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has anybody ever been to Moldova?

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1. Posted by illusionch (Budding Member 7 posts) 8y

has anybody ever been to Moldova?:)

2. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 8y

Considered going, but didn't make it. Transport options from other countries are not that good and citizens from most countries needed a visa up to a few years ago. The information that EU citizens and citizens of Canada, Japan, Iceland, Norway, Swiss Confederation, USA can travel visa-free to Moldova now is not very well known. The issue with Transnistria and the bad reputationof Moldovia as a source of organised crime is also a big deterrent to tourists, as there are travel warnings for Moldovia from many governments for this reason. The biggest draw for tourists might be the lower cost of living compared to other European countries, but there is a definite lack of infrastructure catering to backpackers and other budget travellers. Lack of good guidebooks plays a role too.

What I would be interested in knowing from you: How easy is it getting around in Moldova if you speak only one of the following languages: Russian, Spanish, German and English ?

[ Edit: Edited on Jun 5, 2008, at 5:42 AM by t_maia ]

3. Posted by andi28 (Budding Member 8 posts) 8y

i don't know much about Moldova (been there for a few days abt 16 years ago), but I can tell you, from my experience, that if you speak Russian, you are ok. Also, should be ok if you speak Spanish, as it's close to the Romanian/Moldavian language.

4. Posted by illusionch (Budding Member 7 posts) 8y

Dear t_maia,
Truly speaking this passage " the bad reputation of Moldovia as a source of organised crime is also a big deterrent to tourists, as there are travel warnings for Moldovia from many governments for this reason" makes me laugh sorry.I have never heart about that. Please calm down, there's nothing to worry about.Moldova is far from being called terroristic and source of organised crime. I live here for 24 years and I am alive and I like my country for its silence and peace. As far as I know Moldova is famous for its ecology and green spaces and not for awful prisons or something like that.MD is considered to have the cleanest air in the world.
You are welcomed to my country and I am sure you'll like here:)There are a lot interesting and green places to visit. Monasteries, fortresses... are amazing. If you like VIP treatment, I assure you you'll find here. Moldova is very rich in its traditions and culture.
Concerning your question:If you know Russian, it is perfect.Here almost everyone speaks Russian.English and Spanish are also good.
If you decide to visit my country, I am ready to help you.

5. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 8y

have never heart about that. Please calm down, there's nothing to worry about.Moldova is far from being called terroristic and source of organised crime.

Sorry, but that is the perception of Moldova in the EU. Search "Moldova" on the internet and you'll find lots of info on Transnistria and how this is a problem that needs to be solved. The main reason for Moldova and Transnistria "being a problem" is that is has become a hot house for the mafia, mainly for trafficking drugs, guns and young women and forcing them into prostitution in Germany, Italy, France and other EU countries.

You might not notice this as much in your country, but when you are in the EU this aspect of Moldova is very visible. If a male EU citizen has met a girl from Moldova chances are high she was a prostitute.

Note that I am not denying that your country is beautiful. Or that it wouldn't be a great destination for tourists. (Like I said, I am interested in going.)

If you are really interested in helping, why don't you go over to the Travel Guide and add some info on Moldova? I would be most greatful for

1.) Adresses of hostels or cheap hotels, where you can stay (as a foreigner) for less than 20 EUR per night. Can be Youth hostels with dorms or other places.
2.) Adresses of camping sites or rules for pitching a tent in the wild.
3.) Train and bus schedules - any internet links for trains in Moldova? How much are train tickets and where do you buy them? Do you need to reserve in advance?
4.) Prices for buying food in supermarkets or similar.
5.) Sights to see and things to do other than drinking wine.
6.) Crossing the border from Romania and from the Ukraine.

