Visiting Chernobyl/Pripyat?

Discussion in 'Travelling & Holidays' started by broona, Jun 5, 2019.

  1. broona

    broona
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    Having just watched the phenomenal Chernobyl TV series, I'm very tempted to head out and see it for real. Has anyone done it before, and if so, any recommendations please?
     
  2. bumper31

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    Have a look at the episode from Dark Tourist on Netflix. Pretty sure the guy goes, and it is pretty extreme
     
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  3. broona

    broona
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    Thanks for the reply. I've had a quick Google, but can't seem to find that episode, never mind.

    Has anyone been and got personal experience? Cheers.
     
  4. nabby

    nabby
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    A friend of mine just did this trip about 3 weeks ago :) I'll ask him but he's away at the moment in Belarus so it'll be when he's back next week, if you can wait a few days.
     
  5. hyperfish

    hyperfish
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  6. Deleted member 275754

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    Are there giant ants roaming around the area ? And, have they become sentient and united in purpose to take over ?
     
  7. Miss Mandy

    Miss Mandy
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    Chernobyl is somewhere that's been on my bucket list for years, but I suspect that it'll be much more popular now.
    It used to be very expensive and difficult to visit, but perhaps things have become a bit easier in recent years.
     
  8. Miss Mandy

    Miss Mandy
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  9. broona

    broona
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    Thank you, that's a bargain, our trip will be more as we're up North, but that's a great deal.

    As we can't fly direct from Newcastle to Kiev, my current thinking is Newcastle to Amsterdam, spend a night there, Amsterdam to Kiev, 2-3 day tour (a lot of people I've spoken to say the 1 day tour is just too rushed), then Kiev to Amsterdam to Newcastle, probably 5 days in total, going to try pricing it up this week.
     
  10. likeabrickhouse

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    Hi yes I've been. I had a private tour guide + driver + car. Went months before the reactor was covered by the dome as didn't want to miss the opportunity to see the reactor shell with my own eyes before it was hidden forever.

    2 days in total. Spent the night in the exclusion zone. Went pretty much everywhere. Inside reactor 5 (i think), through the cooling towers, through the duga radar site, up onto the tops of building in the Pripyat square and probably quite a few areas we shouldn't have ventured to but this was my agreement with the tour guide + $.

    Only place I was denied (well, the guide conveniently forgot) was the hospital where the firefighters left their gear. I can understand this as he has an annual sievert count and if it's too high, he can't work. I'm sure I raised his count more than most days however he was adequately paid. I certainly saw enough...

    • Recommend you spend 2-3 days in Kiev, it's cheap, there a lot to see, has good transport and good food.
    • Bring comfortable clothing, long sleeved for the exclusion zone area
    • Bring comfortable walking shoes
    • Bring comfortable walking socks and blister plasters if you're not used to hiking/walking
    • Bring snacks and plenty of water (see eating below)
    • If staying in the exclusion zone hotel bring a couple of travel fans + light clothing (it gets warm depending on when you are going)
    • Check the temperatures, things can get jungle hot or arctic cold in the exclusion zone so make sure you are prepared and used to operating in this environment
    • Depending on who you go with eating and drinking in the EZ can be an issue (you may have to eat inside a vehicle)
    • Do not f*** about when traversing checkpoints
    • Be prepared for some walking, we did around 10-15 miles per day
    • Make sure you get all your documentation is sorted with a reputable company as the area is highly controlled and if the slightest thing is wrong with your docs they'll turn you away at the guard posts regardless of what you've paid for.
    • Ensure you have travel from Kiev to the EZ and return. It isn't really close
    • Learn some basic Ukrainian (speaking), it's not hard and will go a long way.
    • Learn some basic Russian also (reading mainly) it will enhance your experience in the EZ. Once you can read the cyrillic alphabet things may make quite a bit of sense even if you are not close to being a basic A1 in Russian
    • Check where your tour guides you, a lot of tour operators set out paths which cost a lot and missed a lot of things I wanted to see. I would have felt like I was on rails. My tour was essentially mapped by me with recommendations from the guide and we went everywhere and anywhere (bar the hospital).
    • I recommend you go to duga (woodpecker) before the thieves disassemble it for scrap
    • Eat in the Russian workers canteen - it's an experience if your not acclimatised to 'russia'
    • 2 days in the EZ is enough if you're fit with good weather depending on how your tour is laid out. 3 if you want a more comfortable adventure.
    • Remember to have something to do on the evenings if you're staying in there as it's not like you can just trek out on your own and have a wander.
    • It's a bit of a once in a lifetime thing so really give some thought to whether you'd be happy hanging around in a group with 20+ other tourists at their pace or if you want to see it at your own pace. I occasionally bumped into other tourists and can safely say it'd have worn me down exploring the EZ at their pace, time, schedule (but this is far more cost effective than what I did). Being alone in the EZ with a tour guide and your closest is a far different experience than going with a group
    • If you are hoping to walk up to reactor 4 and touch it you will be disappointed, you will be quite a distance away, the radiation levels in this area are 'elevated'. Although reactor 5... (see what your tour operator says)
    • Hire a dosimeter so you have an idea when you step on europium or whatever radioactive element is lying around. There are generally small trefoil sign posts for the areas which contain radioactive elements.
    • Bring biscuits for the the sizeable catfish (again depends on your tour operator)
    • The total cost of my private 1 on 1 guide + car + driver + 'agreement' was around 1000usd per person. One tenth that for group tours. This didn't include flights, accommodation in Kiev, cash, etc.
    Хорошей поездки!
    (have a good trip - sounds like HA ROO SHI PAI YEST KI)
     
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    Last edited: Jun 23, 2019
  11. broona

    broona
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    Thank you so much for the detailed breakdown, sounds amazing, and just makes me want to go even more now, I'll get some more in depth research done this week. :smashin:

    One of my friends is Bulgarian, I'll see if he can help me with the Cyrillic side of things, and it's a good excuse to have a beer with him too. :D
     
  12. reiteration

    reiteration
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    check out - bald and bankrupt on youtube, he has a great channel there and has travelled around those parts quite a lot, even visiting a remote family still living in the area..!
     
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  13. Foster

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    Love that guys channel.
     
  14. reiteration

    reiteration
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