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Author Topic: Should I visit Ukraine or Russia?  (Read 5979 times)

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Offline Astrophysics

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Should I visit Ukraine or Russia?
« on: December 25, 2010, 10:13:00 PM »
So me and my cousin want to visit one of these countries during the Summer of 2011, but we're still deciding which one. We could appreciate the help! We have never travelled across the sea and Western Europe and even Latin America doesn't appeal to us right now. Obviously we're not filthy stinking rich, but then again we're not counting pennies, so we'd like the most out of our dollar here. It's about $1000 for a round-trip ticket (from San Francisco) for 2 weeks (do you think we should stay longer?).

We really want to see something totally different from our American (and some Latin) culture, so far we're leaning towards Ukraine, but we're open to the idea of Russia. I had a local, a friend who lived in Kiev but he moved to Thailand because it's "cheaper" and Ukraine is getting "busy and expensive." I'd be happy with any place, but with Russia, I'd love to go see Star City and visit the Laika monument. One of my friends who lives in Miami told me if I go to Ukraine though, I'll probably get married and never want to come back.

A little bit about us; I'm 25 a student and freelance photographer, and she's 29 a receptionist. We're both born and raised in the US. We're also both Latin, except she's half Russian.

So if you were in our shoes, where would you go first?

Thanks in advance!

Offline Paul

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Re: Ukraine vs. Russia
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2010, 10:25:22 PM »
It's about $1000 for a round-trip ticket (from San Francisco) for 2 weeks (do you think we should stay longer?).

I've never been to Russia or Romania in the summer from New York for under 1,300. Two weeks should be long enough. If you and your friend go to Russia, you will both need to get visas.


Offline dbneeley

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Re: Ukraine vs. Russia
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2010, 12:29:40 AM »
Round trip Kyiv to Dallas this Summer was just at a thousand bucks--but I bought in April about a week before prices went up two or three hundred. Thus, the key whenever you plan to go is to buy the tickets early.

You will hear much debate on this forum between people recommending one or the other country. Usually, it's by guys who have either married or at least have traveled mostly to one or the other. In my case, I live in Donetsk, Ukraine--about an hour's drive to the Russian border.

Much depends upon what you want to do over here.What are your interests? Without knowing that, it is difficult to suggest one over the other. Still, there are some significant practical differences. For example, to see more than one area it is obviously far less challenging in Ukraine if for no better reason than it is a much smaller place.

Personally, I wouldn't rule out some of the other FSU countries--such as the Baltic ones. (We have a couple members who live full or part time in Estonia, for instance).

You can easily spend a couple very interesting weeks in either country. The large cities alone can take two weeks just to see the major sights (Moscow would probably take even longer to do it justice, as might St. Petersburg. Kyiv could be fairly well explored in that time, perhaps with a side trip or two to other areas).

One possible itinerary for Ukraine might be to start in Kyiv--and the first day or two you are there to purchase rail tickets to another area--perhaps the Crimea--for five or six days later. Travel between major points in the country by overnight train is extremely popular here and is pretty cheap as well...but during the most popular times it can be a challenge to get tickets in the better trains at the last minute. You and your cousin could get tickets in one of the compartments with either two or four beds. Many Americans try to buy all four tickets so they will have a compartment to their own, but I have never found this particularly necessary. There are some routes, too, with much newer equipment for an additional charge. Those have nicer beds and infinitely nicer bathrooms.

The advantage of overnight trains is that going and coming you would not need to be paying for a hotel or apartment for those two nights.

If your prior travel has been limited, I strongly suggest you adopt the one bag approach--taking only a bag you can carry on the plane with you. (Most airlines will also allow you to take a "personal item" which usually includes a laptop bag in addition to a full carry-on). Personally, I prefer a convertible bag with decent backpack straps that stow away when you use it with a shoulder strap. That makes carrying the bag far easier. I traveled with this combination back to the States this past summer for six weeks--so a couple weeks with only a carry-on should be a cakewalk. A primary website that discusses the subject in great detail is www.onebag.com. You will be far happier not having to wrestle a large suitcase or wait in baggage lines, believe me. Also, taking buses or other mass transit is far simpler with a single carry-on bag.