6. Posted by illusionch (Budding Member 7 posts) 8y

Dear maia,
You know the tastes differ. And the points of view either. You can see the same event differently. I mean that the facts seem to be correct but their interpretation is completely politicized:) Come and see our reality and meet our people.For instance, take a look on http://www.thehandicrafts.net/ Can illiterate people with the only problems like mafia, cannabis and so on make such things?I think, no. If you like art, as I do, I am sure you'll like my country:)

7. Posted by illusionch (Budding Member 7 posts) 8y

As for the travellings...
1.) Adresses of hostels or cheap hotels.
it is possible to find the apartments but it's necessary to know exact dates of your staying here and preferences like the center of the capital, the city's suburbs , BB, HB etc...
2.) Adresses of camping sites or rules for pitching a tent in the wild.
We have excellent campings in the area called Vadul-Lui-Voda, but they are booked on place usually.
3.) How much are train tickets and where do you buy them? Do you need to reserve in advance?
What destinations do you need tickets to?
4.) Prices for buying food in supermarkets or similar.
bread - $0.2 - $1
Milk $ - $0.5 - $1.2
Meat $ 8- 15
Dinner in a restaurant can cost $30 and more.
In a pizza house - $4-8
if you need anything else - please let me know.
5.) Sights to see and things to do other than drinking wine.
Orheiul Vechi, Sacharna - historic and energetic places known even in Tibet.
Traditional Moldavian Village.
6.) Crossing the border from Romania and from the Ukraine.
What do you mean?
Transport facilities or visa rules?
As for the travellings...
1.) Adresses of hostels or cheap hotels.
it is possible to find the apartments but it's necessary to know exact dates of your staying here and preferences like the center of the capital, the city's suburbs , BB, HB etc...
2.) Adresses of camping sites or rules for pitching a tent in the wild.
We have excellent campings in the area called Vadul-Lui-Voda, but they are booked on place usually.
3.) How much are train tickets and where do you buy them? Do you need to reserve in advance?
What destinations do you need tickets to?
4.) Prices for buying food in supermarkets or similar.
bread - $0.2 - $1
Milk $ - $0.5 - $1.2
Meat $ 8- 15
Dinner in a restaurant can cost $30 and more.
In a pizza house - $4-8
if you need anything else - please let me know.

5.) Sights to see and things to do other than drinking wine.
Orheiul Vechi, Sacharna - historic and energetic places known even in Tibet.
Traditional Moldavian Village.

6.) Crossing the border from Romania and from the Ukraine.
What do you mean?
Transport facilities or visa rules?

Try these links:
http://www.cvs.md/moldova.html
http://www.allmoldova.com/index.php?lang=en

You are Welcome:)

8. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 8y

Quoting illusionch

As for the travellings...
1.) Adresses of hostels or cheap hotels.
it is possible to find the apartments but it's necessary to know exact dates of your staying here and preferences like the center of the capital, the city's suburbs , BB, HB etc...

Well, how do you find the appartments? In Russia you approach old women at the train stations holding signs with "komnaty", in Germany you contact the tourist information office of the town you intend to stay in. What is the way to go about it in Moldova?

2.) Adresses of camping sites or rules for pitching a tent in the wild.
We have excellent campings in the area called Vadul-Lui-Voda, but they are booked on place usually.

Say, if I was travelling by bicycle and needed campings every 50 kms apart, would that be possible? Where can I get a list of all the camping sites in Moldova?

3.) How much are train tickets and where do you buy them? Do you need to reserve in advance?
What destinations do you need tickets to?

All over Moldova. For example I would like to know which cities have train stations, how often the train runs between main cities (one train a day, one train a week or 8 trains a day - it all makes a difference), whether I can buy the tickets online or whether I need to buy them at the train stations.

I would also like to know about taking a bicycle on the trains. How do I do this?

4.) Prices for buying food in supermarkets or similar.
bread - $0.2 - $1
Milk $ - $0.5 - $1.2
Meat $ 8- 15
Dinner in a restaurant can cost $30 and more.
In a pizza house - $4-8

Is this USD?

