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Wikitravel:Travellers' pub

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The Travellers' pub is the place to ask questions when you're confused, lost, afraid, tired, annoyed, thoughtful, or helpful. Please check the FAQ and Help page before asking a question, though, since that may save your time and others'.

Please add new questions at the bottom of the page and sign your post by appending four tildes (~~~~) to it, but otherwise plunge forward!

  • If you have a question or suggestion about a particular article, try using talk pages to keep the discussion specific to that article.

Please sweep the pub Keeping the Pub clean is a group effort. If we have too many conversations on this page, it will get too noisy and hard to read. If you see an old conversation (i.e. dormant for a month or more) that could or should be moved to another page, please do so, and note there that it has been swept in from the pub.

  • A question regarding a destination article should be swept to that article's discussion page
  • A discussion regarding a policy or the subject of an expedition can be swept to that policy or expedition discussion page
  • A simple question asked by a user can be swept to that user's talk page, but consider if the documentation needs a quick update to make it clearer for the next user with the same question.
  • A pointer to a discussion going on elsewhere, such as a notice of a star nomination or or a request to comment on another talk page, can be removed when it is two months old. Any discussion that occurred in the pub can be swept to where the main discussion took place.

Any discussions that do not fall into any of these categories, and are not of any special importance for posterity, should be archived to Wikitravel:Travellers' pub/Archives and removed from here. If you are not sure where to put a discussion, leave it alone—it's better to spend your efforts on those that you do know where to place.




Country's official name and type of government[edit]

It seems that I and User:Ttcf have reached a impass. Ttcf argues that adding the correct type of government to the infobox and adding the official name of a country in the article will make Wikitravel more like a inferior version of Wikipedia. While I argue that it will not, and if so, what about the infobox? If adding the official name and correct type of government will make Wikitravel more like Wikipedia, than the infobox shouldn't be in the articles about countries. And then the official name, adding the countries actual name like say adding officialy, Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace to the article about Brunei will make WT more like WP? It's not like I'm adding the countries leader(s) or defence budget to the article. Seqqis (talk) 18:19, 30 November 2014 (EST)