So--let us know what interests you two the most and perhaps we can give you better suggestions about where to go.

David


Offline Voyager

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Re: Ukraine vs. Russia
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2010, 01:00:54 AM »

So if you were in our shoes, where would you go first?

Thanks in advance!

You may find Ukraine to be more open to foreigners, especially Americans.

Offline Stirlitz

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Каждый кулик своё болото хвалит
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2010, 01:39:59 AM »
It is true that the crow thinks its own bird fairest yet I believe Ukraine is more welcoming to foreigners. You do not need a visa to start with.
Igor Kalinin
Russian Translator/Interpreter/Guide/Agent for Odessa, the Crimea and the rest of Ukraine
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Offline dbneeley

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Re: Каждый кулик своё болото хвалит
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2010, 02:24:24 AM »
It is true that the crow thinks its own bird fairest yet I believe Ukraine is more welcoming to foreigners. You do not need a visa to start with.

With the OP being Latino, too, I would be somewhat concerned about the current racial unrest in Russia--where Russian skinheads have been rather brutally attacking many with darker skins of late. While this may not be directed to foreign tourists, it would be difficult to console onesself to that fact if caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

David

Offline Eduard

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Re: Ukraine vs. Russia
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2010, 08:37:33 AM »
Since you are not going "women hunting", then you probably you just want to see as many sights, architecture and museums as possible. There are pros and cons to both countries. The biggest plus about Ukraine is that there is no visa requirement and you don't need to register in the cities you visit for more than 48 hours. I would recommend visiting Kiev, Odessa and Crimea. Odessa has lots of pretty, historic buildings and monuments. It has a beautiful Opera Theater and a lot more. It has always been a very international port city on Black Sea. Kiev has more of the "Stalin era" architectured buildings in the center and also historic monuments, churches, monasteries and museums. Crimea has beautiful nature - mountains that meet the Black Sea. Some truly gorgeous scenery. Much of it is not well maintained though, garbage really detracts from the beauty of it all, infrastructure is so-so, food is so-so and can cause misery if you eat at the wrong place... Beaches are not sand, they are covered with pebbles that are pretty hard to walk on, plus you have to step over people's bodies to get to the water since they are usually very overcrowded. Everything is pretty expensive (you even have to pay for beach access) and is overpriced  considering what you get for your money.

Now Russia: yes you do need a tourist visa which will cost you under $200 and is pretty easy to get after you fill out a 2 page application and send it, along with your passport to Russian consulate. Takes about a month to get it back so you need to plan accordingly. They do have expedited service for more money. Russia is a huge country. 11 time zones geographically speaking (although last spring they cut it down to 9 to make things more manageable). Compare to only 3 time zones in the USA! Moscow and St. Petersburg are a must see! Moscow is  a very unique city, like no other city in the world. It's also huge and you can literally spend several months there and still not see everything. Lots of architectural, historical monuments from different times and epochs,  world renowned art museums and plenty of what a large city can offer (think NYC on steroids).
St.Petersburg ("The Venice of the North") is another "must see" in Russia. It is simply unbelievable! Again, Russia is huge and there is so much to see, you can spend a lifetime travelling it. Prices are also pretty high but at least sometimes you get your money's worth here.


Offline Brasscasing

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Re: Ukraine vs. Russia
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2010, 09:08:31 AM »
Quote from: Ed
Compare to only 3 time zones in the USA!

Just to clarify for our members and guests tuning in from elsewhere around the globe - There are four time zones in the continental USA - Pacific, Mountain, Central and Eastern. :)

Brass
“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind."  ~ John Diefenbaker

P.S....Unless you happen to live in Quebec and are subject to the Quebec Charter Of Values, of course.

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Re: Каждый кулик своё болото хвалит
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2010, 09:17:04 AM »
You do not need a visa to start with. 

That is basically the only real advantage. 

From a cultural standpoint, it's hard for Ukraine to compete against Russia.  Kiev is a beautiful city however St Petersburg during the "white night" period of mid June is hard to beat.  Moscow is clearly the cultural center of the entire FSU.

