First of all, they treat all those animals (horses, donkeys, camels, peacocks, bears, pigs, etc) like ***. I was not aware of it until my friend told me, but they barely feed them and just use them for pictures to make money.
Second, once they realize that you don't speak Ukrainian/Russian, they will try to get the most out of you.
In front of Swallow's Nest, I got one picture with a peacock where they nicely pushed my husband to pose with an eagle and the guy took 2 pictures. In the beginning he told me it was 10 hryvnyas. After he took pictures he said it was 20 hryvnyas since there were 2 people and 2 animals in the picture. Fine i gave him 20 hryvnyas bill, but then he would not give me my 10 hryvnyas back and said that he took 2 pictures. Seriously i was afraid that he was going to start adding all kind of things to it. So i told him "FINE i will delete 1 pictures and you give me my 10 hryvnyas back".
Ok i know, 10 hryvnyas is $2 but it was a matter of a principle. He was very rude and i don't like when people try to cheat me.
On my way out of the country I had a problem with the border police because of my stay in a private apartment. I should have registered myself with the police which I did not do because I was not aware of this requirment. To save a headache or more, make sure your stay is accounted for in one way or the other. Hotel accommodation automatically registers you.
The main problem with Ukriane or indeed Russia is that they lack proper toilets and then toilet paper. I have been to a few place that charge you for using the establishments loo, and a friend of mine had a decent jacket ruined by the bleach that was used to wipe/clean the loo walls with.. and for a few UAH more you can use the 'bar of soap' or extra sheets of paper.. My advice to all travellers is.. Head for McDonalds they have nice clean toilets and they don't charge.....
Beware of live music in restaurants!! One evening a middle aged lady started singing russian songs, a bit false i might add. Later she switched to Celine Dion's 'Titanic', which unfortunately was far beyond her vocal capabilities. To top it off, she started to make some dramatic dance moves. I dont remember how the food tasted. In fact i dont remember what i had at all. It was one of those retaurants at Yalta's main boulevard, near the harbour. I was too freaked out to take a picture of this lady. Oh yeah, she also had No Doubt in her repertoire.
Do not try climbing to Ai-Petri without a local guide unless you are unexperienced. While we were in Yalta (October 2004) the group of students got lost in the fog on their way to Ai-Petri mountain and some of them froze to death. Better use minivan or sky tram.
I did never see some criminals in Yalta !
BUT be careful with the cars !!!!
You must take care of the cars ,the cars do NOT !!!