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gastronomic travel: where to start[edit]

Swept in from the pub

From my experience, there's almost no information on gastronomic traveling at Wikitravel. What gourmet specialties are in each region? How to find authentic places (or even families) to try it? What are gastronomic regions in each country? What are the subtle differences between specialities in this vs that town/region; between countries?

How much this topic is welcome here? Are there already enthusiasts who are idle for some reasons? Can someone recommend any general books on where to start and how to approach? Should we start with a travel topic, or an expedition, or something else? --DenisYurkin 23:54, 20 July 2007 (EDT)

I make a point of including lots of food info in countries I write about (cf. Singapore, Thailand, Japan, Malawi). The Eat section should at a minimum cover the cuisine and point to areas with distinctive "subcuisines". However, I'm not really sure about how this could be a travel topic -- you can eat good food in any country, yet there's not much in common between a three-Michelin-star restaurant in Paris and the world's best phad thai stand in Bangkok. (Which, for reference, is next to the HSBC building on the south side of Lumpini Park. Open for lunch weekdays only and 29 baht a plate.) Jpatokal 02:41, 21 July 2007 (EDT)
What would we do without you Jani? You crack me up sometimes – cacahuate talk 01:09, 24 July 2007 (EDT)
Does it make sense to create some set of recommendations on what a gastronomically perfect article on a destination should include? Whether as a part of Star requirements (not sure) or as a separate list of requirements which we aim to achieve working on an article on a gastronomic side (which looks more reasonable to me). For example, I feel quite knowledgeable in Russian cuisine, but a blank page syndrome doesn't give me an idea of what specifically I can share with those travelers interested in the subject. --DenisYurkin 14:09, 22 July 2007 (EDT)
> and the world's best phad thai stand in Bangkok
BTW, does the current structure of Wikitravel is good for facts like this? How can wikitraveler find where in the world the best version of (younameit) dish can be found? --DenisYurkin 06:40, 25 July 2007 (EDT)
That's hopelessly subjective information. I think it's the greatest phad thai in the world, but my cousin wasn't quite so impressed by the ambience: it's a concrete shack with only two walls, no air-con and a very open kitchen, facing a major street, and you chow down on your noodles while sitting on little plastic chairs. Jpatokal 22:57, 25 July 2007 (EDT)
I always try to write a good bit on food for an area too. You're probably in good company here. Jordanmills 11:25, 21 July 2007 (EDT)

OK, let me ask a more practical question for a while. What would you recommend to do if I can't find enough info on cuisine and restaurants of a specific country I am heading to? Typically, all I know before my trip is my budget per day and places I will be likely visiting--and I want to get most of my trip in gastronomic sense. I even don't have any specific question to leave on the country's talk page. How would you approach that? --DenisYurkin 14:01, 22 July 2007 (EDT)

I think that info should be in the Eat section for the country. A description of the peculiarities of the food of that country and perhaps a general description of where to find the food. The reader can then drill down into district/city/city district pages for specific recommendations. (That's roughly what I did for Barbados though I cheated by adding a link to my favorite restaurant for Bajan cuisine!)--Wandering 11:53, 24 July 2007 (EDT)
Actually, I meant "how to start understanding local cuisine when there's no info on Wikitravel, and I know nothing on the region's cuisine", not "where to stick what I already have to contribute"-- as I have nothing yet. --DenisYurkin 06:33, 25 July 2007 (EDT)
Uhh... Google? Wikipedia? There are "Cuisine of X" articles for most places in the world there... Jpatokal 22:57, 25 July 2007 (EDT)


"Talk" sections[edit]

Swept in from the pub:

Is there any compelling reason for a "Talk" section not to be on a city article, if there are legitimate language issues to mention? On a related note, I see Philadelphia has a slang guide under "Cope", which seems odd. Is that an appropriate location for it, or should it be in a "Talk" section? Or is "Talk" just for actual language issues rather than dialects/slang? LtPowers 09:53, 3 September 2008 (EDT)

I've always used talk sections to cover local dialects and slang, but I love that stuff—maybe it's generally too in depth for Wikitravel? It's generally not useful for travel, but I think it makes for interesting travel reading. I've been meaning to write a little bit about Bawlmorese. --Peter Talk 12:37, 3 September 2008 (EDT)
Not questioning the usefulness of the content, just the placement. And also still wondering if it's okay to have a Talk section in a city article. LtPowers 18:35, 4 September 2008 (EDT)
I'd put information like a Philly slang guide under a talk section, yes. I wouldn't add a talk section to the city template, but I think it's fair to put one in when appropriate. --Peter Talk 18:57, 4 September 2008 (EDT)

close to city: GetOut vs See/Do/Eat[edit]