The women are equally beautiful in both locations.  There is an active social life in all three cities mentioned. 

Who knows if you will ever return?  Why not plan to make 3-5 day stops in all three cities (Kiev, Moscow St Petersburg).  That would be an absolutely FANTASTIC trip!
"If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun" - Katharine Hepburn

Offline Donhollio

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Re: Ukraine vs. Russia
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2010, 10:32:37 AM »
  Having been to both countries I will say the Ukraine wins for ease of travel. Russia has lots of history, however you need to have some Russian to get by as a tourist in both countries. Basically they have yet to grasp how a cater to a tourist. English as a international language isn't found in museums or historical sites.  The Rooskees like to keep tabs on your movement, while in UA you get a stamp in your passport and off you go with full freedom to travel.
 Summer in Odessa is nice, its a toursit city so there is always something to do, beaches that I have visited are full of fine soft sand, and yes you'll pay to get on them, but its not much, and some will have girls serving you beer, and other foods, it all makes for a nice day, beers and topless girls.  :nod:
 The Crimea is also very nice as Ed mentioned, and spending 4-5 days on these places will be just one way to see a small portion of the country.
 Let's not forget in Russia you have to register your visa within 3 business days. This useless process can take up to 3 hours. So if you move from city to city, you are suppose to de-register, than re-register in the following city.... rinse and repeat.  :drunk:
 You can read the about my fun with it in my TR, Donhollio's FSU Pursuit!!!   :innocent:
 
Page 18   reply #266  and page 26 reply #388

 The linking doesn't seem to be working. :coffeeread:

Offline dbneeley

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Re: Ukraine vs. Russia
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2010, 11:52:52 AM »
By the way, the comment was made that beaches in Crimea are not sand but rock. That is true for the most part, but there are actually sand beaches up around Evpatoria. Were I to go to Crimea, I might spend a little time looking around at some of the other places but any serious beach time I'd head up Evpatoria way.

Offline dbneeley

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Re: Каждый кулик своё болото хвалит
« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2010, 01:05:40 PM »
You do not need a visa to start with. 

That is basically the only real advantage. 

From a cultural standpoint, it's hard for Ukraine to compete against Russia.  Kiev is a beautiful city however St Petersburg during the "white night" period of mid June is hard to beat.  Moscow is clearly the cultural center of the entire FSU.

The women are equally beautiful in both locations.  There is an active social life in all three cities mentioned. 

Who knows if you will ever return?  Why not plan to make 3-5 day stops in all three cities (Kiev, Moscow St Petersburg).  That would be an absolutely FANTASTIC trip!

Sorry, but I think anyone with any curiosity at all would be mostly frustrated only visiting any of the three for such a short period. If going to Russia, I'd pick either Moscow or St. Pete and go there for most of the entire two week period...it would be simple to stay busy in either place for that long.

For example I am hoping to get to St. Pete in another year or so--and I intend to spend a few days just seeing the Hermitage alone.

However, if they go during White Nights, they need to be making reservations as soon as possible--as you know, the city is likely to be extremely crowded and decent lodging will be hard to find if they wait very long.

David

Offline Paul

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Re: Ukraine vs. Russia
« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2010, 02:05:34 PM »
Uff, there is always Romania... no visa requirement, Black Sea beaches with plenty of sand, castles, fortresses, the Danube delta, countless other UNESCO world heritage sites, Transylvania, blah, blah, blah... oh and, better food than either Russia or Ukraine (in my personal opinion). If you absolutely need to see Slavic people and read Cyrillic, you can do that in much of the N/E area of the country.


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Re: Ukraine vs. Russia
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2010, 02:15:11 PM »
Let's not forget in Russia you have to register your visa within 3 business days. This useless process can take up to 3 hours. So if you move from city to city, you are suppose to de-register, than re-register in the following city.... rinse and repeat.  :drunk: 

While it's true you are supposed to register your visa within three WORKING days after your arrival in Russia; in over 25 trips to Russia, I've NEVER registered in each city I've visited.  I've always registered the visa one time, upon arrival for the entire duration of my stay, regardless of how many cities I've planned to visit. 

