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Scrolling through unanswered questions, I came upon:

Outdoor climbing tour in/departing from Bangkok

which asks if there are any guided outdoor rock climbing tours based in Bangkok.

Questions of the form "Are there any X?" are very simple to answer in the positive, requiring just one example, but, if the answer is in fact "No, there aren't any X," it seems the question will remain unanswered, well, until someone launches an outdoor rock climbing tour departing Bangkok. (The answers "I couldn't find any X" or "I don't know of any X" seem unsatisfactory from anyone except a definitive expert in the domain.)

What constitutes a satisfactory answer in the negative to a question of this form? Or is it intended that "Are there any X?" questions will remain unanswered until they can be answered in the positive?

  • I had that once and got advice from Mark. Please see travel.stackexchange.com/questions/49527/… – Gayot Fow Nov 15 '15 at 17:54
  • @GayotFow Thanks for the link. That seems slightly easier than the generic "Are there any X?" question because you were able to provide a definitive "No, there aren't any X" answer due to the circumstances of the question (specifically, it would be impossible for the rates offered by exchange bureaux to vary due to German regulation, so a comparison website could not exist). In the question I linked, one cannot give a similarly clean "No" answer since the existence of rock climbing near Bangkok is not impossible. – Urbana Nov 15 '15 at 18:33
  • You can always take a brave leap into the abyss and write a definitive answer anyway. – Gayot Fow Nov 16 '15 at 17:53
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    I went ahead and answered the question I linked to, but I'm not sure what an acceptable answer would have looked like (or if I'd have been qualified to answer) had a cursory Google not resulted in finding providers of outdoor rock climbing near Bangkok. – Urbana Nov 16 '15 at 20:04
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I think your answer is fine, I'd actually looked myself and couldn't find anything but was reluctant to answer to say that for the reasons you outline above.

However, I believe that it is possible to write a definitive negative answer. Perhaps a travel agent (or avid climber) based in Bangkok would be able to say that there's none nearby (or someone could have contacted a few travel agents to see what they said). I think it was valid to leave that question open hoping for someone to find an example, as you did, or somebody to come along who happens to be informed about the area.

I also think that an answer saying "As far as I can find out, no -- I checked X, Y and Z with no luck" is perfectly valid. Someone can always come along later and disagree. As long as the answer shows what you tried and makes it clear that there may be something you missed.

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