I think that this may well boil down to a question of tone.
I see that you are very active and experienced at Wikipedia but that encourages dry, encyclopaedic writing.
We're a Travel Guide and should write our articles from the point of view of the traveller. We're enjoined to ""Be conversational and informal when writing articles", and told that "Lively writing is welcome. The requirement of being fair should not be taken to mean that all writing must be bland and encyclopaedic. Wikitravel should celebrate travel, and you should feel free to share the adventure and excitement of the journey and the destination through your writing. For example, North Korea's human rights situation can and should be summed up as an "Orwellian nightmare", as opposed to noting that "some organizations have expressed concern about less than full compliance to international human rights standards, a charge vigorously denied by the Foreign Ministry.""
I do indeed think that
a) it's impossible to encapsulate most country's governmental systems in a few short words appropriate to our quickbar
b) trying to do so leads to endless unproductive tussles
c} most travellers are sincerely and resolutely uninterested in whether France is a "Unitary semi-presidential constitutional republic" rather than just a common or garden variety republic. (Is there any governement that claims to operate a "non-constitutional republic"?) For those that are interested we can add the information lower down in the "Understand" section.
d) we should remove the "governement" category from the quickbar (and perhaps replace it with something succinct and factual and possibly of more interest to the traveller such as the number of murders per 100,000 residents per year or the number of overseas visitors per year or just shorten the length of the quickbar altogether by leaving one less entry...)
None of the information you keep adding to various articles is being expunged. It's just that some of the stuff about the legal drinking age for alcohol or soliciting prostitutes or screwing the locals or whether France is currently on it's Fifth Republic, deserves a different prominence lower down in the body of the article rather than as the first thing that socks you in the eye when you start reading. (And please remember that the quickbar is all you get to read in the Mobile version unless you open other headings!)
While I have this opportunity, I also sincerely doubt that most practical travellers give a hoot about what languages are "Official" (Māori is the name of a people and not their language) and which are not -they just want to know what to expect. While it may be amusing to know that England and the US have no official language (no, not even their respective versions of English) and that New Zealand has Te Reo as an official language, what's really important in a travel guide is that English should get you by in all three. These kind of interesting tidbits about quirks of language and constitutional arrangements belong in the body text - not usually in the opening paragraphs (technically our H1 heading, and what search engines give most importance to).
Do you really think that an opening of
France (Officialy the French Republic) is a country located in Western Europe. Clockwise from the north, France borders Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland to the east, Italy to the south-east and Spain to the south-west, across the Pyrenees mountain range (the small country of Andorra lies in between the two countries). The Mediterranean Sea lies to the south of France, with the Principality of Monaco forming a small enclave. To the west, France has a long Atlantic Ocean coastline, while to the north lies the English Channel, across which lies the last of France's neighbours, England (part of the United Kingdom). In the Carribean, France borders the Netherlands via the French territory of Saint-Martin which borders the Dutch territory of Sint Maarten. Five oversea regions also form part of France: Martinique and Guadeloupe in the Caribbean, French Guiana in South America, and Reunion and Mayotte, both off the coast of Madagascar. Numerous French oversea territories also exist around the Earth with varying status.
(complete with TWO spelling mistakes) is better for a travel guide than
France is the country that more people enjoy visiting than any other.
France is geographically one of the most diverse countries in Europe. Its cities contain some of the greatest treasures in Europe, its countryside is prosperous and well tended and it boasts dozens of major tourist attractions, like Paris, the French Riviera, the Atlantic beaches, the winter sport resorts of the French Alps, the castles of the Loire Valley, Brittany and Normandy. France is renowned for its gastronomy (particularly wines and cheeses), history, culture and fashion.
when the "missing" information about France bordering the Netherlands and Madagascar can still be found further down the page?
Please remember that most of our country pages were seeded by material being imported from the CIA Fact Book, and in many of them that US centric, what's-important-for-preserving-diplomatic-relations-or-for-invasion purpose still shows - right down to the formulaic and often imprecise "the country" scattered throughout many articles. The lead paragraphs for most countries are well overdue a complete re-write. --Ttcf (talk) 19:04, 30 November 2014 (EST)
The govt info line should be deleted from the quickbar template. We can't do it well in just a word or two and attempting the impossible just leads to edit wars - we should leave that sort of stuff to Wikipedia - especially since all of our country articles are already linked to the relevant Wikipedia article. --Babaying balikbayan (talk) 07:18, 5 February 2015 (EST)

Additional information for images[edit]

Is there a suggested maximum length for a caption?

If the caption says it all, should the description repeat the caption or be left blank?

If the credit and the source would be identical should the source repeat the credit or be left blank?

Should credit be to Wikitravel ID or full name of photographer? Assuming work is being uploaded by the photographer. —The preceding comment was added by MichaelRpdx (talkcontribs)

Photos It may seem pedantic but the traveller comes first: is the caption you want to write more useful than blank space? There is no technical limit on photo captions as far as I'm aware but more than a few dozen words would probably not be useful. A caption shouldn't replace a listing and there will definitely be information that a caption would never include (like a fax number). Sourcing a photo shouldn't necessarily be the same as the credit but if they are, it's fine to put the same info. As far as credits in the caption of an article, it's probably irrelevant to most travellers who took a photo, so you could probably omit that. Koavf (talk) 12:08, 19 January 2015 (EST)

Right, OK, that clarifies the length of caption question. To clarify my question, it refers to the fields of the template one fills out when uploading an image.

Captions I don't want to be dismissive, so please don't read it this way but go for it: just try out whatever you think is best and let us know if it won't display properly or if it seems like it might be a problem. For what it's worth, I think you're doing a great job so far and you can always ask any question you want here. Koavf (talk) 12:26, 19 January 2015 (EST)
Hi, I also just left you a message on Wikitravel Shared, happy to help further if needed. Adzas (talk) 12:40, 19 January 2015 (EST)
Koavf, understood, you did not come across as dismissive at all. This falls into the "but my English isn't so good" realm. Do what you think fits and other people will come in and adjust as needed.—The preceding comment was added by MichaelRpdx (talkcontribs)

Misuse of Template:Warningbox[edit]

THere is an increasing tendency to misuse this template and cry Wolf too often and in too many places.

