in a small town we can add it to the growing list that Village Huts has been building for us.

A celebration of yet another feather in PNGTPA's cap. Well done!

Congratulatons Village Huts and TPA for another inspiring development in PNG  tourism!

The Party After – Beyond Pacific Art Gallery Opening

Mumu-ed pumpkin. It was delicious, tasty and went down very well with lovely red red and white Aussie wines and of course the sparkling ones too...

After the formal opening of the Beyond Pacific Art Gallery we were treated to entertainment and a mumu feast.

A mumu is a method of cooking food underground not necessarily in an oven but in a hole in the ground on hot stones. This method of cooking is found throughout the Pacific. 

In PNG, mumu (Tok Pisin) food is usually found at big feasts and singsings. It is convenient to cater for large groups of people this way without having to use hundreds of saucepans!

The two aluminium garbage bins, brand new, used to cook the mumu in. The rain did not discourage JKL and family from producing great mumu dishes for the celebration of the Gallery opening. Reminded me of cooking mumu food in my gas oven in London 3 years ago. As Papua New Guineans, if we wanted mumu food we'll make mumu food wherever we are.

The mumu was cooked in a make-shift ovens comprising of two aluminium garbage bins. Talk about PNG or Pacific Island ingenuity! Joycelin said they searched high and low for something to cook the mumu in because of the rain as they were not sure if the grounds were going to be dry enough for the cooking process which usually takes several hours . 

These bins provided the waterproof oven for the mumu. This was truly innovative, the food absolutely delicious. I believe that wherever we are in this world we would be able to obtain ‘PNG or Pacific Island food’ that is sweet potato, pumpkin and bak choi plus other delicious additions.

A wonderful solo performance of three bird dances from Kiribati. I'm always fascinated by the dances of the Pacific Islands which tend to mimic animal and bird movements even flora and nature.

 In any PNG or Pacific Island gathering there is always food (lots of food), dancing and singing. We were treated to Kiribati dancing which I think is gaining popularity around the world like other Pacific Island dances, albeit slowly. Usually these Kiribati bird dances are performed by a group but our young friend gave us a beautiful and graceful solo performance. Some of the most fascinating dances are those that imitate birds and other animals. 

SP beer to go with our yummy mumu...

 This meal was wonderfully,  accompanied by PNG’s famous beer – SP (from PNG’s only South Pacific Brewery in Port Moresby) and some good Aussie wines.

Oh yes a little dancing but most just sitting, standing around, drinking, eating….

Although it was raining that evening we chatted, sang, joked and just had a wonderful time. I reckon it was one of the best birthdays I’ve celebrated anywhere. 

We had to leave at a reasonable time to be able to wake up the next day and head out to the airport at 7.00am to catch the PX flight back to Port Moresby.

Party the cool of the evening. Just right!

A great time was had by all. And yes, all good things come to an end but in a nice way and we look forward to visiting the Gallery again sometime soon.

All’s well that ends well.