Port Moresby Warnings and Dangers
Port Moresby is the capital of Papua New Guinea and traces its history to pre-European times. Although a popular destination, there are dangers and warnings to be aware of when visiting.
Betal Nut Juice
The ‘betal’ nut of the areca palm tree contains a mild, central nervous system stimulant called arecoline. It’s not uncommon for locals to chew the nut on its own or with a pasty mixture of tobacco, lime, and a betel-climber leaf. This mixture creates a red stain which colors the mouth of the chewer as well as any spot where ‘spit’ is projected. This is a major reason why it is a good idea to always use footwear in the region. No matter where you are, the sidewalks will be covered by these red splotches of betal-nut juice. Shoes are necessary if you don’t want to find yourself stepping into this mixture.
There are dangers that isolated travelers will face as they make their way around Port Moresby. While most parts of the city are safe, it’s best to stay in groups and avoid traveling at night. It’s not unheard of for people to occasionally get into violent confrontations with some locals.
The Helmeted Friar Bird
Although it’s not technically a danger, the Helmet Friar Bird is a type of local bird that has a strong and piercing call. If you’re staying in Port Moresby, keeping your windows open may not be advisable, as the bird’s cry can keep you up all night long.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about warnings and dangers in Port Moresby.
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