This is hardly surprising since both the strategic and practical advice about how to include governmental advisories at Template:Warningbox/doc is NOT linked or displayed on the actual template page itself!

I would edit the template myself - except that it has been locked so that only admins can edit it. --222.127.76.207 00:02, 24 January 2015 (EST)

BUMP! --Babaying balikbayan (talk) 00:04, 5 February 2015 (EST)

I´m not sure what exactly you want to add to the template, as both the template page and the doc page seem to have the same information? Adzas (talk) 10:40, 5 February 2015 (EST)
I currently see this when I look at Template:Warningbox :

This template is meant for non-obvious dangers to life and limb, and should be used sparingly. Appropriate uses include:

  • "civil war in this region"
  • "devastated by earthquake last week"
  • "frequent grizzly bear attacks"
  • "death penalty for marijuana possession"

Warningboxes can be used in the immediate aftermath of natural disasters, but should be removed as soon as the destination becomes reachable again (airports open, hotels available, no more plague victims).

Do not use this for minor announcements ("closed for repairs"), minor dangers ("fine for littering", "do not feed the monkeys") or obvious dangers ("do not walk on railway tracks", "do not wander down dark alleys while intoxicated").

If the danger affects the entire region, the warning box can be placed at the very top of the article. If the danger is localized or avoidable, place it under "Stay safe".

Whereas if the documentation at Template:Warningbox/doc was being properly included and displayed, I would see much more, ie:

When to use[edit]

This template is meant for non-obvious dangers to life and limb, and should be used sparingly. Appropriate uses include:

  • "civil war in this region"
  • "devastated by earthquake last week"
  • "frequent grizzly bear attacks"
  • "death penalty for marijuana possession"

Warningboxes can be used in the immediate aftermath of natural disasters, but should be removed as soon as the destination becomes reachable again (airports open, hotels available, no more plague victims).

Do not use this for minor announcements ("closed for repairs"), minor dangers ("fine for littering", "do not feed the monkeys") or obvious dangers ("do not walk on railway tracks", "do not wander down dark alleys while intoxicated").

How to use[edit]

If the danger affects the entire region, the warning box can be placed at the very top of the article. If the danger is localised or avoidable, place it under "Stay safe".

The warning message should be placed after the | in the template.

To add advisories, insert the full and direct URLs of a particular government's country-specific information into the available country parameters: australia, canada, india, ireland, nz, southafrica, uk, us

Example: {{warningbox|March 2013: a large number of strikes and protests took place across the country in response to the trials of alleged war criminals. Both supporters and detractors of the accused are in civil disobedience campaigns. Strikes frequently turned violent, with over 60 people killed. Monitor local news for updates and try to avoid large crowds and protests. |australia=http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/zw-cgi/view/Advice/Bangladesh |canada=http://travel.gc.ca/destinations/bangladesh |ireland=http://www.dfa.ie/travel/travel-advice/a-z-list-of-countries/bangladesh/ |nz=http://www.safetravel.govt.nz/destinations/bangladesh.shtml |uk=http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/asia-oceania/bangladesh |us=http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1011.html }}

Travel advisories[edit]

This template allows the addition of Government travel advisories. The following links may help find URLs of official advisories:

--Babaying balikbayan (talk) 20:26, 5 February 2015 (EST)

SISAKET (Thailand)[edit]

Will someone with access please change the name of this Province from Si Saket to Sisaket, which is what is almost always written in English (see Wikipedia and many other references). Also my own personal experience in Thailand. Avemario (talk)

Hello, thanks for your message. I changed the Redirect around from Si Saket to Sisaket, but I think this area needs a bit more attention. The Sisaket Province article is also redirected to Sisaket (done quite some time ago) but the Sisaket article talks about the city and not the province, so an article for the province would need to be created as well, agree? Would you be able to assist with the content if we do? Adzas (talk) 07:15, 24 January 2015 (EST)

Thanx for that Adzas.

