Moldova and Transnistiria

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Nov 10th, 2013, 10:55 AM
  #1
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Moldova and Transnistiria

Hi guys!

I have a problem. I have this thing for post-communist countries...maybe it has something to do with studying this in DEPTH for two years in High School...I don't know where this obsession statred...but it eixists and my thirst for knowledge and adventure nees to be quenched!

I will be doing a South-East European trip in March/April. I am going back to Moldova. I was there almost 4 years ago, and I'd like to see what has changed! On top of this...I want to go back and go to Transnistiria (I wanted to go last time, but was advised not to...due to border issues and policing, and danger of being inprisoned and whatnot)

Somehow I can't believe it really is as bad as that person who told me about this made it out to be. I am now 4 years older and wiser, and actually an adult (as opposed to my 17 years of age back then). So I ask you! Lovely Fordors community!

Has anyone been to Transnistiria? Is it as awesomely communist as it tells me on the internet? Does it really feel like you are standing in a small Moscow of the Stalinist era?

Also, how dangerous is it really to go there? I mean, there are very regular buses that go from Chisinau to Tiraspol..so it can't be THAT bad right? Please, if you have any experience or knowledge about this part of the world just share your thoughts

Thank you!
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Nov 10th, 2013, 11:10 AM
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I went through on the bus several years back, with a brief stop in Tiraspol. A couple I met in Moldova were planning to spend a day or two there, using http://www.marisha.net/index.htm It didn't look at all interesting to me, being very flat, and well provided with bleak Soviet era apartment blocks.

I was not aware that it was considered any more unsafe than Moldova, although I did have to bribe the border guards on the way in. For my TR at the time see: http://wilhelmswords.com/eur2006/index.html - Making it to Moldova
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Nov 10th, 2013, 02:18 PM
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hmmm thank you for the reply..and yea, I was told about the bribing..I was also told that the border guards could be quite thorough in their search for bribe money and/or agressive...but it seems like your exprience was different?

Like I said, I have NO IDEA why I find exactly that weird bleak soviet russian flatness so interesting I would probably only spend one night in Tiraspol though..and then head back to Chisinau or another part of Moldova...but I'd really like to see Tiraspol..there's something really alluring for me there
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Nov 10th, 2013, 02:28 PM
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Well, I certainly wouldn't say that the border guard was friendly! I was wearing two money belts (so I could produce one if necessary) and carrying a wallet with only a little cash (and an ATM card if asked how I was financing the trip). Plus, I was expecting to pay a bribe, and didn't get either rattled or angry. Since you can't get a visa for Transnistria, as only Russia recognizes it, I looked on the bribe as an informal visa. But it was 2006 - I'd check Lonely Planet's Thorntree forum for more up to date info.

I would think you could see everything you wanted on a day trip.
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Nov 10th, 2013, 11:59 PM
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Recent BBC programme on Moldova suggested that everyone is trying to leave for Romania to improve their standard of living!
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Nov 11th, 2013, 06:18 AM
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thanks for the tip thursdayd i'll make sure to check that LP blog

and bilboburgler, I KNOWWW I lived in Romania for 7 years and I know about the huge age gap in Moldova because people want to get out...I am studying and working in international development focused on eastern europe..so this is like my dream country. i went 4 years ago..it's a pretty amazing country though.
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Nov 11th, 2013, 07:09 AM
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As for Moldova in itself, you may see some change in Chisinau, and probably for the better, at least when going there as a tourist. But as bilboburgler said, the young and dynamic part of the population is leaving as soon and as far as they can. Not dangerous at all, and still lots of this specific charm you seem to enjoy (and so do I).

As for Transnistria and its relationship with Moldova, be aware that the situation has really much changed, especially since the election of the new president in December 2011, so that every older trip report you may read may have become seriously outdated. There is probably still some bribery going on, but not at the industrial level experienced before.
I took the Chisinau-Odessa train last month, going through Transnistria (slower than bus but a must if you like trains. Leaves at 7:25 every morning, 9:44 in Tiraspol, and Odessa at 12 something). I didn't see any Transnistrian border guard or policeman or anything, it was almost disappointing!

It looks like the main point of interest in Tiraspol is the Kvint distillery visit (and extensive tastings)...all in all given you travel tastes it's probably worth spending a night there. Odessa may be a good place to go to continue your travel.
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Nov 15th, 2013, 01:16 PM
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Thanks for that heads up SZeitblom! That's good to know.

I've been to Odessa (back in 2010 I took the bus to Odessa purpously avoiding Tiraspol -.-)

So now that you said that I am more sure that I want to go to Tiraspol! Do you know how expensive hotels are or if there are any hostels or possible home stays? PRetty much, do you know what the cheapest option is?

I would probably stay a night and then go back to Chisinau though, since I want to head South West of Romania (Bulgaria, Macedonia, Kosovo...)
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Dec 4th, 2013, 01:17 PM
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Hi, I'm from Chisinau. I'm in Transnistria once every few months (my girlfriend born there). Nothing terrible and awful is not there. compare with Moscow is not correctly. Moscow every day moving forward and Tiraspol stuck in '90. At least outwardly so looks. But more remains in Tiraspol from the era of the Soviet Union.
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Dec 4th, 2013, 01:20 PM
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In Moldova for 4 years a lot of things exchanged as the government 3 years ago exchanged. In the best or worst aspect - you will see =)
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Dec 5th, 2013, 05:30 AM
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"Do you know how expensive hotels are or if there are any hostels or possible home stays? PRetty much, do you know what the cheapest option is?"
Rent an apartment with all the terms.
Chisinau: 20-30 € per day.
Tiraspol: 10-30$ per day.
The hotel is 3 times more expensive...
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Dec 5th, 2013, 05:37 AM
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"I didn't see any Transnistrian border guard or policeman or anything, it was almost disappointing!"

it has its own features, my vocabulary does not allow to tell all ... And so there is a Border guards and armored vehicles are 1992 stand.
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