Chernobyl 33 years later

Chernobyl has seen a 40 per cent increase in tourism, thanks to the HBO television series Chernobyl which aired in May this year.

The mini-series examines the 1986 nuclear disaster, the resulting fallout and scenes of what the region looks like now.

Sergiy Ivanchuk, director of SoloEast tours, told Reuters that bookings for June, July and August have risen by approximately 40 per cent since HBO aired the show.

Director of Chernobyl Tour, Yaroslav Yemelianenko, expects a similar increase of 30 to 40 per cent because of the show.

Tours to Pripyat, once home to 50,000 people who mainly worked at the plant, show visitors such sights as an eerily beautiful yet decaying amusement park and a giant Ferris wheel that never went into operation.

Tourists can take day trips to the centre of Kiev, where they can view monuments to the victims, wander through abandoned villages, see the exploded reactor number four – now covered by a huge metal dome – and have lunch in Chernobyl’s only restaurant.

And it seems anyone worried about the radiation levels in the region should get out more, says tour guide Viktoria Brozhko.

“During the entire visit to the Chernobyl exclusion zone, you [are exposed to] … the amount of radiation you’d get staying at home for 24 hours,” he says.

Today, we show you an independent web documentary made by Abandoned Explorer, featuring the kind of sights you’ll witness on a day tour of Chernobyl. Strangely beautiful stuff, indeed.

Would you ever do a tour of Chernobyl?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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