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81 - 100 of 110 Comments Last updated Jun 17, 2014
Joe Sabino

Europe

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#87
Jun 8, 2011
 
Paul from Charlotte NC wrote:
I have been to Belarus 5 times over the last 2 years. Last was in May 2011. Clean, Safe place; Very good people; not too expensive for US people (I am from NC). Only possible issue is Language. You don't need to worry about the politics, dictatorship etc. And be sure you have visa and register when you reach (in 3 days). Enjoy your stay! And they need the Dollars
Yeah, right, dont worry about politics...Minsk is so much "fun"! I love to read the statements of the "ceiling watchers". They travel through Minsk main avenues, go to a couple of restaurants and clubs, enjoy the local "delicacies" and think they know all about the country.

I lived there for over 5 years. That's an opressive dictatorship for the local residents. For the "ceiling watchers" its just paradise...
Bamba-Wuap

Minsk, Belarus

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#88
Aug 21, 2013
 
bryce wrote:
Living in Minsk right now,traveled and stayed at lakes.Been here 1& half months,can use visa master cards in most eftpos machines,people are very freindly & the dollar goes along way.Resturants are extremly top rate with nz money equiverlant 2 eat for 1 . We normaly go out 6 at nite home 4 in morning.Nite clubs,casino,eating,shows or movies.Have not seen any problems,police very freindly and prolific all nite.Transport all nite metro ,busses,taxis .Loving being here.
Do you have a girl (or girls) in Belarus?
wil

Mogilėv, Belarus

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#89
Sep 6, 2013
 
Joe Sabino wrote:
<quoted text>
Yeah, right, dont worry about politics...Minsk is so much "fun"! I love to read the statements of the "ceiling watchers". They travel through Minsk main avenues, go to a couple of restaurants and clubs, enjoy the local "delicacies" and think they know all about the country.
I lived there for over 5 years. That's an opressive dictatorship for the local residents. For the "ceiling watchers" its just paradise...
What are ceiling watchers?
Joe Sabino

Europe

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#90
Oct 2, 2013
 
wil wrote:
<quoted text>
What are ceiling watchers?
Sex tourists
news junkie

Welland, Canada

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#91
Oct 3, 2013
 
The idea of traveling to Belarus as a tourist under current political and economic conditions is one rung above having a colonoscopy as a momentous experience.

At $450 for a tourist visa, I can think of better ways to spend my money
wil

Mogilėv, Belarus

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#92
Oct 8, 2013
 
Joe Sabino wrote:
<quoted text>
Sex tourists
Thanks Joe

You live and learn
Joe Sabino

Europe

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#93
Oct 8, 2013
 
news junkie wrote:
The idea of traveling to Belarus as a tourist under current political and economic conditions is one rung above having a colonoscopy as a momentous experience.
At $450 for a tourist visa, I can think of better ways to spend my money
And that's just the beginning:

- Mandatory local health insurance on arrival (forget about your own medical insurance, is not valid in Belarus): more or less $5 a day. BTW, it's totally useless in case you require assistance.

- Mandatory registration with the police within 3 days of arrival: more or less $4 a day. Hotels will do it for you, but they are way more expensive than renting a flat.

- At least $120 to get to the city from the airport and back. The level of rip off will vary according to the taxi driver you chose.

- Fancy restaurants are as expensive as in Moscow. Drinks? A simple cocktail will cost you at least $10. Food is average and service is terrible.

- Minsk is nice for gamblers, sex tourists and crooks. The rest of the visitors have very little to do there, especially outside the summer months.

- The police is everywhere and they will make up rules and laws just to extort money from city guests. ALWAYS have your passport with you or you are in trouble.

Finally, interesting to see how flexible will they get when they host the Ice Hockey World Championship next year. They tend to "bend the rules" to fool visitors on special occasions. I bet this will be one of them.
wil

Mogilėv, Belarus

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#94
Oct 9, 2013
 
news junkie wrote:
The idea of traveling to Belarus as a tourist under current political and economic conditions is one rung above having a colonoscopy as a momentous experience.
At $450 for a tourist visa, I can think of better ways to spend my money
Yes if you wait until you arrive at the airport you will pay much more for a visa

Get a Belarussian Embassy beforehand and pay much less, depends of which country your from, USA costs less then $200, if im not mistaken
wil

Mogilėv, Belarus

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#95
Oct 9, 2013
 
Joe Sabino wrote:
<quoted text>
And that's just the beginning:
- Mandatory local health insurance on arrival (forget about your own medical insurance, is not valid in Belarus): more or less $5 a day. BTW, it's totally useless in case you require assistance.
- Mandatory registration with the police within 3 days of arrival: more or less $4 a day. Hotels will do it for you, but they are way more expensive than renting a flat.
- At least $120 to get to the city from the airport and back. The level of rip off will vary according to the taxi driver you chose.
- Fancy restaurants are as expensive as in Moscow. Drinks? A simple cocktail will cost you at least $10. Food is average and service is terrible.
- Minsk is nice for gamblers, sex tourists and crooks. The rest of the visitors have very little to do there, especially outside the summer months.
- The police is everywhere and they will make up rules and laws just to extort money from city guests. ALWAYS have your passport with you or you are in trouble.
Finally, interesting to see how flexible will they get when they host the Ice Hockey World Championship next year. They tend to "bend the rules" to fool visitors on special occasions. I bet this will be one of them.
Havent been to the airport recently, my friend told me health insurance is about $1 for 2 days

