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Taking off in the delicate morning fog from Take Anda Museum in Wabag, the Tasting Enga Tour begins with a picturesque 45-minute drive west-ward to the fertile plateau of Sirinku. The drive follows the Lai River all the way to its source at Lake Ivae making for scenery fit for an epic western movie.

Along the way you’ll also see cheerful roadside markets selling fresh produce like carrots, strawberries and peanuts. So, if you miss breakfast or feel like a snack you can stop along the way and graze.

When you reach Sirunki, it’s another 30 minutes of driving through the district of Laiagam to Yokonda village, which is where you will continue of foot to the Mulisos Salt Ponds.

A gentle 30-minute mini-trek along curated paths, through forest groves, across traditional-style foot bridges and along a patchwork quilt of local gardens, will take you to the salt ponds.

The spikes protruding from these salt ponds are wooden stakes planted there generations ago as a way of distributing this resource among clans. Mulisos Salt Ponds, Laiagam District, Enga Province.

They may appear smaller than expected at first sight, but that does not diminish their significance to the lives of the Enga people, through an expansive salt trade that was born from these ponds and many others dotted throughout these parts of Enga.

At Mulisos, you will see the evidence of how long ago the salt trade started and hear first-hand the story of how salt was discovered some seven generations ago.

Curious crowds of locals mixed with visitors gather around the Mulisos Salt Ponds to hear the history of Enga's salt trade. The stakes in these salt ponds have been here for seven generations.

Back then, the ancestors of the people who live here noticed birds coming to drink at the ponds and upon tasting the water themselves discovered its flavour.

They then set about creating a way to harvest and extract the salt from the water, using wood and fire. The visit to the salt ponds includes a demonstration of this unique and clever traditional method of salt extraction. And, of course, you will be able to taste its extraordinary flavour fresh from the fire or the ponds themselves.

Collecting wood that has been soaking in the salt ponds for up 6 months. And binding salt in bundles with pandanus leaves. Mulisos Salt Ponds, Laiagam District, Enga Province.

Nowadays, the people who harvest the salt, also use modern evaporation methods, and sell the salt in the markets and at events like the Enga Cultural Show. Both the traditional and modern salt varieties can be purchased during your visit. This, plus the K35 entry fee, puts money into this remote community and helps sustain the condition of this historic site.

Packages of Mulisos salt, both the old and the new. Mulisos Salt Ponds, Laiagam District, Enga Province.

The Tasting Enga tour continues from the Mulisos Salt Ponds to Yaskom Resort Hotel, where you will enjoy a hearty traditional mumu lunch, cooked in an Earth oven using hot stones. The lunch includes local ingredients of sweet potato, pork, goat and chicken flavour with greens, edible ferns and local spices all infused with the smoky flavours of the Earth oven.

Traditional Enga Mumu - Yaskom Resort Hotel, Enga

The mumu lunch venue includes wonderful views overlooking Lake Ivae, which is known as the source of the Sepik River – the Amazon of the Pacific.

Lake Ivae, Sirunki, Enga Province

The lake lies like a heart-shaped mirror cutting through the lush green landscape. Its ever-changing face depends on the weather and time of day, from glassy reflections of a crisp blue midday sky, to rolling, growling grey balls from rain clouds, to rippling silver at sunset.

Lake Ivae is located in the heart of Enga’s agriculture belt where a trip to the strawberry farm and a honey apiary completes all the flavours of this food packed day.

Enga’s Sirinki Strawberry fields in Sirunki and Sirunki Honey, Laiagam District, Enga Province.

You can book for the Tasting Enga Tour at www.engashow/tickets or as part of our 2023 special PNG Air 3-Night Enga Cultural Show Package. CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE.

Prices include transport for the day from Wabag, entry fee to salt ponds and the mumu lunch at Yaskom Resort-Hotel.


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