Black Sea beaches will disappoint anyone who has been to Florida, the Caribbean, or Hawaii.  If you are travelling to Ukraine or Russia (Sochi) to enjoy the beaches, you're going for the wrong reason. 
"If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun" - Katharine Hepburn

Offline Donhollio

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Re: Ukraine vs. Russia
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2010, 03:02:15 PM »


Black Sea beaches will disappoint anyone who has been to Florida, the Caribbean, or Hawaii.  If you are travelling to Ukraine or Russia (Sochi) to enjoy the beaches, you're going for the wrong reason.

 I'd have to disagree slightly there Shakey. I have been to beaches in Florida, and a couple of Caribbean countries beaches as well, never been to Hawaii. In Zakota ( near Odessa) I saw an endless beach of fine sand that rivals the beach in Varadaro or Cancun.

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Ukraine vs. Russia
« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2010, 05:27:16 PM »
Echoing others, I'd begin with Moscow and St Petersburg with a side trip to Kyiv. As David and SS say, there is so much in either Moscow or St P that you could stay for months and not see everything.

If this is a first of many planned trips then I'd start in Moscow and spend all 2-3 weeks soaking it up (you will barely scratch the surface) and use that knowledge to build on the other cities in followup trips. Kyiv was the first place I visited when the FSU was still the CCCP and one cannot ignore it's beauty or historic importance either. Whereever ever you decide to visit try not to make the visa regime the sole determining factor of a decision.

Offline Astrophysics

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Re: Ukraine vs. Russia
« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2010, 08:51:10 PM »
Round trip Kyiv to Dallas this Summer was just at a thousand bucks--but I bought in April about a week before prices went up two or three hundred. Thus, the key whenever you plan to go is to buy the tickets early.

You will hear much debate on this forum between people recommending one or the other country. Usually, it's by guys who have either married or at least have traveled mostly to one or the other. In my case, I live in Donetsk, Ukraine--about an hour's drive to the Russian border.

Much depends upon what you want to do over here.What are your interests? Without knowing that, it is difficult to suggest one over the other. Still, there are some significant practical differences. For example, to see more than one area it is obviously far less challenging in Ukraine if for no better reason than it is a much smaller place.

Personally, I wouldn't rule out some of the other FSU countries--such as the Baltic ones. (We have a couple members who live full or part time in Estonia, for instance).

You can easily spend a couple very interesting weeks in either country. The large cities alone can take two weeks just to see the major sights (Moscow would probably take even longer to do it justice, as might St. Petersburg. Kyiv could be fairly well explored in that time, perhaps with a side trip or two to other areas).

One possible itinerary for Ukraine might be to start in Kyiv--and the first day or two you are there to purchase rail tickets to another area--perhaps the Crimea--for five or six days later. Travel between major points in the country by overnight train is extremely popular here and is pretty cheap as well...but during the most popular times it can be a challenge to get tickets in the better trains at the last minute. You and your cousin could get tickets in one of the compartments with either two or four beds. Many Americans try to buy all four tickets so they will have a compartment to their own, but I have never found this particularly necessary. There are some routes, too, with much newer equipment for an additional charge. Those have nicer beds and infinitely nicer bathrooms.

The advantage of overnight trains is that going and coming you would not need to be paying for a hotel or apartment for those two nights.

If your prior travel has been limited, I strongly suggest you adopt the one bag approach--taking only a bag you can carry on the plane with you. (Most airlines will also allow you to take a "personal item" which usually includes a laptop bag in addition to a full carry-on). Personally, I prefer a convertible bag with decent backpack straps that stow away when you use it with a shoulder strap. That makes carrying the bag far easier. I traveled with this combination back to the States this past summer for six weeks--so a couple weeks with only a carry-on should be a cakewalk. A primary website that discusses the subject in great detail is www.onebag.com. You will be far happier not having to wrestle a large suitcase or wait in baggage lines, believe me. Also, taking buses or other mass transit is far simpler with a single carry-on bag.

So--let us know what interests you two the most and perhaps we can give you better suggestions about where to go.

