Upper Sepik, Papua New Guinea
The Sepik River might be the closest thing people imagine of PNG: hard to access, tribal and traditional, spirits inhabiting nature, and a slow, remote way of life. It’s considered one of the signature spots of PNG identity and culture; in a country with few tourists, a place that a large portion attempt to visit despite the hassle. Even PNG’s national parliament building in Port Moresby is modeled after a Sepik spirit house. It’s those very houses that I first saw on TV years ago that planted the seed for this trip, and so the Sepik is the centerpiece — one that almost didn’t happen.