For $80 I would be happy to collect you from the airport )
wil

Mogilėv, Belarus

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#96
Oct 9, 2013
 
But better to take a bus, one leaves the airport about every 45min and will cost probably less then $5

So there you go, real info
Joe Sabino

Europe

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#97
Oct 10, 2013
 
wil wrote:
<quoted text>
Havent been to the airport recently, my friend told me health insurance is about $1 for 2 days
For $80 I would be happy to collect you from the airport )
1- Your friend was wrong
2- Appreciate your offer, but a country cannot function depending on the "good will" of some individuals.
Joe Sabino

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#98
Oct 10, 2013
 
wil wrote:
But better to take a bus, one leaves the airport about every 45min and will cost probably less then $5
So there you go, real info
Your forgot a tiny huge detail: the bus is for russian speakers. Why?

- First you have to find the bus stop... if you know russian, you will.
- The bus is irregular and works only during the day
- It's not marked, it's a normal bus with no signs or indications
- As soon as you hop into the bus the driver will ask you "where to?".... in russian.
- If you are a non russian speaker and guess what he is asking, you will say "Minsk". He will then ask you "where in Minsk?"...in russian.
- At this point the visitor either will get help from a russian/english speaker...or will leave the bus and take a taxi.

In resume: an amateur, ridiculous service that serves only the ones that find the bus stop and speak the local language.

Note: I used the bus several times and helped a lot of visitors to use it.
wil

Belarus

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#99
Oct 10, 2013
 
Joe Sabino wrote:
<quoted text>
1- Your friend was wrong
2- Appreciate your offer, but a country cannot function depending on the "good will" of some individuals.
I have friends coming here on Dec 30 , so then I will know for sure the cost of insurance
About the bus, yes without knowledge of English it is difficult, but usually buses run on time and by the schedule
Joe Sabino

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#100
Oct 15, 2013
 
wil wrote:
<quoted text>
I have friends coming here on Dec 30 , so then I will know for sure the cost of insurance
About the bus, yes without knowledge of English it is difficult, but usually buses run on time and by the schedule
1- Dont forget that visitors pay differently according to their "nationality" and depending on the exchange rate of the day.

2- There is no point in having a bus running on schedule if people dont know/see/find that schedule and if it's not prepared to serve non russian speaking guests. In Africa I have seen better/more organized airport shuttle services.
wil

Mogilėv, Belarus

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#101
Oct 15, 2013
 
Joe I will be at the airport myself on Dec 30, I will write about my experiences after that.

I know visa costs are different for different nationalities, its easy to find out the cost on the net, medical insurance I dont know about that and cant get info on line, but when im at the airport I will find out.

Also I will inquire in English about the bus, That should be fun
news junkie

Welland, Canada

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#102
Oct 15, 2013
 
If that is the situation at the airport with the bus situation, they best get their act together for May for the hockey tournament (if it still comes about).
Joe Sabino

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#103
Oct 16, 2013
 
news junkie wrote:
If that is the situation at the airport with the bus situation, they best get their act together for May for the hockey tournament (if it still comes about).
I decided to update my information, as I haven’t been in Minsk for 8 months now, but I have people there that provided me the following update:

- The bus stop is still hard to find (for non Russian speakers) but they have placed a timetable (with some English translation)to provide information to foreigners. The photo of that timetable can be seen on the following link:

http://cdn2.vtourist.com/1/6638822-MSQ_Airpor...

- The form of operation continues to be Russian speakers driven: an unmarked bus arrives, the driver leaves and opens the doors of the cargo space; some people wait outside, others go inside the bus; as soon as the driver returns to his seat, people are suppose to stand up and tell him where they want to go; he will communicate in Russian only and will accept payments only in local hard currency.

- There is no announcement on the places that the bus stops, so either people will take a guess and leave where they find appropriate or travel till the final stop, which is in the bus terminal.

- I'm 100% sure that they will improve this service dramatically for the time of the hockey championship. I'm also sure, that this will be only a temporary cosmetic improvement.
Joe Sabino

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#104
Oct 16, 2013
 
wil wrote:
Joe I will be at the airport myself on Dec 30, I will write about my experiences after that.
I know visa costs are different for different nationalities, its easy to find out the cost on the net, medical insurance I dont know about that and cant get info on line, but when im at the airport I will find out.
Also I will inquire in English about the bus, That should be fun
If you really want to have fun with the bus situation, try what I did once with a non-russian speaker business partner: we had spare time so I asked him if he could find the bus stop alone and buy a ticket. He couldnt do both things and he is not exactly dumb or inexperienced.

Try that with your visitors, dont help them and then share the results.
news junkie

Welland, Canada

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#105
Oct 16, 2013
 
I prefer to visit countries that welcome tourists, that don't charge arm and a leg for a visa, that recognize my national health card, that don't make me register with police and make no effort with airport transport to transfer tourists into Minsk and beyond.

To stay in hotels that are over priced and most likely bugged on phones and in rooms. Only reason for "vacationing" in Belarus is that it is one step above vacationing on Pissy's goat turd farm in Slo-wack-me-off
wil

Belarus

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#106
Oct 17, 2013
 
i hope to visit North Korea sometime soon, Im sure Belarus will seem like a wonderful place after that trip.
Different people like different experiences news junkie

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