From what I see of all the different places in Thailand, they all used to be listed in Provinces, and then were redirected to the Cities (check some of them to see what I mean - there is a comment "redirected from .......Province" at the top.)

The only places in Thailand with separate province articles are the ones which are heavily visited by tourists, namely - Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, and Krabi. This is good because there is very much to do within the Province as well as in the city itself. But the other places are not so well visited (yet), and I think that until the writeup on a particular city becomes seriously unwieldly, maybe they should be left as they are. As it is, all the writeups list the things to see in the separate provinces, and in some cases, there are separate articles on particular towns or attractions there - eg Amphawa Floating Market, Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, Ban Ao Luek, Ban Pong, Ban Lom Sak being several in this category.

I did note one which redirects from Rayong Province, and is named "Eastern Gulf Coast". I cannot imagine why anyone would want to look at this, and indeed, from reading the edits, no one has really looked at it for years. In fact, I have never seen it until now when your suggestion made me look through Provinces, as a "tourist" who does not know the place will usually just pull up the city name and check that out.

Sisaket is not a seriously visited place at all - I have been there and done a decent update as there was little there on record at the time, and you will note that I have updated many Provincial Cities in Thailand where nothing has been done for several years, due to no one visiting there. Fortunately I have been able to do this after visiting these. Hopefully the updates will encourage people to go there, so the articles will expand naturally over time. Avemario (talk) 01:37, 25 January 2015 (EST)

Recommendation that tout be blocked for 1 day[edit]

Despite several warnings at User talk:Candyline, this hotel marketeer has neither replied nor modified their touting behaviour. I recommend they be blocked for 24h as a "heads-up" not to ignore established and clear written policy on marketing campaign codes in URLs]. --Babaying balikbayan (talk) 23:08, 3 February 2015 (EST)

Thanks, Binbin! --Babaying balikbayan (talk) 06:58, 4 February 2015 (EST)

Cebu City[edit]

Please would someone with admin privileges delete the blocking re-direct and move the page name to the most common name in the English language ((and the name already in use in many of our articles): Cebu City. --Babaying balikbayan (talk) 23:50, 3 February 2015 (EST)

Have a look now, I removed a re-direct which seemed double, let me know if I missed anything that you wanted done. Adzas (talk) 09:45, 4 February 2015 (EST)
Thanks, Adzas! --Babaying balikbayan (talk) 00:00, 5 February 2015 (EST)

Listings Being Removed[edit]

Hello,

I have tried to add multiple hotel listings to this site and majority of them are being removed. I can give several examples if needed but I am not sure why some listings are staying while others are being removed. We follow the same pattern for each listing so it does not make sense that some are added while others are removed. All the contributor says is our listing was removed for not following the guidelines. We have read through your guidelines to make sure we follow what is outlined. Further, the site welcomes business owners to add their listing as outlined here - http://wikitravel.org/en/Wikitravel:Welcome,_business_owners

I work at the Corporate offices so I have a team of individuals that are working to 1) Clean up listings since we've changed URLs to many of our hotels. We have consolidated much of our properties into one site so that is the reason our URLs have changed. 2) Work with individual hotel owners to make sure properties are up-to-date and help them out by offering support in certain areas such as what we are doing here.

If you link to an individual hotel owners site then we leave the link as is. If the hotel is not listed on the page, we then move forward adding a listing. This is our process. Any insights into why a lot of our listings are being removed would be appreciated. Thank you. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Buash (talkcontribs) 18:58, 5 February 2015 (EST)

