This second scam is a little more professional and can get you in trouble. You'll be walking along and see a couple of bills on the ground. If you stop to pick it up a man will approach you. If you haven't already grabbed it, he will. He'll ask if it's yours and when you say no, he'll offer to split it with you. About this time a second man will approach and claim he dropped it. The first guy will give it to the second who will then claim that some is missing. Of course, then you are accused of stealing and are asked to produce any money in your pockets. If you do this, he'll convince you to give him some of it just to be done with the whole situation or simply take your money and run. There are a few variations, but the advice is the same. If you see any money on the ground, keep walking and give it a wide berth.
This isn't really a warning or a danger but it is something to be mindful of. When i visited Kyiv, I was approached by two young children outside the Rynok who had their hands out and gesturing that they wanted money. I said no in Ukrainian and carried on walking, the children followed us for a little while and then a young boy who was around 8/9 punched my father in the back.
There was also a young gentleman outside Independence Square who asked us if we spoke German or English who told us a tale of how he put the wrong petrol in his car and needed to borrow some money to fix his car. Again we walked away.
We didn't feel any sense of danger but it is something to be mindful of when enjoying the city.
I include this tip just as a general precautionary measue for those who very often use credit cards being used to pay virtually everything with it. Please don' t believe everybody in Kiev is trying to cheat you!
There has been a warning issued on 31rd August 2004 by the US embassy in Kiev that several individuals have been victims of scams while using automated teller machines in the city. The embassy recommends using ATMs only if absolutely necessary.
Recently, Ukrainian police has renewed the old procedure of checking ID on the streets. couple of my foreign friends told me that they have been stopped by police for documents check. that mostly concerns foreigners, who are easily spotted out even in the crowd, or people of non Caucasian appearance. As long as you have your ID with you (passports) and you didn't stay in Ukraine for 90 days without registering with OVIR, you are in a good shape.
I hope this practice disappears as soon as it has reappeared.
For sure, to rent appartments is much cheaper then to stay in hotel, and, I think, more comforatble. So, if you are looking for a flat in Kiev, I will give you some advices and wornings:
- if you plan to stay in the city center /btw, prices there for 1-room flat is about $40-50, but if you try, you will find cheaper/, there houses mainly builted centure ago, so breakdown of running water in really common in this district. So, dont forget to ask agent if in flat there is hot water.
- As I mentioned before, buildings are old, max about 3-4 floors, so mind when you will pick up the floor. In this houses ceilings are 4 metres high (if they are built before war), so imagine how you will go upstairs every day without elevator on 4th floor.
- Generally about appartments - what you pay is what you get. If you pay $30/night in city center you will get a bit freaky flat with not really good decoration. If you pay $50 and more - then you can get something good.
- As I know, if you are comming for 1 or 2 days, no reservation can be made. When you arrive to the city, you just call to the agency , and they offer you free appartments which they have.
Thats all for this time... I hope, my tips will be usefull for your travells!
A lot has been said and written of late about the air pollution resulting from traffic.
The number of cars in Kiev has reached one million, which means every third resident of Kiev drives a car.
Besides, there is cargo transport, transit transport and guests of Kiev coming to the capital by their own cars...
Carbon dioxide concentration in the air exceeds all possible/existing norms by several times.
The statictic data always tend to frighten us by those huge numbers...
Here are the places in the capital where the air cleanliness situation leaves much to be desired.
- Bessarabia Square and Obolon Abenue are the most polluted places as far as the air is concerned.
- Popudrenko Street (Chernihiv Metro station),
- Lesia Ukrainka Boulevard,
- Victory Avenue (Sviatoshin Metro station)
- Skliarenko Street
are among the worst ecological areas in Kiev.
All this situation results from air pollution caused by traffic.
What about industrial pollution?...
Better not to think of it and enjoy one's stay instead!
You should always keep your passport with you. Police in ukraine still corrupt and you should be careful about that. They think that "foreigners r reach" like people used to think during the USSR time and they (polismen) will always find the reason to make you pay. Whats why never show them your wallet and keep your documents, you should also have to know the telephone nomber of your embassy, travel agency or transletor who can help u. At least, if u r in the trouble, give policmen couple of dollars (not more than 10$, despite on that they ask for 200$) or buy some drinks. I know its awful and funny sometimes, but as ukrainian x-president said "we have what we have...."
About the taxi drivers - if u dont speak their language they will ask you for the double price or even more. But thats normal, u have this kind of situation in every country. So, you should know, that for the short distance (center and bordering to it area) you pay around 25-50 UAH (its about 5-10$).
It has been rumoured that any officer may eventually ask your identity card or passport and not having this at hand would cause you serious trouble... I personally cannot confirm such stories and nobody ever stopped me and asked for my passport but simply for your general security and convenience, bear something with you to prove your identity.
Yes, no doubts, it is exciting and leaves lots of memorys, but mind of dangers also. And that is not only radiation. This zone, area is closed, so there no true municipality, authoritys or police. So, that is the common zone where hide run away prisoners. Belive me, there lots of them. And, as for radiation, also mind of it too. As I know, for ex., 1 day beeing in close to reactor area you will get a month dose of radiation living in Kiev. Try to be rational, dont joke with your health.
First of all do not panic. Things like this could happen in Paris, Rome or Madrid as well. Kiev is generally a safe place for tourists. People are very friendly, warm in character and they are generous. But please keep in mind that this is a big city and you should excercise some basic caution with what you carry with you in the streets or on the subway (Metro).