David
Well, I'm sort of an explorer at heart and going for the sake of going will satisfy me. My interests are mainly in the creative arts and especially food. I don't mind checking out the nightlife, as I think my cousin will be heavily into that. Science, especially anything relate with space and astronomy gets me going; one reason why I'd choose Russia over Ukraine; Star City.

I appreciate the input, and thanks for the idea. We'll try to adopt that one bag approach, it makes sense.


P.S. I heard there's no toilet paper in Ukraine's restrooms... and also that have to squat to crap? :) Is there a thread that shows the American and Ukrainian/Russian cultural differences that we need to know?



So if you were in our shoes, where would you go first?

Thanks in advance!

You may find Ukraine to be more open to foreigners, especially Americans.
This is why we're leaning towards Ukraine! :)

It is true that the crow thinks its own bird fairest yet I believe Ukraine is more welcoming to foreigners. You do not need a visa to start with.

With the OP being Latino, too, I would be somewhat concerned about the current racial unrest in Russia--where Russian skinheads have been rather brutally attacking many with darker skins of late. While this may not be directed to foreign tourists, it would be difficult to console onesself to that fact if caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

David
I'm Latino, but not dark skinned. :P I've been told I look "Russian" ha-ha.


Since you are not going "women hunting", then you probably you just want to see as many sights, architecture and museums as possible. There are pros and cons to both countries. The biggest plus about Ukraine is that there is no visa requirement and you don't need to register in the cities you visit for more than 48 hours. I would recommend visiting Kiev, Odessa and Crimea. Odessa has lots of pretty, historic buildings and monuments. It has a beautiful Opera Theater and a lot more. It has always been a very international port city on Black Sea. Kiev has more of the "Stalin era" architectured buildings in the center and also historic monuments, churches, monasteries and museums. Crimea has beautiful nature - mountains that meet the Black Sea. Some truly gorgeous scenery. Much of it is not well maintained though, garbage really detracts from the beauty of it all, infrastructure is so-so, food is so-so and can cause misery if you eat at the wrong place... Beaches are not sand, they are covered with pebbles that are pretty hard to walk on, plus you have to step over people's bodies to get to the water since they are usually very overcrowded. Everything is pretty expensive (you even have to pay for beach access) and is overpriced  considering what you get for your money.

Now Russia: yes you do need a tourist visa which will cost you under $200 and is pretty easy to get after you fill out a 2 page application and send it, along with your passport to Russian consulate. Takes about a month to get it back so you need to plan accordingly. They do have expedited service for more money. Russia is a huge country. 11 time zones geographically speaking (although last spring they cut it down to 9 to make things more manageable). Compare to only 3 time zones in the USA! Moscow and St. Petersburg are a must see! Moscow is  a very unique city, like no other city in the world. It's also huge and you can literally spend several months there and still not see everything. Lots of architectural, historical monuments from different times and epochs,  world renowned art museums and plenty of what a large city can offer (think NYC on steroids).
St.Petersburg ("The Venice of the North") is another "must see" in Russia. It is simply unbelievable! Again, Russia is huge and there is so much to see, you can spend a lifetime travelling it. Prices are also pretty high but at least sometimes you get your money's worth here.
Wow. This makes me want to go to Russia, but it's expensive I know!


You do not need a visa to start with. 

That is basically the only real advantage. 

From a cultural standpoint, it's hard for Ukraine to compete against Russia.  Kiev is a beautiful city however St Petersburg during the "white night" period of mid June is hard to beat.  Moscow is clearly the cultural center of the entire FSU.

The women are equally beautiful in both locations.  There is an active social life in all three cities mentioned. 

Who knows if you will ever return?  Why not plan to make 3-5 day stops in all three cities (Kiev, Moscow St Petersburg).  That would be an absolutely FANTASTIC trip!
Hahaha, that's what my friend said. He said if I ever go to Ukraine I'll probably get married and never want to come back because they're so many beautiful women there.

I would do that idea, but I wonder how much that will all cost...