Thank you for reading the business guidelines and trying to be a good contributor. You may find that this is not the right venue for you, however. At its heart, Wikitravel is a resource by travelers for travelers - not by businesses for travelers. As such, we take a much wider view of what looks like "spam," and when a company or its marketing firm seeks to inundate our community-written pages with listing after listing that seeks to benefit itself rather than the community, you will find your listings get speedily deleted. The rules you read are a guideline. The spirit of the site is as I have stated. Hope that helps. IBobi (talk) 19:32, 5 February 2015 (EST)
For what it's worth, I also would have deleted your badly formatted listings (including the ones where you did not bother to log in) that did not include pricing information.
IBobi is the boss here and what he says goes, but many ordinary contributors like myself like to adopt a carrot and stick approach: if you bother to actually read our Manual of Style (and other advice hyperlinked in blue) and to reply to messages left on your talk page (where it would have been perhaps more appropriate to post this), then it's human nature that editors may give you a bit more rope, eh? Let's be clear about this, there can be some synergy and mutual benefit, but the traveller comes first and you need to do some serious reading - including how to add your signature to your posts on article discussion and talk pages such as this one ... --Babaying balikbayan (talk) 20:17, 5 February 2015 (EST)

Thanks for the reply. I fully understand that travelers take precedence however, I doubt I am the first business to add a listing to the site. For example, on the page you pointed out your badly formatted listings (including [http://wikitravel.org/wiki/en/index.php?title=Washington,_D.C./East_End&diff=prev&oldid=2282349 I noticed that all of the hotels listed in the Mid-Range section are linking to bitly links which go to hotelscombined.com. This is fully against your guidelines. Plus, they use bitly links which are usually used by SEO spammers. Anyways, I thank you for not removing my business owners hotel listing. Moving forward I will let business owners add there own listings to this site and hope you will allow them to add them. Thanks. --User:Buash (talk) 0940, 6 February 2015 (EST)

Thank you for noticing the bitly links. I just removed them as they breach our External links policies. Cheers! IBAlex (talk) 16:10, 6 February 2015 (EST)

Phuket Island Hotel Listing[edit]

I note that, despite the suggestion that hotels should be listed at their respective destinations, there is a listing from Allamand Laguna added recently. The listing is pretty "tout-y", with "we....do this" sort of comments.

I further note that there is a template for Thalang, but nothing written on it at all.

Perhaps something needs to be done about this listing, so will someone in authority please decide the best option? The listing was added late January.

Avemario (talk) 01:18, 7 February 2015 (EST)

Thanks Avemario for spotting that! The listing was definitely touty and should not be listed there. It was clearly written All sleep listings should be put in their respective city or beach articles. Next time you see something like that, feel encouraged to delete it :) Cheers! IBAlex (talk) 06:12, 7 February 2015 (EST)

Embassy policy[edit]

Including the list of embassies in the guide to a capital city of a large counties has not been thought through. For Washington and Beijing, there are far too many embassies. What are they doing there? Embassies serve the whole country, not the city. If I need an embassy, then I am not likely to already be in Washington or Beijing. What if I am in Nevada? I may need to go to a consulate, but where is the nearest consulate? Some will be in California and will be missed. For most countries no change is necessary as the capital is the only major city. For large countries, we should consider the traveller may be in real need of urgent consular assistance and unless they are already in the capital city, they will find the current system difficult.

The other reason for change, is that the capital cities are mostly enormous cities already. These capital city articles do not need to be made longer by having pages of embassy information added to them. Also what about embassy districts? Would we repeat all the information and make it difficult to maintain? Let's make it easier to visit major capital cities.

The appropriate policy for large countries (with more than 100 embassies) is as follows:

  1.  Put all the embassies and consulate details of one country on a single page, and keep that page maintained.
  2.  Provide a link to that page, from the country page, the capital city page, any city with consulates and any other page where a reader may look for consular assistance.
  3.  Provide only non-consular information about embassies on the capital city and district pages. An embassy or an embassy district would be discussed as worth visiting for non-consular reasons, such as cultural centre or interesting architecture.