How wide is the practise of each and everybody wanting USD for payment? I had a problem trying to get people accept Euros when I did not have local currency in Iran and in Russia before, should I take some USD cash when I travel in Moldova?

5.) Sights to see and things to do other than drinking wine.
Orheiul Vechi, Sacharna - historic and energetic places known even in Tibet.
Traditional Moldavian Village.

What is special about them? Like a big castle, old architecture, etc? How large are the cities, how is public transport in the cities, etc.

6.) Crossing the border from Romania and from the Ukraine.
What do you mean?
Transport facilities or visa rules?

Border crossings. For example there are only 3 border crossings between Turkey and Iran, only the first, main road crossing can be used by people on a bicycle, the second one is for trains and the third is sometimes closed. Getting to and from each of the 2 road border crossings and crossing fast is a science in itself. A similar situation exists in Israel and on the border from Slovakia into the Ukraine.

Therefore: What are the border crossings open to foreigners that go from the Ukraine directly into Moldova without touching Transnistria? How do you get there by public transport?

Try these links:
http://www.cvs.md/moldova.html
http://www.allmoldova.com/index.php?lang=en

You are Welcome:)

I was also hoping you could include the information you gave me here in the travel guide of TP:

http://www.travellerspoint.com/guide/

Thanks so far!

9. Posted by illusionch (Budding Member 7 posts) 8y

Dear Maia,
1) Both types of approach are available, though it's more reliable to book a room via the travel agency. From the other point of view it's more expensive. Also you can find an apartment via the newspaper "Makler" or here http://allmoldova.com/index.php?action=tree_list&id=1061931683&lng=eng
2) there is no information about campings as I know((
3) There are train stations not only in the cities but practically in the fields too)), their schedule changes quite often and it's better to call to the local inquiry office to know. By the way , its number is 1188.
You cannot buy them online.
4)yes, this is USD
Moldovan leis are accepted for payment in supermarkets, Euros and dollars are accepted in restaurants, markets, bars, discos, but their currency rate is completely unprofitable.
But almost in each supermarket or shop you'll find exchange office. The approximate rate is $1 USD=10 MLD, 1Euro =15.5 MLD
5) They are not cities generally. They are historic places - cave-monasteries and I mentioned them because I like them much. But they are not the only two places which are worth seeing
6)we get there by trains or oftener by buses or maxitaxis. As I remember -the foreigners can cross the border only there where they were registered. This issue should be specified when you come in the country firstly. But it doesn't matter what means of transport you use for its crossing.

I am going to include this info in travel guide also:)
Have a nice weekend!

10. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 8y

it's more reliable to book a room via the travel agency. From the other point of view it's more expensive.

Yep, you got that in one. Here on TP we are a rabid fans of "do it yourself", ie no travel agency involved.

Quite a number of the regulars here are also fans of hostels, we try to spend as little as possible on accomodation. (At least I do.) In a country like Moldova I refuse to pay more than 10 EUR per night for a place to sleep - I assume that is not enough for a hotel?

Also you can find an apartment via the newspaper "Makler" or here http://allmoldova.com/index.php?action=tree_list&id=1061931683&lng=eng

The site lists only hotels in Chisinau. :(

Yet a cycle tourists needs lots of options. I'll never know where I'll end up at the end of the day. What are the chances of finding a place to sleep in a small village at 6 pm when I roll in with my bike?

3) There are train stations not only in the cities but practically in the fields too)), their schedule changes quite often and it's better to call to the local inquiry office to know. By the way , its number is 1188.

The local inquiry office, do they have people speaking English? I have some Russian, but not good enough to call somebody on the phone. I can make myself understood, but I have problems understanding what is said to me in response.

And what is the number for calling them from abroad, say Germany?

we get there by trains or oftener by buses or maxitaxis.

What is a maxitaxi? Is this a shared taxi running on a certain route, a little bit like a bus?

I am going to include this info in travel guide also:)

YES!