  Having been to both countries I will say the Ukraine wins for ease of travel. Russia has lots of history, however you need to have some Russian to get by as a tourist in both countries. Basically they have yet to grasp how a cater to a tourist. English as a international language isn't found in museums or historical sites.  The Rooskees like to keep tabs on your movement, while in UA you get a stamp in your passport and off you go with full freedom to travel.
 Summer in Odessa is nice, its a toursit city so there is always something to do, beaches that I have visited are full of fine soft sand, and yes you'll pay to get on them, but its not much, and some will have girls serving you beer, and other foods, it all makes for a nice day, beers and topless girls.  :nod:
 The Crimea is also very nice as Ed mentioned, and spending 4-5 days on these places will be just one way to see a small portion of the country.
 Let's not forget in Russia you have to register your visa within 3 business days. This useless process can take up to 3 hours. So if you move from city to city, you are suppose to de-register, than re-register in the following city.... rinse and repeat.  :drunk:
 You can read the about my fun with it in my TR, Donhollio's FSU Pursuit!!!   :innocent:
 
Page 18   reply #266  and page 26 reply #388

 The linking doesn't seem to be working. :coffeeread:
Rooskees huh?


Uff, there is always Romania... no visa requirement, Black Sea beaches with plenty of sand, castles, fortresses, the Danube delta, countless other UNESCO world heritage sites, Transylvania, blah, blah, blah... oh and, better food than either Russia or Ukraine (in my personal opinion). If you absolutely need to see Slavic people and read Cyrillic, you can do that in much of the N/E area of the country.

I will look more into it...


Echoing others, I'd begin with Moscow and St Petersburg with a side trip to Kyiv. As David and SS say, there is so much in either Moscow or St P that you could stay for months and not see everything.

If this is a first of many planned trips then I'd start in Moscow and spend all 2-3 weeks soaking it up (you will barely scratch the surface) and use that knowledge to build on the other cities in followup trips. Kyiv was the first place I visited when the FSU was still the CCCP and one cannot ignore it's beauty or historic importance either. Whereever ever you decide to visit try not to make the visa regime the sole determining factor of a decision.
That's a good point, reading everything makes me re-consider how big Moscow alone really is... I'm just thinking costs now....

Offline dbneeley

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Re: Ukraine vs. Russia
« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2010, 12:22:36 AM »
In any of the major cities by far the most expensive places to stay are in the city centers. The father out you go, generally the cheaper the accommodations.

Another rule of thumb--you can rent an apartment for your stay often for less money than the hotels, but with far more comfort and convenience. That way, you can prepare many of your own meals more economically by far than if  you ate constantly in restaurants.

In Kyiv, for example, you can get a flat not far from one of the outlying subway stops and take the subway into the city center and to many of the points of interest.

I went to a number of cultural events in Kyiv, including both classical and Ukrainian folk music concerts, a pipe organ recital, and both dance and opera performances.

On a practical note, it is quite true that public toilets can be rather inconvenient in many places and it is always a good idea to take a small amount of toilet paper with you in case there is none where you wind up needing it. It is also true that there are still public buildings which have the squat toilets.

The most modern facilities may have very nice public toilet facilities, however. Borispyl airport does, for instance, as do the large hypermarkets that have opened near us.

As for food--personally, I find most of the food in this region is fairly bland by comparison to my diet in the U.S. Since you want to go during the Summer, you will likely find the produce here exceptional--tomatoes, for example, taste much as the home-grown and vine ripened variety you get in the States and far superior to the supermarket variety there.

I look forward to our new flat, where I will be planting some jalapeño peppers in a couple of pots on the balcony there. I fully intend to make my own pico de gallo and alleviate some of the more bland dishes!   8:)

David

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Should I visit Ukraine or Russia?
« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2010, 12:52:30 AM »
Quote
Is there a thread that shows the American and Ukrainian/Russian cultural differences that we need to know?


Go to the Culture section where there are several threads.

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Re: Ukraine vs. Russia
« Reply #19 on: December 27, 2010, 10:29:16 AM »
I'd have to disagree slightly there Shakey. I have been to beaches in Florida, and a couple of Caribbean countries beaches as well, never been to Hawaii. In Zakota ( near Odessa) I saw an endless beach of fine sand that rivals the beach in Varadaro or Cancun. 

You learn something new every day. 

I never knew such beaches existed anywhere on the Black Sea.

