Talk:World Heritage Sites Tour in Sri Lanka

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Some changes to the article[edit]

Saqib, per your e-mail request I had a look at the text, copyedited it and made other small changes to the text to make it a little more varied. Please have a look at the text to make sure that I didn't change the meaning of anything. Also, when the article is finished it would absolutely need a map showing the route and the places mentioned in the article. ϒpsilon (talk) 19:44, 18 August 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for copyediting Ypsilon. Yes, I'll create a map later for this article. Btw, do you think the current article name is fine or do you suggest a new one? --Saqib (talk) 05:18, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
The current name is good. ϒpsilon (talk) 19:21, 20 August 2013 (UTC)

Getting around[edit]

Nice start with the map. It looks that the traveler in some cases needs to change buses many times to get from one place to another - for example three changes to go from Sinharaja to Galle. I think it could be useful to have the places where you change the bus marked on the map as well (in another color to distinguish them from the world heritage sites) to give the traveler a more detailed view of the trip. It could also be useful to have some names of the bus companies and/or links to their web sites (a brief googling gave me this, do you know any better site?) for current timetables. ϒpsilon (talk) 19:16, 20 August 2013 (UTC)

The problem is that Central Highlands of Sri Lanka comprises three sites. I've only been to Adam's Peak (Peak Wilderness Sanctuary) due to shortage of time so It will be a difficult task for me to create a particular route when there maybe so many ways to get in. As of timetables, there's not any website which can give accurate schedule but anyway I'll look for it. --Saqib (talk) 06:31, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
I see. Perhaps the geo tags in different listings together with the new dynamic maps could be the solution, but I'm not 100% sure that such a setup would work so I'm not going to experiment with the article at this stage. For the schedules, how about just noting roughly how frequent the departures are (for example if there's just one bus a day that the traveler shouldn't miss or a bus every hour). ϒpsilon (talk) 09:02, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
I didn't understand what you meant but If I'm getting you, do you mean we should put the bullets on the map based on geocode? Buses are available one after another except few I've already mentioned in the article. And majority of the buses run until evening. Btw, do you think this itinerary is at usable level now? --Saqib (talk) 09:32, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I meant writing the cities in listing templates (for instance "see" for the sites and "do" for the interchanges) in the text with the star in the beginning removed. In that way I think they would appear as numbers in differently colored boxes and circles on the dynamic map. I'll try it with a few cities now so you see what I mean and I hope that it won't mess up the text too much. ϒpsilon (talk) 09:49, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
Frankly speaking, I don't know how dynamic maps work. Please try your experiment so I'll get some idea. --Saqib (talk) 09:54, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
I know just a little about dynamic maps. Have a look at the text and the map now :). I used a modified See listing for Polunnaruwa and a Do listing for Rakwana and it fortunately it works as I hoped, they show up in the map and didn't mess up the text. If this idea works out well it is perhaps something we could suggest to be used in other itineraries too. And yes, something needs to be done to the zoom level of the map... ϒpsilon (talk) 10:15, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
What you just did was exactly what I meant, it works even better than I imagined! With the geocodes of all the places - sights as a See listings and interchanges as Do listings we get a numbered itinerary! Looks almost like the listing and poi thing was purpose-built for itineraries. ϒpsilon (talk) 10:27, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
Yes, but unfortunately I'm not a fan of dynamic maps but anyway, we'll try it here. Btw, do you know if these dynamic maps could be printed as well? --Saqib (talk) 10:29, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
Looks like they can be printed just like any picture. ϒpsilon (talk) 10:34, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
I see a problem, though. It would be convenient to use the "url" part as a wikilink to the city's article but I'm not sure if it will work. ϒpsilon (talk) 10:42, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
It worked. --Saqib (talk) 10:46, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
I notified everyone else here to come and have a look on it and comment. ϒpsilon (talk) 11:18, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
ϒpsilon, I've not been to the Knuckles Mountain Range, but I'm sure one will have to get the bus from Kandy for Knuckles Mountain Range and then have to get back to Kandy in order to continue the travel to reach the next site "Peak Wilderness Protected Area". Do you think we should double the listing of Kandy interchange? Also, I don't really liked the idea of interchanges listings as there will so many interchanges in Central Highlands of Sri Lanka. Don't you think it will make the map messy with so many bullets? --Saqib (talk) 14:19, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
Actually no, I think it would look weird to have more than one listing for the same place. To answer your second question I would still add the interchanges because it's useful information even if the points are a bit crammed together and the reader can always zoom and move the map. Plus, maps in city articles with a lot of listings look at least twice as messy. ϒpsilon (talk) 15:43, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
Alright but what about the route of the sites in Central Highlands of Sri Lanka? I doubt someone will pop up and finish it. Until then, the map will be unfinished as well. --Saqib (talk) 16:00, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
I'm myself also very careful when I'm adding things to WV that I don't have first-hand knowledge of. Add as much as you can. A map with 90% of the information is better than no map at all. ϒpsilon (talk) 16:37, 21 August 2013 (UTC)

