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May
16
comment When someone in India asks for my “Good Name”, what are they expecting?
And of course if you ask a Chinese, Hungarian, Japanese, Korean, or Vietnamese for their first name, that will be their surname, whether or not they're Christian. I can't remember if the same applies to Khmer, Lao, Mongolian, and Thai people.
May
16
comment When someone in India asks for my “Good Name”, what are they expecting?
Just be sure not to give them your mediocre name, and never every give them your bad name!
May
16
comment Why is the Lonely Planet Mongolian phrasebook so small?
I actually think that in this case they're really not making new editions of the Mongolian book but just reprinting the same content with a new cover design every few years. It must keep selling or they wouldn't even have to do that. But it's certainly not one of their more popular titles, which get completely overhauled every few years. The new editions tend to get fatter to compete with new editions by other publishers. But for Mongolian there's no competition. I've got a collection of about thirty LP phrasebooks of various ages.
May
16
comment Practicing Mongolian pronunciation before visiting Mongolia
Mongolian isn't tonal so pronunciation isn't as critical as for Chinese. It does have a couple of slightly hard sounds or at least unusual ones. You should do fine from Youtube and I used a course on Memrise for audio vocab flashcards. Cyrillic is dead easy, just watch out for a couple of letters changing shape in italics. I'd rate Mongolian pronunciation as easier than Chinese, probably comparable to Korean in difficulty for an English speaker.
May
13
comment How can I know in advance which areas of Vietnam I'm not allowed to travel in, or need a permit, as a foreigner?
Well today I'm trying a route through Buôn Hồ - Pleiku... let's see what happens...
May
13
comment How can I know in advance which areas of Vietnam I'm not allowed to travel in, or need a permit, as a foreigner?
I had already noticed that here in Buon Ma Thuot there's a lot more restricted government buildings with "no photography" signs, etc. But I haven't seen a "large white C" sign yet. Certainly not on the highway I was going to head down. I didn't think it was that close to the Ho Chi Minh Trail, but I also hadn't thought of that before heading that way.
May
12
comment How can I know in advance which areas of Vietnam I'm not allowed to travel in, or need a permit, as a foreigner?
Googling is find various stories from past years about problems travelling too near the border or in certain parts of the Central Highlands, or in the highlands generally. Also some reports of restrictions being eased over the years.
May
8
comment Are there any hostels in Iran?
To the posters, it's perfectly fine to ask and answer your own question here and it's also perfectly find to answer about a place you own or work for. You don't have to make a fake or pretend question, you can just be upfront about it. You do need to tell us that you're affiliated though. But if other people have the same question and will find this on Google it's a fair question and telling us you've got a hostel, especially if there are not many about is absolutely OK. Just don't do fake questions or answers.
May
6
comment What gesture to make when hitchhiking in Iran?
@MarkMayo: Damn my inbuilt autocorrect!
Apr
30
comment When visiting on a double- or multiple- entry visa, does China stamp your passport for each entry and each exit?
Actually I got my knowledge of what the embassy will want by asking questions here, but also from info on the wall at the consulate in Saigon, who only issues single-entry visas in any case. I just want to be sure I have as much stuff ready as possible when I actually apply in Vientiane. One of the answers here said I'd have to provide it rather than them checking their database.
Apr
27
comment Curfew - Is walking on the street in Tokyo legal after 11.00 pm if you're under 18?
Why not ask on our sister site, japanese.SE for their help on going out/going out alone?
Apr
24
comment Where is the quietest place on Earth?
My precise quantifier is least sound of all kinds by number of decibels averaged over a year. I tried to make it as precise and objective as I could come up with. \-:
Apr
23
comment Vietnam Visa - can I leave on the day of expiration?
This then depends on a precise agreed definition of "through" in this sentence structure in English.
Apr
23
comment Where is the quietest place on Earth?
Ducks and geese may well move a location from "the quietest on earth" to "top thousand most quiet" for all we know. Or less.
Apr
23
comment Where is the quietest place on Earth?
@fluffy: Also Derek Miller was not in the quietest anechoic chamber on earth, in the context of which the claim seems to have been made. He was just in an anechoic chamber. I didn't see any claims as to how much it missed the record by or how much difference that made ...
Apr
22
comment Where is the quietest place on Earth?
@DavidRicherby: The "And can I travel there? (-:" was not intended to transform a non travel question into a travel question. The intention was that it preclude silly answers for places that may be quiet that are not reachable, such as space and the deep sea. As you can see, that did not work. )-:
Apr
22
comment Where is the quietest place on Earth?
@LightningRacisinObrit: And yet only one is the quitest.
Apr
22
comment How to calculate when Ramadan finishes?
I personally always just Google it for a particular year.
Apr
22
comment What is the cheapest way for 2 Australians to travel from New Orleans (or Miami) to Cuba?
Stack Exchange is like Stack Overflow, in that it needs questions that have specific answers that can potentially help other people faced with a similar problem. We only take on recommendation questions if there are peculiar needs or the usual ways to get answers can be shown not to work. You can try asking a separate question for each specific problem you are facing and how you've tried but failed to find the answer. Or you can try a regular forum like Lonely Planet Thorn Tree, Quora, etc that don't have the "anal" rules inherited from Stack Overflow (-;
Apr
22
comment Where is the quietest place on Earth?
@DavidRicherby: Some of the answers about deep sea and space seem to programming on a boat answers, others are subjective, but the question itself and the top couple of answers are perfectly fine.