The Ukrainian government has opened a hostel called Chernobyl Hostel Polissya within the Chernobyl contamination zone, giving willing vacationers a taste of history’s most detrimental nuclear disaster.
Right now there are 50 beds currently available in the converted Soviet dormitory located in Pripyat, which can be found only nine miles from the 1986 reactor explosion site which killed 38 people directly and caused decades of lingering health issues for thousands of former residents due to radiation exposure.
Since the area is still saturated in said radiation, visitors must be invited for tours into the exclusion zone and can only stay for a short period. The first guests so far included tourists from the US, New Zealand, and Denmark.
Meanwhile, Chernobyl’s reactor lies trapped in time under a concrete and steel sarcophagus, where 16 tons of uranium and plutonium and 30 tons of highly contaminated dust are trapped.
This government-run hostel isn’t the only establishment to open in the blast zone; Hotel Pripyat is also available in case the hostel is full.
According to a tour operator who spoke to the Telegraph: “All the rooms are simple, in the Soviet Style. All the visitors are provided with the ironed, starched linen stamped by Chernobyl special industrial complex, some soap, and a towel.”
Chernobyl occurred at the Nuclear Power Plant near Pripyat on April 26th, 1986, when there was a sudden and unexpected power surge in the reactor.
When an emergency shutdown was attempted, a much larger spike in power output occurred, which led to a massive reactor vessel blast and a series of steam explosions.
The resulting fire sent week long plumes of highly radioactive fallout into the atmosphere over an extensive area, including Pripyat.
It’s estimated that since the disaster thousands of people have died due to exposure. Now, spending a day in the exclusion zone is the equivalent of getting a half a chest x-ray, so if you’re willing to expose yourself for the trip of a lifetime, why not try a mini break in Chernobyl?
There will be plenty of room; the government plans to double the number of beds in the hostel soon. We think Marbella just got some competition.
Loaded staff writer Danielle De La Bastide has lived all over the planet and written for BuzzFeed, Thought Catalog as well as print publications throughout the Caribbean.