Madang has earned the reputation of being the prettiest town in the South Pacific. Madang Province has an outstanding mountain range and coastal and island beauty. Its population of 240,000 is broken into four definite groups — islander, coastal, river and mountain. They differ physically and it is easy to see the different tribal characteristics in people's facial features. Hansa Bay was a bloody battlefield during WWII before Australia defeated the Japanese in Wewak, and reminders remain today. Sunken ships provide interesting dive locations and there is an abandoned airstrip — complete with plane wrecks — to visit. Madang is a show place of parks, waterways, shady trees and tropical islands. The small town has hotels, department stores, markets and souvenir and artifact shops. There is a Museum and Cultural Centre and displays of traditional seagoing vessels. Markets with stalls selling fruit, vegetables, clothing, nuts, fish and artifacts are run by local villagers and provide an interesting place to wander, every day except Sunday. Madang is one of Papua New Guinea's most popular tourist spots, but that doesn't mean bustling crowds. Its popularity has increased thanks to it being one of the world's best diving locations, created by warm fertile waters that surge through passages and channels. The waters support a superb range of colorful and diverse sea life. Those who know say it is at least equal to diving places such as the Red Sea, the Caribbean and the Great Barrier Reef. Apart from the old wrecks, it has reefs, shark diving, drift diving and shallow lagoons. Out of the water, there's also plenty of sightseeing to be done, including helicopter tours to inland villages.