My experience with Black Sea beaches has always been rocky beaches where the local population has the nasty habit of breaking their empty beer bottles making swimming without hard-sole shoes a risky practice. 

"If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun" - Katharine Hepburn

Offline Paul

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Re: Ukraine vs. Russia
« Reply #20 on: December 27, 2010, 11:35:28 AM »
I'd have to disagree slightly there Shakey. I have been to beaches in Florida, and a couple of Caribbean countries beaches as well, never been to Hawaii. In Zakota ( near Odessa) I saw an endless beach of fine sand that rivals the beach in Varadaro or Cancun. 

You learn something new every day. 

I never knew such beaches existed anywhere on the Black Sea.

My experience with Black Sea beaches has always been rocky beaches where the local population has the nasty habit of breaking their empty beer bottles making swimming without hard-sole shoes a risky practice.

I can't speak for Ukraine but, in Romania the beeches have to be kept to a certain "cleanliness" standard since they are in the EU. If Ukraine hopes to enter the EU, it would seem that they would be trying to follow their rules. Also, in Romania, go breaking bottles and leaving trash on the beaches and the locals are likely to beat you to an inch of your life,.. they know where their money is coming from.

Offline Muzh_1

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Re: Каждый кулик своё болото хвалит
« Reply #21 on: December 27, 2010, 02:28:25 PM »
It is true that the crow thinks its own bird fairest yet I believe Ukraine is more welcoming to foreigners. You do not need a visa to start with.

With the OP being Latino, too, I would be somewhat concerned about the current racial unrest in Russia--where Russian skinheads have been rather brutally attacking many with darker skins of late. While this may not be directed to foreign tourists, it would be difficult to console onesself to that fact if caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

David

David, that was very Archie Bunker of you. Do you know this guy? Ever seen him? Or is it that all latinos are mulatitos unable to say a few words en Ingles?

Astroboy, heed to David's concern regarding the racial unrest in Rusia. It's real.

Offline dbneeley

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Re: Каждый кулик своё болото хвалит
« Reply #22 on: December 28, 2010, 12:02:02 AM »
It is true that the crow thinks its own bird fairest yet I believe Ukraine is more welcoming to foreigners. You do not need a visa to start with.

With the OP being Latino, too, I would be somewhat concerned about the current racial unrest in Russia--where Russian skinheads have been rather brutally attacking many with darker skins of late. While this may not be directed to foreign tourists, it would be difficult to console onesself to that fact if caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

David

David, that was very Archie Bunker of you. Do you know this guy? Ever seen him? Or is it that all latinos are mulatitos unable to say a few words en Ingles?

Astroboy, heed to David's concern regarding the racial unrest in Rusia. It's real.

Apparently, Muzh, in your rush to judge others according to your own preconceptions you haven't followed the news very closely. There have been widely reported incidences of racially-motivated attacks by Russian "skinheads" within the past several weeks alone. This has been particularly a problem around football venues, but has happened elsewhere as well.

I won't be bothered to find the news links for you--but they should be easy to resurrect using the terms "Russian skinheads" in Google news search. You might find the exercise a worthwhile one.

For your information, I have lived on the Mexican border and traveled extensively throughout the country--even living there for a summer studying in a language institute in Cuernavaca--my dearly loved sister-in-law is Mexican, born in Matamoros (and married to my brother for more than 45 years now), and had I not found the right lady when I happened to come first to Ukraine I likely would have been intensively looking in Latin America. I am also fluent in Spanish, albeit a bit rusty these days for want of practice.

However, facts are facts. Obviously, it is not always simple to tell the extent of such a problem from news accounts alone, but the number of them in recent years--and the fact that it seems to be increasing of late--is simply a factor that should not be ignored.

Wishing it were otherwise is one thing, but only the most foolish simply label any evidence of prudence where appropriate as "racism"--that can prove to be rather dangerous ignorance.

Your knee-jerk reaction seems typical of many who don't inhabit the real world with the rest of us. As much as I like and admire the Russian people for many things, the amount of racism among the population is larger than we are accustomed to in the West...of that I have no doubt, based upon numerous instances within my experience.

Sorry you simply pop off so predictably rather than asking questions first.

