Difference between revisions of "Wikitravel:Continent article template"
Revision as of 08:07, 15 March 2010
[NOTE: This is a template for creating articles about a continent. Continent articles contain links to regions and countries within the continent as well as general information about travel in that country. Detailed info is left up to country articles and particular travel information is left up to city articles, which contain the details of addresses, phone numbers, reviews, directions, etc. for attraction, restaurants, hotels, and the like. Continent articles are just a very brief overview of the countries and regions that it contains.
There should be no need to create new continent articles, because every continent already has had an article created for it, and if one disappears or a new one develops you'll likely have larger things to worry about than updating Wikitravel to reflect it.
Stuff in italics below is editorial comment, with suggestions for what should go in each section. You should plan on ruthlessly eliminating it if you copy this code to a new country article.]
The first section of the continent article does not have a heading. This is where you should put identifying information about the continent, so that the traveler has some idea what you're talking about. Rough borders for the country, and names of neighboring countries, give context here, too. You can pull off a few sentences of interesting tidbits, but try to leave detailed information on history, culture, etc., for the Understand section.
This section is for listing any specific regions of a continent. For instance, Europe is divided into 5 areas (Western Europe, Central Europe, etc) to make it easier to digest. This is also where you would list something that isn't a country or is perhaps part of more than one country, such as Amazonia in South America.
Most continents that should be divided probably already are.
If a continent is not divided into regions and contains no multiple-country destinations, leave this section out.
Here should be listed the countries that make up the continent, with a brief one line description:
Sometimes a continent has destinations that aren't really countries; for example, colonies or outlying territories, such as Gibraltar on the Europe page or Western Sahara in Africa (since it's disputed). If none exist, leave out this section.
This section of the page is where you give deeper background information about the continent: its history, culture, its people or peoples, relationships between the countries, etc. Some information about present-day situations in the continent that are relevant to travelers are broken out in separate sections below, so don't duplicate that information here. Also, try not to go too deeply into information about the separate countries, except perhaps in how they relate to each other; leave that for the country pages.
The CIA Factbook information for the country may be helpful to you in composing this section. The CIA Factbook information is broken down into tabular form; please integrate it into some readable prose text. Some information that may be helpful: location, climate, terrain, elevation extremes, natural hazards, population, nationality and ethnic groups, religions, languages (but see Talk below), economic overview, industries and agriculture.
Arrival overview for getting to the continent. This section should just contain a very brief overview of things the traveler might need to know and that applies to the whole continent (or a large part of it). Leave specific information about the individual countries for the country pages.
This is a spot to give general information about how to get around the continent once you are there. An overview of travel possibilities: air, train, and bus travel, long-distance taxis, ferries, etc. Try to keep the information general, with specifics left to the country articles.
Describe the language or languages used on the continent. How well can you get by with only English or another foreign language (French in Vietnam for example)? Also include information about the writing system -- will travellers need bilingual maps? It's often useful to link to the phrasebook for each language used, though for continents with many languages you can leave that info for the country pages.
This section can be just a brief overview of things you may need to know about buying or that haggling is common. If there's broad info about ATM's or how best to access your money while no the continent, state that here. If it's complicated, leave the specifics for the country page.
Give rough estimates of how much one day of travelling on the continent costs, in three price brackets: bare-bones backpacker travel, luxury hotels and a comfortable medium between the extremes. Note if something (accommodation, transportation etc) is particularly cheap or expensive, or if there are major regional variations.
If there's something interesting about the food on the continent that applies to large parts or the whole, briefly describe it here. Keep this as general as possible and save the more detailed descriptions for the country articles. Do mention any general types of restaurant that travellers should look for (or avoid!). Mention national dishes, local or minority cuisines, and hints for vegetarians or other people on special diets.
Information on the continents's bars and nightlife. As with most other continent information, this as general as possible and save the detailed descriptions for the country articles. You can and should mention countries or regions with especially good nightlife, or interesting musical traditions. Also give an idea of bar and club etiquette.
General information on the type of accommodations (pensions, guest houses, hostels, motels, etc.) travellers will encounter.
Words of warning for international travelers not familiar with the continents's climates or cultures. Include crime safety, natural hazards, regions of war and civil unrest, and any other potential dangers that the traveler mace face throughout the continent, but if it only applies to one country, leave it for that page.
This section is for medical information, significant outbreaks of contagious diseases, recommended shots, and requirements for obtaining medicine or medical attention on the continent.