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Holidays in Paracel Islands

Understanding Paracel Islands

China has announced plans to open the islands to resort style tourism, starting with Yongxing Island

This tropical archipelago, about one-third of the way from central Vietnam to the northern Philippines, is composed of 130 small coral islands and reefs divided into the northeast Amphitrite Group and the western Crescent Group It is surrounded by productive fishing grounds and by potential oil and gas reserves In 1932, French Indochina annexed the islands and set up a weather station on Pattle Island; maintenance was continued by its successor, Vietnam China has occupied the Paracel Islands since 1974, when its troops seized a South Vietnamese garrison occupying the western islands The islands are claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan

Talking in Paracel Islands

With over 800 languages, it was pretty difficult to get everyone talking to each other Two pidgins grew up in this area; Tok Pisin and Hiri Motu, and when the Anglophones married the Hulis and the babies learned the only language they had in common, Tok Pisin became a creole Tok Pisin sometimes looks like it is English written phonetically "Yu dring; yu draiv; yu dai" means "You drink; you drive; you die", but it is not; it has more personal pronouns than English and its own quite different syntax

Tok Pisin is spoken in most of the country Hiri Motu is spoken in Port Moresby and other parts of Papua, though since Port Moresby is the capital, you're likely to find Tok Pisin speakers in the airport, banks, or government When approaching locals, try to speak English first; using Tok Pisin or another language can make it look like you are assuming they don't know English

You might sometimes have trouble hearing what the locals are saying because they speak very quietly It is considered rude by some of the local groups to look people in the eyes and to speak loudly

What to see in Paracel Islands

South New Guinea

The Kokoda Trail is a 60-mile trail, beginning in the Port Moresby area and leading up into the Owen Stanley Range This trail was first used by gold miners in the 1890s and is most known as a historical World War II site as the Japanese tried to reach Port Moresby along it It takes about five days to hike this track, which includes plenty of ups and downs between mountain ridges and streams

The Highlands

The Highland region is made of long string of fertile valleys, each separated by mountains, that mean the Highlands are composed of many distinct regions

In the Eastern Highlands is Mount Wilhelm, Papua New Guinea's highest mountain 14,880 feet Climbing Wilhelm is relatively easy; but three or four days are recommended to allow for sightseeing There are views of both the north and south coasts of New Guinea from the peak The Wahgi River in this area is considered one of the best whitewater rafting destinations in the world

The Northern Coast

  • Madang is good for scuba diving of all levels,and the coral reefs are home to a variety of rare species of colorful fish There are also underwater wrecks of Japanese fighter planes, with weapons and cargo intact There are still-active volcanos for trekkers to hike up not far from Madang Further west you come to the Sepik river with a fascinating culture to explore and an abundance of crocodiles to avoid

The Islands

  • New Britain This island offers excellent swimming and snorkeling Trails in the area are perfect for day hikes and treks through the rainforest There are also hot thermal springs and bubbling mud holes in this region of the island The Baining people who inhabit the northeastern area of New Britain are famous for creating ephemeral art-forms, perhaps no better demonstrated than by their firedance A dramatic and beautifully made mask is constructed from bark for this ceremony and thrown away as worthless immediately afterwards
  • Bougainville Well off-the-beaten-path in the far east of the country, with great untapped tourism potential World-class diving, dramatic treks and World War II Japanese relics are the key attractions
  • Trobriand Islands The so called Islands of Love are well known for their unique culture

What to do in Paracel Islands

Go scuba diving, using one of more than a dozen local scuba diving operators The national Scuba Diving industry body 8 is a good starting point Papua New Guinea has some of the very best tropical reef diving anywhere in the word

Birdwatching PNG is a birdwatching mecca with over 700 species of birds including many birds of paradise http://enwikipediaorg/wiki/List_of_birds_of_Papua_New_Guinea As a budget traveler, you will need to bring your own binoculars and ask in the villages for a volunteer to act as your guide

Surfing is another great way to spend the days in PNG Information through the Surfing Association of PNG 9

Another popular attraction here is trekking through the mountains, coastal lowlands and rolling foothills of the Kokoda and other trails The Kokoda Track attracts many hundreds of walkers a year

The most popular activities for tourists here are festivals such as the The Sing-Sing performances at the annual Goroka and Mt Hagen shows During these shows, there are usually more than fifty ensembles that turn up The festivals are competitive and the winning ensemble is rewarded by being invited to give concerts at many restaurants and hotels during the following year This beauty and colorfulness of New Guinea’s festivals is both pleasing to watch for tourists and helps the locals financially

Fishing is becoming increasingly popular in PNG Species include Black Marlin, Blue Marlin, Sailfish, Yellow Fin, Skipjack and Dogtooth Tuna and the Giant Trevally Mahi Mahi Dolphin Fish, Mackerel and Wahoo A particularly challenging fish is the black bass, which, pound for pound, is considered to be the toughest fighting fish in the world

Flightseeing is a word that should have been coined in PNG If you can afford it, just flying around some of PNG's remote airstrips is an adventure in itself There are strips that seem impossibly short, strips that seem to end with a mountain, strips where if you don't take off in time you will plunge into a ravine, and airstrips surrounded on three sides by water From Port Moresby you don't have to fly far to get the experience There are flights to villages on the Kokoda trail and others in the Owen Stanley mountain range in Central Province and you can fly a scheduled circuit or "milk run" in one morning, although you will have to be at the airpiort by 5am Check with Airlines PNG10 for schedules Fane, Ononge and Tapini strips are particularly scary Don't forget your life insurance!

Buying stuff in Paracel Islands

Although the economic value of the archipelago's waters for fishing, and the suspected presence of underwater petroleum reserves are their primary source of interest, there is currently no economic activity taking place on the islands themselves

Food and eating in Paracel Islands

PNG food is largely devoid of spices A typical way of cooking is a Mumu, an underground oven in which meat and vegetables, such as Kaukau sweet potatoes, are cooked In just about every meal that PNG's inhabitants eat there is rice and another form of starch

In the lodges that tourists stay in there is usually a blend between this type of food and a more westernized menu

Drinking in Paracel Islands

There are brands of local beer in PNG The local brew, SP short for South Pacific Lager, is owned by Heineken Excessive alcohol consumption, primarily of beer, is a major social problem Beers and wines are often served fairly warm due to a lack of refrigeration in certain areas Also, while the water quality varies from place to place and in some cases from day to day, it is generally best to stick to bottled water, even in the upper-market hotels

Accommodation in Paracel Islands

There are no public accommodations in the Paracel Islands

Working in Paracel Islands

PNG has a workforce of close to two million people in a few different industries Thre is high demand for skilled people but it is still difficult for women and men that are considered to be "unskilled" to find work Many people have informal small businesses to make money

Cities in Paracel Islands

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