Moved from Wikitravel talk:Where you can stick it

Following Peter's edit [1], I wonder how we choose whether to put an attraction/restaurant/activity into GetOut vs into See/Do/Eat/Sleep of the city article (or should my question belong to elsewhere?) --DenisYurkin 21:00, 1 September 2010 (EDT)

That's a really odd edit, IMO, as the by-section index is supposed to be a reflection of the by-topic index. Anyway, to answer your question, I would say that if the attraction has a full listing in another travel guide, it should probably be in "Get out". If it doesn't, then it should get a full listing in the appropriate section. LtPowers 11:01, 2 September 2010 (EDT)
I think attractions should never be listed in Get Out, it should just be a list of bulleted places surrounding the city. --globe-trotter 11:36, 2 September 2010 (EDT)
Yeah, I didn't really think that through. I think Globe-trotter's got the better of it here, although I should point out that that doesn't mean we can't mention prominent attractions of the listed "Get out" destinations. And I think there's room for prose in "Get out", not just bullets (see, e.g., Fairport (New York)#Get out). LtPowers 16:26, 2 September 2010 (EDT)
Oh yes, prose is fine. I meant that it should be about linking to other destinations instead of the section having separate content of its own. But it seems we all agree on this :) --globe-trotter 19:13, 11 September 2010 (EDT)
I just discovered Wikitravel:Article templates/Sections, never seen it before. Looks like my question should be better moved here; will do so with a subsequent edit. --DenisYurkin 18:24, 13 September 2010 (EDT)
Done. --DenisYurkin 18:33, 13 September 2010 (EDT)

What about this edit [2]? If the town had its own article, it's clear that it should be mentioned in GetOut. But if it doesn't, should its monastery and restaurants mentioned in GetOut rather than in Vienna's Eat and See? --DenisYurkin 17:42, 14 September 2010 (EDT)

No, Get Out is strictly for other pages that the reader may want to view next. If the destination doesn't have an article (and even sometimes if it does), important attractions should be mentioned in either the nearest article or the next-biggest article. LtPowers 22:11, 14 September 2010 (EDT)
If the destination doesn't have an article, important attractions should be mentioned in either the nearest article or the next-biggest article
1. How to choose between nearest article (you meant nearest city?) and the next-biggest article (you meant containing region)?
2. In that nearest/next-biggest, attraction should go in See, not in GetOut, right? --DenisYurkin 17:53, 3 January 2011 (EST)
1. Usually it will go in the nearest destination's article, but sometimes there isn't one nearby or there are two equally nearby and it should go in the regional article instead (for lack of a better location). Sometimes it could be in both.
2. Yes.
-- LtPowers 21:12, 3 January 2011 (EST)
It feels like it is not clearly explained in the policies--but where is best to stick it? (seems to be more relevant to guidelines on listings, but clarity will also help for #GetOut in this article, if there's no objections on this). --DenisYurkin 16:51, 18 January 2011 (EST)
Where is best to stick what? LtPowers 11:49, 19 January 2011 (EST)
I meant your #1:
Usually it will go in the nearest destination's article, but sometimes there isn't one nearby or there are two equally nearby and it should go in the regional article instead (for lack of a better location). Sometimes it could be in both.
--DenisYurkin 18:58, 28 January 2011 (EST)
Exactly what I said. There is no universal "best". If there's a destination nearby, it goes there. If not, it goes elsewhere. LtPowers 19:27, 28 January 2011 (EST)
 :) I meant in which of policy pages we could best stick this clarification? --DenisYurkin 19:50, 28 January 2011 (EST)
Wikitravel:Geographical hierarchy? I'm not sure if it really needs clarification. LtPowers 20:48, 28 January 2011 (EST)

move to top-level Wikitravel: namespace?[edit]

Just discovered this article, really surprised I never seen it before.

I wonder if there's any special reason (a) for having it under "/" rather than moving into root Wikitravel: namespace; (b) for not making it more linked-to from various indexes (just added a link from Wikitravel:Namespace index#Section content, but that doesn't seem enough imho). --DenisYurkin 18:32, 13 September 2010 (EDT)

Also, just added a link from Wikitravel:Where you can stick it#See also. That section clearly suggests these 3 articles should have more distinctive names (and also "speaking for themselves"): Wikitravel:Article templates, Wikitravel talk:Article templates/Sections and Wikitravel:Section headers. --DenisYurkin 18:37, 13 September 2010 (EDT)
This page was intended as a supplement to the various article templates, which list which sections go in each type of articles. This page kind of does the reverse -- it explains which types of articles each section is found in. So it made sense to make it a subpage of Article Templates. LtPowers 19:04, 13 September 2010 (EDT)

Road types..[edit]

Swept from the pub:

I'm doing a bit of work around lesser traveled roads, and I'm essentially using the three categories..