Ideally, this should developed into a policy. Lawe (talk) 01:49, 10 February 2015 (EST)

This topic seems to be a bit overlooked which is a pity since it can lead to a valuable change in our pages and policies. I agree with Lawe, huge lists of embassies/consulates in a city's article aren't that useful and an "Embassy district" (or whatever we decide to call it) may be a good choice as well as having embassies/consulates pages for countries. I hope other users and Admins will join the discussion and share ideas. GiulioC (talk) 15:17, 23 February 2015 (EST)
I totally agree with above, huge lists are not useful, so great Lawe brought this up. However, I´m not sure yet what the value would be of different pages for each country with just lists of embassies, as we always say we don´t want wikitravel to become like the yellow pages. Many countries have a general link that lists embassies in that country, why not just add that one link (example http://www.government.nl/issues/embassies-consulates-and-other-representations), and just remove those long lists out of the articles? Either way, a change is definitely needed. Adzas (talk) 18:15, 23 February 2015 (EST)
In some cities, embassies may be a tourist attraction. In Canberra, countries use traditional architectures. In Beijing, embassies must be in designated embassy districts. In Paris, some embassies had cultural centres attached. Lawe (talk) 00:42, 24 February 2015 (EST)

Re: Wikitravel page User talk:VeritasVera has been created by IBilkka[edit]

Hello Wikitravel, A few weeks ago I got an email from user IBilkka about me editing some text on the Kampala page... ==========================================================================

Hi VeritasVera! Welcome to Wikitravel. I adjusted your edit on the Kampala page (just formatting), but can you double check the url of the Consulate you added, it does not seem to work. To help you further contributing, we've created a quick contribution guide and a tips for new contributors page, full of helpful links about policies and guidelines and style as well as some important information on copyleft and basic stuff like how to edit a page. If you need help, check out Wikitravel:Help, or post a message in the travellers' pub. --

IBilkka (talk) 18:55, 18 January 2015 (EST) ===========================================================================

But the truth be said: I have never edited anything on this page. My only aditing was on the page with Bosnian Common Phrases.

Thanks. Kind regards to all! Veritas Vera

Making Wikitravel Easier for Translators[edit]

Hi all,

I'm an amateur translator, with a few years of translation experience, mainly Japanese -> English, and I'm looking to fill in the gaps in some of the Wikitravel articles by translating them from better articles written in the local language. I'm sure I'm not the only one, and maybe everyone has been really efficient or something, because it's really difficult to find articles which need translating. I like to believe there are lots of articles out there written in someone's native language which would benefit more travellers by being translated to English, is there any way we can make an index for us translators?

I would be willing to translate Chinese, Japanese, French, German, Russian or Spanish to English, but all the work needed to contribute this technical expertise is really daunting. Thanks! —The preceding comment was added by HandsomeBoh (talkcontribs)

Hello HandsomeBoh! Help is always welcome! We do have one tool that may meet your expectations, the http://wikitravel.org/en/Category:Articles_needing_translation page! Hope this will help, otherwise, feel free to ask! Happy translation! PierrB (talk) 22:17, 21 February 2015 (EST)
I have seen that page, but it seems to have very few articles which need translating. Are you sure there aren't any others haha? —The preceding comment was added by HandsomeBoh (talkcontribs)
Hi, great that you want to help with the articles! We don´t really work with a list at the moment of articles to translate, we just plunge forward where we feel an article needs attention or needs translating. I am working on the dutch version where we just discuss with the users there and work on articles, and if I see a great article on the dutch version which is not yet complete on the english version, I would just work on that. Our main focus has been to improve existing articles so go ahead and jump in! Greatly appreciated! Adzas (talk) 06:27, 22 February 2015 (EST)


Inquiry about name change of article[edit]

Hello,

I hope I'm doing this well. I would like an advice. I made a wiki page about my town Kaštela. Now I'm thinking if it's going to be a problem for people trying to find it, as the letter š is not really in use. So I would like to make it that if somebody searches for Kastela also arrives to Kaštela page. Any help?

Thank you, Gandor —The preceding comment was added by Gandor (talkcontribs)

Names If you want to know more about how this software works, you can check MediaWiki's homepage to get all the documentation. The quick answer is that anyone can easily make a redirect from Kastela to Kaštela. Koavf (talk) 03:27, 24 February 2015 (EST)


Thank you very much Koavf. I don't know a lot about changing that stuff. I'm amateur. I really appreciate your help. :)

Thank you once again, Gandor —The preceding comment was added by Gandor (talkcontribs)

It looks like Koavf already made a re-direct, so all will be able to find your town. Thanks for your contributions! Adzas (talk) 09:48, 24 February 2015 (EST)

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