Papua New Guinea
Walindi Plantation Resort Loloata Island Resort
My trip to Papua New Guinea (PNG) was a wonderful adventure. Traveling there is not for people without lots of patience. You must build time into your itinerary for cancelled planes. I had three cancelled flight! The travel time there was about 3 day, and 4 to get back. Don't try and book this trip yourself. Use a travel agent. Jenny at Reef and Rainforest travel helped me quit a bit. I highly recommend them for any dive travel trips.
I first stayed at Walindi Plantation Resort. This was a wonderful place. Very clean, incredibly nice, accommodating staff. The diving was top notch macro. Lots of little things. The water was warm but the visibility was a little disappointing. The diving itself was not techniquely hard. Anyone can dive there. The dive masters were all very good at their jobs. They took care of us well. In all, I would highly recommend the resort. I would also suggest to get out into the villages and realize how good we have it. We take so much for granted!!!!!!!!! Running water, electricity, screens, stoves, washers..........the list is endless. The people there have nothing compared to us, yet they are happy. If the world goes up in flames, they will persevere.
The second place I stayed was Loloata Island Resort. Again this was a great place to dive at. But diving is really all it has to offer. It is located on a very small island with absolutely nothing to do. The staff were incredibly nice. I can't say enough about dive masters. Franco Rocks. The service was so good, I was taken on a night dive by myself. Later in the week the staff took us to their favorite spots. It would have been wide angle heaven but the visibility there was worse then Walindi. It had been raining a lot prior to us getting there. Any seasoned diver knows visibility is a crap shoot anyways. The lacey scorpion fish is the absolutely most beautiful fish I have ever seen. That alone is worth the trip there, and that is the only place in the world you will see it!
During my travels there and back I spent some time in Hong Kong, and Manila. Hong Kong was great. I stayed at he airport hotel which was top notch. Then I took the Train into town. It was very quick and easy. The streets were bussaling with action. When in Hong Kong be carefull not to get run over by pedistrians. They are pushy as hell.
Manila was interesting. It had very nice locals that I met. I did not have time to wonder around, but I would like to go back and try and do some diving in the area.