The Slow Search Engine springs into action

In Turkey our Slow Search engine challenge really kicked off – we had so many questions to answer in Istanbul alone, and so little time! We may not have got reliable answers to all of the questions… yet… but we’ve had some really interesting conversations, have learnt a lot, and had a lot of fun!

We’ve decided we don’t want social media to take over the trip, so we’ll be gathering the answers to post on our return from the trip – but we will share the odd funny moment (if only we could have captured the carpet shop owner’s expression when we asked him how many competitors he reckoned he had in Isanbul!)

If you’re wondering what sort of questions we’re trying to tackle, here’s the latest list! If you’ve got a question you want us to investigate, the donate a bit of money to our charities Cool Earth and Remap on our Virgin Money Giving page and leave your question in the comment section!


• Ask someone in each country what their best life advice is

• Which country on your travels has the most McDonalds restaurants?

• Find the upside-down hanging horse


• Hannah, can you tell us what the national food of Dubrovnik is?

• How many festivals were held in Croatia in 2012?


• Which town in the USA is Kotor twinned with?


• How many cruise ships docked in Istanbul in 2017?

• How many calories in a standard cup (100ml) of Apple Tea?

• Is Turkish Delight actually Turkish?

• Largest crowd attendance at a Turkish top league football fixture last season?

• What is the most popular flavour ice cream in Turkey – would you recommend it?

• How many carpet shops in Istanbul?


• How is Georgian wine produced and is it any good?



• Who is the biggest celebrity in Turkmenistan?

• How much of the Aral Sea is left?

• What is the national dress of Turkmenistan and can you win a three-legged race while wearing it?


• What is the most popular music artist in Uzbekistan?

• When in Samarkand, find out what the inscriptions are on the tombstone of Timur

• When in Samarkand, find out who died in 1405 and how his curse allegedly influenced the course of WWII


• What is the national beverage of Tajikistan (and is it any good?)

• What is the national dance of Tajikistan?

• Most popular pet in Tajikistan?


  • What is the national dance of Kyrgyzstan and demonstrate it please
  • How many electric vehicle charging points are there in Kyrgyzstan?
  • How many women over the age of 43 wear contact lenses in Kyrgyzstan?


• Please find us an authentic recipe for tasty Kazakh shashlik!

• How can you tell how big the president of Kazahstan’s hands are?

• What are any / all of the national dishes of Kazakhstan?

• What is the national dance of Kazakhstan?

• Most feared animal in Kazakhstan?



• What is the retirement age in Mongolia?

• How many horses are there in Mongolia?

• What is the national flower of Mongolia? Identify and photograph!

• What is the wage of a teacher in Mongolia?

• How many girls schools in Mongolia / How many girls go to school?

• What is the international dialling code for Mongolia?

• How many nomadic people live in Mongolia?

• What is the divorce rate in Mongolia?

• Most popular pet in Mongolia?

• How many Mongolians can you fit in a Micra?

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