19 October 2017, Thursday, 15:57

Three Things to Impress Foreign Tourists in Belarus


A declared visa-free regime has made us think over things that can impress foreign guests.

Ancient castles and architecture cannot be breathtaking for Europeans and Americans. Notorious agricultural manor-houses with the national cuisine and atmosphere are good, but not enough. The net result is a harsh Belarusian reality which is well-known to most locals, but may be shocking to foreigners, Salidarnasts writes.

What is it about?

Hazardous Pictures

Perhaps, the most difficult thing is to explain to a foreigner that not everything can be pictured here. The case with photographer Dzmitry Lasko who was detained for making pictures of the Academy of Sciences is still urgent. Then watchful guards explained that "it is not allowed to make pictures of administrative buildings in Belarus."

Then tourists in Ivye found themselves in an awkward situation because of their wish to make a photo of a local Civil Status Registration Department.

I'd hate to think what can happen if naive foreigners try to make a photo session against the backdrop of infamous yellow building in the center of Minsk or, God forbid, near the Lukashenka's Administration.

"Friendly" Policemen

Travelers from Europe have long been accustomed to the fact that police officers are not only servants of the rule of law, but also part-time workers in tourism.

There is a case when an English national football team arrived with their police. The British remembering their direct duties even found time to take pictures or to answer questions of curious Belarusians.

I wonder what would happen if tourists expressed a wish to talk to a riot policeman walking along Minsk streets.

Service Sector

Every foreigner will have to face it in Belarus. And this is not about the non-ability of majority of staff in cafes, shops or other services to speak English. This is about communication standards in general.

Here one demonstrative story published by one Belarusian media and popular on social networks comes about.

A tourist from Asia who visited Belarus for the first time decided to share his impressions. He tells me that he was totally amazed when no one met him at the entrance to help to bring things in a Belarusian hotel. A hotel administrator answered him in a rude way and proposed him to bring his things on his own, an elevator was out of order.

- This is unbelievable, he added. - But, please, do not change here anything. Let it be as it is, this is a unique situation in the world.