Vanimo, Papua New Guinea.

After receiving an offer from a friend that he wanted me to assist him in his business in Papua New Guinea,  I  googled basic information from the internet about the towns in Papua New Guinea. Port Moresby looks interesting, nice seafood. Lae has a 9 hole golf course …. not bad after all but after receiving more information from him that I would be sent to a town named Vanimo, I looked up in Google maps  and I found that it is located in the north of Papua New Guinea. I learned that I had to go to the Indonesian side of Papua Island to Jayapura which it is the provincial capital of Indonesian Papua and then take a two and a half hour 4×4 vehicle journey across the border into Papua New Guinea before arriving into Vanimo town.

I have passed through a lot of isolated land border crossings during my travels  but the CIQ at the PNG side of the border was the first that I have seen manned by two personnel only .


Main road, Vanimo.

Bank with the only ATM and internet connection @ Vanimo.

Vanimo District Court.

Government Office, Vanimo.

Church @ Vanimo
Vanimo is actually a timber industry town and the capital town of the West Sepik District or the  Sandaun District. The population of Vanimo itself is around 4000 inhabitants including the town area which consists of half of the total. I was billeted in a small motel room in central Vanimo which really is considerably expensive because I could get a junior suite in Kuala Lumpur for the kind of prices that was offered. Luckily it offered satellite TV facilities plus Pokey machines. Internet is non existent in Vanimo and only available at the only bank that is located in Vanimo town and I was going to be here for five nights !!!!!!
Vanimo Bay.

Vanimo Bay.

Vanimo signboard.

Evenings at Vanimo.
I spent my evenings after work at a bay in front of my motel, people watching and walking around town just to kill time. Life is generally slow in Vanimo where most of the towns people are either at the main beach or at the main supermarket where it closes at four in the evening. There is an airport in Vanimo where scheduled flights are from Port Moresby and Wewak.
The other attraction that draws the tourists mainly from Australia is surfing. The surfing sport in Vanimo still remains low profile compared to other parts of the world as the operators in Vanimo limits the number of surfers for the benefit of all parties. 
Vanimo Bay.

Vanimo Bay.

Vanimo Bay.
Oil & Gas entrepreneurs.
Fishing by the port pier.
Evening crowd by Vanimo Bay.
The main Vanimo Bay that faces Bismarck sea is crowded in the evenings where people pass their time sitting by benches overlooking the bay. One could find lady folks trying out their luck fishing by the port pier. Crowds could be seen at shops buying food and drinks as shops in Vanimo closes early. Night life in Vanimo is only extended at the motels that have ‘Pokey’ machines at their premises and other than that there is virtually zero night life in Vanimo unless there is one that I was not aware of. Rumours of wild parties that happens at the surfing beaches paints a different story.
Vanimo morning market.

Vanimo morning market.

Vanimo morning market.

Vanimo morning market.

Vanimo supermarket.
One my last morning in Vanimo, I ventured into the morning market. Most vendors were selling herbs of all kinds, betel nut, sweet potatoes and cigarettes. There were the odd stalls that were selling clothes  Other than that, the locals would buy their sundry supplies at the Vanimo supermarket and the Chinese owned sundry shops that were selling mostly ‘Made in China’ goods. Made me think what life was here back in the 70’s… were there any shops or banks? Vanimo is one of the most isolated towns that I ever visited during my travels and it taught me to be more contented with what I have and what I had in life, to ask for no more and to enjoy what I have or had.
I  enjoyed my working visit to Vanimo and looking forward to checking out the surfers’ beach on my next visit there . In shaa Allah (God Willing).

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