  • Sealed road - meaning surface is paved, asphalt, concrete, etc.
  • Gravel road - graded and loose rock surface added and compacted
  • Formed road - just graded, road surface varies depending on terrain.

Are these meanings clear enough to everyone, or are they a local dialect? --inas 23:03, 6 January 2011 (EST)

I don't think it's a local dialect problem, but they are a bit technical—I didn't know formed road off the bat. I would suggest paved road, gravel road, and dirt road, but that may perhaps be my own local dialect ;) --Peter Talk 23:13, 6 January 2011 (EST)
I agree with Peter on dirt road vs formed road, as I would understand your 3rd meaning as dirt road, but formed road would be meaningless to me. I would guess that this would be shared by most English speaking South Africans, Can't comment on other parts of the English speaking world. I am easy on paved road vs sealed, with a slight bias to paved. For some parts of the world, you may need a fourth category for a road which is not even graded, or which may be graded on such an irregular basis that you should assume that it has not been graded. In parts of Africa these may be quite important routes. I suggest "Bush road" as a possible term. • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 01:50, 7 January 2011 (EST)
It is also called a trek, track or 4x4 track if that is what you mean. Swissbelg 06:32, 7 January 2011 (EST)
In the U.S. we call those "unimproved dirt roads." Not sure if this is in common usage elsewhere. --Peter Talk 22:03, 7 January 2011 (EST)
"Unimproved dirt roads" conveys the meaning pretty well to me, or maybe even just "unimproved road". "Graded road" or "Graded dirt road" is then another possible option for "Formed road" • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 02:06, 8 January 2011 (EST)
"Sealed Road" sounds too technical/stuffy to me. I think it'd be better just to say "road" or in the case of differentiating it from a dirt road, just calling it a "paved road". I have never heard "unimproved dirt road" although I'm American, but it definitely gives a clear impression of the type

of road. ChubbyWimbus 02:01, 9 January 2011 (EST)

"Paved" has the added advantage of including cobbled and other surfaces where bricks, stones or other form of laid slab surfacing is used, which technically may not be "sealed", as the joints are not watertight. • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 02:43, 9 January 2011 (EST)
I would support the following designations: "Paved," "Gravel," "Packed dirt," "Unimproved dirt," "Track," "Unmarked." A track is not even a real road, and would require a Land Rover, Jeep or the like (a 4-wheel drive vehicle), whereas an unimproved dirt road would be likely to be passable with care by ordinary passenger vehicles in decent weather (and overly muddy and rutted in the rain). Packed dirt roads would be passable even in rainy conditions, absent flooding or perhaps really big thunderstorms. "Unmarked" would refer to desert, where if someone didn't know where the road was, they would never find it. As an American, I don't know what a "graded" road is. I'm guessing "formed" means packed dirt rather than unimproved dirt, but I'm not sure. Ikan Kekek 16:40, 3 May 2011 (EDT)

Yeah, I wouldn't consider using sealed unless it was to somehow distinguish it. Like, there are two paved routes that cross Australia east to west. I'm happy with paved, gravel, and unimproved dirt. It would appear their meaning is at least apparent to all. Thanks all for suggestions. --inas 02:59, 9 January 2011 (EST)

I thought the two main categories were metalled and unmetalled roads? Metalled being tarmac or concrete roads. --SaxonWarrior 16:24, 3 May 2011 (EDT)

Roads that are dirt, but graded once in a while, we call "minimum maintinance roads"

Presenting bus line information[edit]

SWEPT IN FROM PUB Perhaps we have had some discussions about this somewhere, but I don't know where to look. How much is too much bus info? My instinct is that this list is too exhaustive and detailed, but I don't really know the best way to pare it down and present it usefully. Is there any guidance available on this? texugo 11:46, 24 September 2011 (EDT)

I agree, and I think our standard "7±2 rule" is a good rule of thumb that can be pointed to in this case. LtPowers 11:54, 24 September 2011 (EDT)
I'm kinda thinking that, in a country like Brazil that has so many different bus companies, it may not make sense to make individual listings of bus companies at all. With every bus company serving a different roster of destinations and routes, there is no logical way to "recommend" 7±2 of them, is there? texugo 12:33, 24 September 2011 (EDT)
No, I agree; I meant if there are more than nine or ten, don't bother with individual listings at all. Isn't that what we did for rental cars? LtPowers 13:20, 24 September 2011 (EDT)
Yeah, I'm totally ok with that. Perhaps the region article's Get around section can have an overview of the bus companies operating in the area. I think that would suffice. Brazil just has too many bus companies to give local contact info for all of them in every article... texugo 13:26, 24 September 2011 (EDT)

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