On average, only 300 overseas visitors attend this festival, so it’s guaranteed to be full of local flavour. The Hagen Show pits one tribe against another in a sing- and dance-off, a battle to gain status without bloodshed.

WHY: The show’s roots are in colonial times when the Europeans sought to reduce tribal fighting by channelling inter-tribal rivalry through competitions for the best cultural performance (crafty). Today, the tribal groups compete for cash prizes along with honour and glory.

DO IT BECAUSE: Aside from the spectacular dances, you can get a backstage glimpse into the dancers’ preparations in Paiya Village. In this informal setting, visitors watch the performers apply their make-up and body decorations before the performance.

August 9-15
Papua New Guinea


Photo: Getty Images

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