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ϒpsilon, I'm going to remove the dynamic map and use static map instead. Dynamic maps could be printed but this one will look all messy when printed because it'll be difficult to recognise point of interests as interchanges will overlap them. Second, I don't think interchanges in this itinerary are important to mention because at various times, the traveller will have to get back to the interchange he travelled through so I think the dynamic map with interchanges will only confuse the traveller. --Saqib (talk) 08:39, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

OK ϒpsilon (talk) 08:41, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
Hope you didn't mind. Btw, do you think this article is at usable level now? --Saqib (talk) 09:13, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
Yes, it's usable. Some pictures would be great addition, though. ϒpsilon (talk) 09:52, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

Guide status[edit]

Criteria for a guide itinerary is "It describes each stop and how to get there. In addition, it suggests sights or side-trips along the way. Listings and layout closely match the manual of style.". This itinerary describes each stop and how to get there. For sights or side-trips along the way, I can mention few. Anything else I can do to make it at guide level? --Saqib (talk) 04:48, 24 August 2013 (UTC)

I'd suggest 2nd-order subtitles in the "Go" section. Examples:

Colombo to Anuradhapura[edit]

Start early in the morning! This journey starts in Colombo. You can take the direct bus to Anuradhapura from the Bastian Mawatha Terminal in Fort early in the morning. This will be a non-airconditioned bus, will take some five hours to reach Anuradhapura and costs around Rs. 350 per passenger. In Anuradhapura, there are plenty of budget hotels and guest houses located in the Anuradhapura New Town area to stay at. Prices start from Rs 1,500 to 2,000 per person for a night. Some accommodations can provide you with a bicycle as well, which you can use to roam around the old town (archaeological site) of the "Sacred City of Anuradhapura". However, the old town is quite large, so it's better to get a tuk-tuk if you want to to cover all the sites in one day. The ticket to enter the old town is USD 30 per person for foreigners and USD 15 for nationals of South Asian countries. If you have a South Asian passport, you should carry it with you in order to take advantage of the discount. The old town is open to visitation until 5 pm, so try to finish your tour before it closes. It is better to stay in Anuradhapura overnight before moving ahead to the next destination, as there won't be a bus to Polonnaruwa in the evening — the last bus for Polonnaruwa leaves in the afternoon.

Side trip to Mihintale[edit]

If you get some time, you may visit Mihintale, it is a mountain peak some 20 km east of Anuradhapura. A tuk-tuk ride will not cost you more than Rs. 1,000 to get there. Mihintale is an archaeological and pilgrimage site, with many Buddhist religious monuments and abandoned structures. Please be note, it is not World Heritage Site.

Anuradhapura to Polonnaruwa[edit]

To get to the city of Polonnaruwa, you can take a direct bus from Anuradhapura bus station in New Town. The distance from Polonnaruwa to Anuradhapura is some 100 kms and the bus will take three hours to reach Polonnaruwa. Just like Anuradhapura, there are plenty of budget hotels and guest houses to stay at in the new town. Prices start at Rs 1,500 to 2,000 per person for a night. The accommodations here can also provide you with a bicycle you can use to get around the sites of the Ancient City of Polonnaruwa. Unlike Anuradhapura, the old town (archaeological site) of the Ancient City of Polunnaruwa is not big thats why it's not worth hiring a tuk-tuk. All the sites in the old town are located next to each other so you can cover all of them easily using a bicycle in one day. The ticket to enter the Ancient City is USD 30 per person for foreigners and USD 15 for nationals of South Asian countries, so again, it's worth carrying a South Asian passport if you have one.

I think these kinds of subtitles will make this itinerary more readable. Another possible way to set the legs of the journey off from one another would be to use bullets. Ikan Kekek (talk) 11:24, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for your suggestion Ikan Kekek. Do you meant like this:
  • Sacred City of Anuradhapura — Start early in the morning! This journey starts in Colombo. You can take the direct...

OR

  • Start early in the morning! This journey starts in Colombo. You can take the direct...

