(CNNTravel) - The free online resource latest Wikimedia Foundation, Wikivoyage.org, introduced last week, attracted much attention for its potential impact on the travel industry.
As Wikipedia and other projects in the foundation, Wikivoyage is an ad-free site, built with the collaboration of global volunteers and written by its users.
"Wikivoyage is a great and useful service for travelers, and hopefully with the support of the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia editing global community, is growing, " said Sue Gardner, executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation in a statement.
Create your own guide, in one of nine languages
Wikivoyage is available in English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Russian, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish. The English site has the largest number of items, with more than 25, 000.
Much of the content was extracted from Wikitravel (a travel guide open source privately based model wiki) after a nasty legal battle that began last summer.
Almost everything is covered. There are suggestions of hotels and restaurants, currencies, transportation, scams to be taken into account.
However, due to the number of people involved (all contributions go through 200 volunteer editors), quality of writing varies from one place to another.
One of the highlights of Wikivoyage (and the reason that guide publishers might be nervous, is that users have access to a free option called Book Creator (Creator of books) that allows them to select pages to add to your personal guide, which can then be downloaded and printed or saved to a electronic reading device.
For example, if you go to Thailand and only visits Chiang Mai, Bangkok and Phuket, instead of buying a whole book of the country you can select pages highlight only the destination you want, as well as general country information, such as currency and transportation options. Then you can download it as a PDF, Open Document, openZIM or EPUB file and send it to any device you want to access.
Several tech sites covering the launch of the website Wikivoyage praised as a valuable tool for travel planning, although most discussion about its potential to completely replace the need commuter average external resources.
I enjoyed Laos alot2005-03-04 10:48:03 by wat2dowat2do
I went in 2001. Bought a "package" from a Bangkok travel agent that included visa for crossing Thai Laos border up at Chang Rai, a boat trip down the Mekong for a few days, overnight accomodation at a french owned riverbank hotel, meals and dropped us off at Luang Prabang. The travel agent also included air tickets from Luang Prabang back to BKK. Not really an organised package tour, so to speak... wonderful experience, but I would warn against hiking or travelling in the back country or in a small group. Read warnings about land crossings. Stick with an organised tour in a mainstream area.
If you're in the region anyways, tack on a few days in Siam Reap in Cambodia. You can fly in and out of BKK. It was as memorable as Laos for different reasons. (architechure vs the people)
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