Visit Siberia – A Brand New Destination In The World Of Dark Tourism
Dark tourism is something that’s getting more and more popular in the world of travel. You may know it by some other names: black tourism, grief tourism or even “Thanatourism “, derived from the Greek word for death – Thanatos. If you want to visit all sorts of sites involving tragedy, genocide and suffering, this may be your cup of tea. Former prisons, cult sites, Dracula’s castle, Nazi concentration camps, sites of nuclear or natural disasters – what you’re going to choose, it’s up to you.
Today, dark tourism has one more rising star – a tourist destination reserved for true, die-hard fans of this kind of travel. If you’re a hard core lover of gruesome and morbid tales and sites, pack your bags and fly straight to Siberia.
This region of Russia is best known for its gulags and diamonds. This is the place where around 14 million people were held prisoners between 1929 and 1953, and who knows how many of them died. They were political prisoners, taken away from their homes and held in labor camps all across Siberia to live in unimaginable, cruel conditions.
Siberia is not exactly the happiest place even if we skip all those stories about gulags and conspiracy theories about secret UFO bases. Cold, far, mostly desolate and until very recently, almost empty of tourists (except maybe those who cherish eco tourism). Who the heck would want to travel to Siberia?
A regional tourist department in the Sakha Republic of Siberia probably asked the exact same question. So, they got an incredible idea to drag here as many people as they can. They are responsible for the latest thing called “Gulag Tourism”. The chief of this department, Yekaterina Kormilitsyna, says: “Today the gulag has every chance of attracting tourists. This project will preserve the historical heritage not only of the region, but of the entire country.”
This kind of tourism has been, of course, met with loads of negative comments and naysayers. Most people think it is highly inappropriate, unnecessary and distasteful. They could handle visiting creepy locations such as Dracula’s castle in Romania, but this is simply too much. Also, most of them lost someone in these horrible camps. So, you must understand that the idea of visiting them may not be that appealing to such people. The idea was also attacked by human rights group “Memorial” and several media. There’s also a fear about creating “historical fiction”, in order to attract masses of visitors.
If you don’t belong to this group of people, book your vacation in Siberia and don’t miss visiting the Kolyma Highway, top “dark” attraction. It’s widely known as the “Road of Bones”, built by prisoners in the 30’s. Thousands of them died building this road and they were buried in its foundations.