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Chernobyl
RE
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is there anyone here who has done one of these chernobyl tours and can supply any information on it (like does it start in kiev? how much is it? do you have to book it in advance? etc). i’ve looked on the web, but can’t seem to find much info.
 
thanks!

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Kiev would be the logical starting place as it’s the closest city where there would likely be tourists.

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Haven’t been, but I do know they are pricey, especially for Ukrainian standards.  I’m sure a part of that big price is basically a military bribe. 
http://www.tourkiev.com/chernobyl.php

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I’ve done the trip on june 19th. I must say it’s a must-do! Really impressive to stand only 150 yards from the reactor and walking around in deserted towns…
The excursion always leaves from Kiev, a private driver will pick you up at your appartment/hotel, and later on an English speaking guide will join. The trip from Kiev to the exclusion zone takes about 2 hours. I suggest you book in advance since some paperwork has to be fixed to get you in the exclusion zone.
I with a local travel agency called SAM, details and prices about the excursion can be found here: http://www.ukrcam.com/tour/tour_3.html
I can recommend this agency, friendly people, and a modern office in the center of Kiev. The excursion isn’t cheap, but it really depends on the numer of people you’re going with.
 
When you’re going to Ukraine, take your time, there is so much to see!
 
Wanna know more? Just send me an email!

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Basie
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This post is so diffferent, because we get so many asking questions like, “Is it safe to take the train?”.
So, I’ll have to ask: Is it safe to go to Chernobyl? I don’t know the answer with certainty, but I know that I wouldn’t go!

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They give you protective gear to wear and test your belongings for radiation. 

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why would anyone want to go there?  Do you get joy out of witnessing others’ misery? 

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Who is in misery?

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Ofcourse there have been, and most probably still are people in misery. But you don’t see them, since there are only workers active in the area. Same thing is why you would visit a war memorial? There were also people in misery in such a case…. I don’t see your point.
 
About safety: you don’t get any protective clothing whatsoever. You’re just advised to wear longsleeves and a cap or something. (the guide and driver didn’t by the way). It’s said to be safe tot travel around through the area for up to 5 days. It probably isn’t that much of a problem since you won’t be in the 10 km zone for a long time.
You are checked when yoy leave the 10 km zone, aswell as the 30 km zone, but I guess that’s more a bit to comfort you. The driver and guide weren’t checked… 

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Why would anyone want to go to concentration camps?

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Quote:
ORIGINAL: andrew9191

Why would anyone want to go to concentration camps?

 
egg zachery, any idiot who treats concentration camps and the like as tourist spots should be sent to a gas chamber.
 
To the guy asking about Cherynoble, why?  There’s nothing there, a virtual ghost town the population was nuked, I don’t see the attraction. 

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Most Roman ruins and Egypian pyramids are devoid of population as well. 

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People want to visit it for the same reason as concentration camps, it is a historical site. You may not find it interesting, but others do. [Smile]

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thanks for the info everyone! [/align] [/align]and thank you joeri for the link. i’m sure i have a few questions, mostly about visiting ukraine in general, so i just might email you if you don’t mind. thank you![/align] [/align]heavy drinker, why do you assume that it’s joy that anyone gets out of it? is there only one way to view suffering—through aversion? and anyone who tries to examine a little further somehow gets joy out of it? furthermore, is joy the only experience worthy of seeking or travelling long distances for? i don’t think so. chernobyl and places like auschwitz might not have any direct relevance to a person but i think the themes of these places—the suffering, the death and destruction caused by human greed and delusion, the hopefulness, etc—are eternal human themes that apply to everyone. and that’s where i think people’s interest comes from, and thus i don’t think you’re giving people enough credit by your statement. for me, i imagine there’s a certain wistfulness to chernobyl that would appeal to me, especially the emptiness and the desolation of it. also is suffering the only thing to be found at chernobyl, concentration camps, etc? these are place of, yes, tragedies, but also&nbsplaces for which all the interdependant conditions were simply right for what had happened to have happened. i know chernobyl and auschwitz are not places to go just for a cheesy photo op taken in a mickey mouse t-shirt (and i too find it a bit inappropriate when i see pictures of people taken at auschwitz where they’re standing there smiling, like “look at me! i’m at auschwitz!”). i am aware that chernobyl is a place of great suffering (but not only). surely you do not actually think this is something i need to be told by a stranger over the internet?[/align][/align]

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You’re always welcome to send me an email. Anyone else who wants to know more about Ukraine or the whole story about Chernobyl is also welcome to email ofcourse. Ukraine hasn’t been what I thought of it in the first place, in a positive that is. I will return there for sure!
 