--Saqib (talk) 11:35, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

I think bolding helps. I also think subsections are probably clearest. Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:55, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

Structure[edit]

I hope you don't mind, Saqib, I've plunged ahead and changed the bullets into subsections: I think that's also what Ikan meant. I also divided the itinerary in corresponding "days", as Andre suggested in the DotM discussion. It makes it much more easy to navigate the article because you can also use the ToC. You should however check the "day-schedule": maybe there are other sites that can be combined in 1 day? Let's make a quick list of things that need to be improved, so we can all add and help you edit, if you like. I haven't been to Sri Lanka so I can't help with detailed info, but I've travelled a lot in South Asia in general and perhaps we can find things online. JuliasTravels (talk) 09:58, 31 October 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for working on the article but I don't think organising the itinerary in a day-by-day manner would be helpful because the public transportation is too slow which makes travelling distance too long between some sites and some sites will need more than 2 day such as Knuckles Mountain Range, Peak Wilderness Protected Area, Horton Plains National Park, and Sinharaja Forest Reserve if visitors wants to explore the site well. Btw, I know you been to India many times but I was wondering you've been to Pakistan as well? --Saqib (talk) 10:06, 31 October 2013 (UTC)
I have, but already 12/13 years or so ago (before the most recent war), only once and only a few days. Why? :-) About the schedule, well, I think that's exactly what people need to know then. I mean: when you're planning a trip, you need an idea of how long it's going to take. The article says not more than 10 days, but if you give every place only 1 day, it's already 10. I do think an itinerary should give hints about where best to stay for the night. The multiple days in the parks are not required, I think. They are a great option, but not everyone likes to go hiking for a few days - maybe we should add it as an "expansion idea"? I've done that now for Knuckles, just have a look if you think that could work. JuliasTravels (talk) 10:20, 31 October 2013 (UTC)
Just asking, but where in Pakistan? What do you mean by "expansion idea"? Do you mean we should list both the naturals sites (Central Highlands of Sri Lanka and Sinharaja Forest Reserve) as optional visit? --Saqib (talk) 11:35, 31 October 2013 (UTC)
Punjab! :-) What I meant was that we just give travel details for a day, like for other sites, but that we also mention that these are area good for trekking and that if people have time, it's a good place to spend a few extra days. JuliasTravels (talk) 12:19, 31 October 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for improving the article. What do you think if list Knuckles Mountain Range and Horton Plains National Park as optional side trip? During my visit, I realised most people actually heads to Peak Wilderness Protected Area since Adam's Peak is the major attraction in Central Highlands of Sri Lanka. Even I skipped both the Knuckles and Horton Plains. --Saqib (talk) 15:38, 31 October 2013 (UTC)
Hm, I'm not sure, since the Heritage Site does include those two.. Perhaps it's better to not make them side trips, but say in the article that Peak Wilderness is the most visited destination, and that unless you have a special interest in Sri Lanka's nature, you could opt to only visit that part of the Highlands? Then we focus most info on Peak Wilderness, but we do give basic info on Knuckles and Horton Plains, so the list is still "complete"? JuliasTravels (talk) 16:12, 31 October 2013 (UTC)
Hi Julia, since there're plenty of hostels, and both budget and mid-ranges hotels at some of the sites, I'm confused which one to specifically mention in this article. --Saqib (talk) 19:18, 1 November 2013 (UTC)
I wouldn't be too worried about it: in articles I write, I try to just give a few reliable places to stay, ideally both a budget and a more mid-range option everywhere. If I have no way of determining which ones are the best, I just give a few that I think are at least okay (sometimes randomly picked from a list of seemingly suitable ones). Other travellers can always come by and add their favourites later, right? JuliasTravels (talk) 20:26, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

To do list for featuring[edit]

  • Check day schedule: which places can be combined?
  • Make clear in which towns the itinerary suggests to sleep
  • Include some general remarks about eating and sleeping for each such town, and ideally add a few listings to the corresponding city guides
  • Make clear that this is a bus tour, but that other options are available.
  • Expand small sections, e.g. Knuckles Mountain Range and Central Highlands
  • (...)

Discussion about to do list[edit]

Lonely Planet actually says bus travel can be rather uncomfortable, especially in high-season. I don't know how accurate that information is, maybe you do? JuliasTravels (talk) 09:58, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

This itinerary is not a bus tour, but for budget backpackers. And I don't think backpackers can afford or would like to to travel by taxi, air and hire a car. Btw, didn't you noticed I've also mentioned about train availability as well? And yes mostly buses are non-airconditioned and crowded throughout the year.--Saqib (talk) 10:16, 31 October 2013 (UTC)
Sure, but no concrete information about times or prices etc. I'm not saying it should have all that info, just a bit more clarity then that this article covers this way of travel, but others are available, perhaps? Btw, LP says "A train ride is almost always more relaxed than a bus ride. Costs are in line with buses: even 1st class doesn’t exceed Rs 1000." JuliasTravels (talk) 10:31, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

VfD[edit]

This article was nominated for deletion on 30 November 2013 but was kept. The deletion debate is Wikivoyage:Votes_for_deletion/December_2013#World_Heritage_Sites_Tour_in_Sri_Lanka. Please consider that decision before you re-nominate it for deletion again. --Saqib (talk) 13:32, 11 December 2013 (UTC)