By MALUM NALU
BEAUTIFUL Kokopo, East New Britain, is recognised as one of the tourism hubs of Papua New Guinea.
All urban centres in the country should take a leaf out of Kokopo’s book if they want to be the same.
Recently, while in Kokopo, I took a good look around to see for myself why Kokopo is one of the leading tourism destinations in the country.
The first thing you’ll notice is the cleanliness of the town.
The people of Kokopo, and particularly the local Tolai people, are prolific betel nut chewers, however, you’ll hardly see any red spit stains.
Kokopo Market is without doubt the best in the country because of its cleanliness and organisation, so unlike the rest.
You can buy everything from seafood to galip nuts, without the fear of being harassed, as is the case in so many markets around the country.
The beautiful coastline stretching from Tokua Airport all the way to the volcanic town of Rabaul is another feature of the town.
I so much wanted to drive to Rabaul, however, that will have to wait until my next visit to Kokopo
The hotels and guesthouses are among the best in the country.
I stayed at Rapopo Plantation Resort, which is internationally recognised, and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of my stay.
The diving, snorkelling and dolphin watching attract tourists from all over the world.
Best of all is the friendliness of the people and the peacefulness of the area.
There is a lot more to see in Kokopo, Rabaul and the rest of East New Britain, however, time didn’t allow me to, apart from a long drive into the Baining Mountains.
Every city and town in PNG should learn from Kokopo if we are to get our tourism industry going.