I didn’t want to mention concentrationcamps, but someone did anyway I see…
 
Chernobyl is just one of the places which made me curious, ofcourse there was, and still is suffering because of the accident. But it also is a historical site which deserves to be remembered. And I must say, being there changes your view, and how you think about things you only know from Discovery Channel. Some things you just have to see for yourself to understand (or at least try).

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thanks joeri for the info. I’ll definitely be putting it on my list for Ukraine, although that is probably several years away.

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but dont u want 2 b a RESPONSABLE tourist? SOme places weren’t meant for tourism, you guys destroy ecosystems & shit all for your own selfish purposes. SItes like Cherynobly, Maku Picchu, the DMZ are at risk of being destroyed from tourists    

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Yeah, I’m sure in another 10 years the place is going to be completely ruined; hostels and tour guides everywhere, backpackers walking around snapping pictures, gypsies following the packers around begging for Hrvyvn and leftover doner.  And never again it will be in the “pristine” state its in now.  It will be completely destroyed just like Prague. 
 
Tourists…their the new Wal-Mart
 

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Quote:
SItes like Cherynobly . . . are at risk of being destroyed from tourists


Are you being serious?

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my 2 cents
 
60 minutes did a story on it… quite interesting really
http://sixtyminutes.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=259381
theres a video and all
 
and i’m all for visiting chernobyl as long as it’s done respectfully
 
peace

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wow, tourism in Chernobyl, thats a new one for me.

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Well, I was told about 5000 people a year visit Chernobyl. A large number of those are scientists, tv-crews or some politicians trying to be interesting. It’s not really mass tourism.

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Heavydrinker: “SOme places weren’t meant for tourism”


This comment of course naturally prompts the question ‘What places were meant for tourism?’

The answer is of course a moot point. Nowhere was ‘meant for tourism’. A place such as Chernobyl has just as valid a claim to being a site of interest for tourists as, say, a chocolate-box city like Prague, albeit with the caveat that Chernobyl is likely to attract a very different kind of tourist.

It seems this discussion has resulted from a degree of naivety about what constitutes a tourist, and from conventional and generalised assumptions about the reasons we visit places and what we expect a place to provide us with in order for it to be a worthwhile or appropriate destination.

As has already been pointed out, we may have other reasons for visiting a place other than ‘seeing the sights’, ‘experiencing the culture’, or any other of the other common notions of what a tourist ‘does’.

Personally, I find the irretrievable physical ‘damage’ inflicted by large-scale tourism on a populated place which becomes a ‘must-see’ far more offensive than any perceived glibness or inappropriacy exhibited by a small number of tourist visitors to unpopulated spots such as war memorials or disaster areas.

To cite Prague again as an example -and one I know well, having lived there ten years ago and visited on many occasions since, the effect of uncontrolled and insensitive tourism has been to turn large parts of the old city into strips of tacky souvenir shops and other symbols of crass commercialism which are ugly not only in what they signify but are also physically and aesthetically incongruous with their surroundings. The damage has also been psychological, as many Czechs resent being priced out of the centre of their own city and have lost faith in local government’s willingness to listen to its citizens and not to the clamour of the dollar and the euro. Would anybody have the arrogance (or ignorance) to claim that Prague was ‘meant for tourism’?

I think it highly unlikely that, even given a drastic rise in the numbers of visitors, the custodians of Chernobyl will allow the memory of its tragedy to be cheapened by tasteless development of a similar nature.

Of course, there will always be those ‘war groupies’ and other types who visit places such as Chernobyl and Auschwitz out of some perverse thrill rather than to attempt to learn and understand history’s lessons from such places, but I would like to think that these are in a minority.

And beauty of some kind can be found in any place, if only we learn how to see.

The crux of the matter is that we really should avoid cartoonish cliches and generalisations when we think about tourists and tourism, as the term is very broad and includes a whole range of sub-categories:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tourism

And there are ‘tourists’ of all kinds out there! Let’s not assume everyone is like us.