North of the New Guinea mainland, this island chain, known locally as the province of Manus, has many large and beautiful atolls. Manusians are relatively well-educated compared with many of their New Guinea counterparts, and some can understand English.
At Lorengau, on the main island of Manus, shop for stone spear points and wooden bowls and relax around the Lorengau River, its falls and pools. Note that the airport is a leftover from World War II—U.S. troops built the runway from a mixture of asphalt and crushed coral.
It is necessary to travel by boat to reach villages outside Lorengau and the outer islands. Several smaller islands can be visited, including Bipi (fine carvings) and Lou (very pretty). It's possible to visit a traditional fishing village, with thatched houses on stilts along white sandy beaches, where life can be rather slow paced. Villagers can often be found escaping the hot afternoon sun under the shade of a favorite porch, passing the time by chewing buai (betel nuts). We recommend a maximum of three nights on the islands. 560 mi/900 km north of Port Moresby.
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