David

.

Offline Muzh_1

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Re: Каждый кулик своё болото хвалит
« Reply #23 on: December 28, 2010, 08:11:18 AM »
It is true that the crow thinks its own bird fairest yet I believe Ukraine is more welcoming to foreigners. You do not need a visa to start with.

With the OP being Latino, too, I would be somewhat concerned about the current racial unrest in Russia--where Russian skinheads have been rather brutally attacking many with darker skins of late. While this may not be directed to foreign tourists, it would be difficult to console onesself to that fact if caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

David

David, that was very Archie Bunker of you. Do you know this guy? Ever seen him? Or is it that all latinos are mulatitos unable to say a few words en Ingles?

Astroboy, heed to David's concern regarding the racial unrest in Rusia. It's real.

Apparently, Muzh, in your rush to judge others according to your own preconceptions you haven't followed the news very closely. There have been widely reported incidences of racially-motivated attacks by Russian "skinheads" within the past several weeks alone. This has been particularly a problem around football venues, but has happened elsewhere as well.

I won't be bothered to find the news links for you--but they should be easy to resurrect using the terms "Russian skinheads" in Google news search. You might find the exercise a worthwhile one.

For your information, I have lived on the Mexican border and traveled extensively throughout the country--even living there for a summer studying in a language institute in Cuernavaca--my dearly loved sister-in-law is Mexican, born in Matamoros (and married to my brother for more than 45 years now), and had I not found the right lady when I happened to come first to Ukraine I likely would have been intensively looking in Latin America. I am also fluent in Spanish, albeit a bit rusty these days for want of practice.

However, facts are facts. Obviously, it is not always simple to tell the extent of such a problem from news accounts alone, but the number of them in recent years--and the fact that it seems to be increasing of late--is simply a factor that should not be ignored.

Wishing it were otherwise is one thing, but only the most foolish simply label any evidence of prudence where appropriate as "racism"--that can prove to be rather dangerous ignorance.

Your knee-jerk reaction seems typical of many who don't inhabit the real world with the rest of us. As much as I like and admire the Russian people for many things, the amount of racism among the population is larger than we are accustomed to in the West...of that I have no doubt, based upon numerous instances within my experience.

Sorry you simply pop off so predictably rather than asking questions first.

David

 ???

Let's see, I said:

Astroboy, heed to David's concern regarding the racial unrest in Rusia. It's real.

Did I use the wrong verb?

For the rest, I'm sorry to have embarassed you that way. I know deep down you are a nice guy.  :)

Offline Stirlitz

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That is basically the only real advantage. 
I do not think so. There are other advantages. I feel that Ukraine is a little cheaper and safer than Russia.

As for beautiful women, I was not impressed with them at all during my several visits to Russia in 2005 and 2006. In particular, to Voronej and Moscow. While Nijniy Novgorod could boast some interesting species, I did not see one in Voronej. As for Moscow my wife was the most striking woman in the crowd as we were walking around and I could tell it by the people. It is a little different in Odessa to be true. It looks like most Moscow women are too busy with work, everyday things, etc and they care less about how they look in public. This is just one experience basically but that is what I saw. In fact, when visiting a new town I usually tend to notice more pretty women than at home simply because everything is new and fresh. In Russia it suddenly did not work this way.

But beauty is in the eyes of the beholder or what do you say. It is pretty biased.

With the OP being Latino, too, I would be somewhat concerned about the current racial unrest in Russia--where Russian skinheads have been rather brutally attacking many with darker skins of late.
Yes. This is also something that I was not sure should be mentioned but it exists. While it would not be correct to state that skinheads can only be seen in Russia and they are very bad and wide-spread there while Ukraine is completely free of that, I would still claim that the situation is worse in Russia. How much worse is hard to estimate but it is. I have only heard about racist attacks in Ukraine several times while I constantly hear about cases like that in Russia. And, skinheads aside, many Russians still regard Westerners as enemies while this is getting rare in Ukraine.
Igor Kalinin
Russian Translator/Interpreter/Guide/Agent for Odessa, the Crimea and the rest of Ukraine
www.odessaguide.net


 

 

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