Plenty of women travel to PNG with a travel companion of either gender. It is possibly safer in a pair or group, than doing so alone, but quite a few solo women have written to us with glowing reports of their trips. As is the case in many parts of the world, women need to be aware of where they go, what they wear, and how they act to avoid unwanted attention.
- Be culturally aware.
- It is recommended that women remain aware of where they go, what they wear and how they act to avoid unwanted attention.
- You won’t see local women in Western-style swimwear. Unless you’re at a resort it’s best to wear a laplap (sarong) while swimming.
- At night, it's better to take a taxi (in Moresby, Alotau, Wewak…) and this is the case even if you have a male companion.
- Avoid secluded spots at all times. Rapes and muggings are not uncommon, especially in urban centres. Avoid any situation where you’re alone with someone you don’t know well.
- In some parts of PNG tribal beliefs about women and their menstrual cycles persist. If you’re menstruating – it’s better not to mention it. In the Sepik, for example, women are thought to have powerful energies that can be harmful to men. It is tambu in many places for a woman to pass over a man – to step over a seated man’s outstretched legs or even over his possessions, and a man mustn’t swim under a woman in a canoe.