Journey to the Sinking Lands

A witness to the world's first evacuation of an entire people due to climate change

Palin on everywhere

Having realised the depths of my own ignorance with regard to climate change refugees (see below), I went to the library yesterday to get some books on Papua New Guinea. It didn’t go well.

They did have a copy of ‘Spain for Dummies’, and various books by Michael Palin on everywhere else, but I couldn’t find anything on PNG. Eventually, one of the librarians searched the catalouge and found two entries. One looked promising, The Culture of Papua New Guinea. It turned out this was an illustrated children’s book and actually at another library. The other was the Lonely Planet, which to be honest is as good a starting point as any. This lack of information is exiting and daunting in equal measure – I may not know exactly what I am getting into, but at least there is less chance of people wanting to sell me egg and chips when I get there.

I particularly like the book’s introduction to the capital, Port Moresby, which I have been warned has a bit of a problem with crime: “on that front you do need to be careful, but not paranoid,” says the Lonely Planet. “It’s not as bad as the reputation would have you believe.”


1 Comment»

  Michael Moran wrote @

Dear Michael

You are right. There are very few books on Papua New Guinea for the traveller.

A few years ago I went to Papua New Guinea and wrote a literary travel book on the rarely visited island provinces. It is called ‘Beyond the Coral Sea : Travels in the Old Empires of the South-West Pacific’ (HarperCollins 2003 and Flamingo 2004 and still in print). It was well reviewed and short-listed for the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award in 2004).

This will fill in some gaps on PNG if you can find any time to read it!

Kind regards

Michael Moran

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