Travel Reports: What other visitors are saying

Most visitors come with a preconceived notion gleaned from ill-intentioned hearsay rather than facts, and are usually amazed at how civilized, advanced, clean and quality-oriented Pridnestrovie really is. Here are some of their travel reports.

Public-spiritedness and "lack of sleaze"

The British Helsinki Human Rights Group has sent delegations to Pridnestrovie on a regular basis since 1991. In 2005 it reported on democratic reform and the standard of living:

"There is still a public-spiritedness and lack of sleaze in Pridnestrovie compared with many other post-Soviet countries hailed by the international community for embracing ‘reform’."

— British Helsinki Human Rights Group

Standard of living: "Visibly higher"

Journalist Shaun Walker, writing for the British government-funded Russia Profile, visited Pridnestrovie in late 2005 and reported that the pro-Moldovan hate rhetoric is "absurd", that the monthly salaries in Pridnestrovie are higher than in Moldova, that the average standard of living "seems to be visibly higher" than in Moldova, and that "life is fairly normal":

"Boys and girls plaster their walls not with portraits of the president, but pictures of Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, and the theaters show the latest Western films. The large number of cars with Transdnestrian plates on the streets of Odessa is testament to the fact that people are able to come and go freely. The independence celebrations featured singing, dancing and general good humour across several generations."

— Shaun Walker, Russia Profile

"Kids are playing computer games" (The Guardian)

British newspaper The Guardian visited Pridnestrovie in 2005 to report on the country's recent progress. What they found was a very European country not unlike many others. As the newspaper reported, Pridnestrovie today has "its own flag, crest, anthem, president, parliament, uniformed border guards, security service, police, courts, schools, university, constitution" and:

"...the kids are playing western computer games: Tomb Raider, Tank Racer. The shops on 25 October Street include Adidas and a fast-food restaurant decorated with giant, blown-up photos of American skyscrapers. Up the road, there is a vast new sports complex built by the biggest local company, which is called Sheriff, a tribute to the wild west frontier marshals of the US. At the Hotel Timoty, the receptionist, Tania, is dressed in a stretchy white tracksuit, emblazoned Dolce e Gabbana."

The Guardian, 2005

Compared to Moldova, this is "like the Riviera"

In the words of 2005 international election observers from The British Helsinki Human Rights Group, Pridnestrovie —

" more socially cohesive and economically vibrant than its larger neighbour [Moldova] – a failed state if ever there was one. Much of the reason for the divergence in living standards is that the Pridnestrovians have followed a more cautious approach to economic liberalization keeping many of the social benefits that existed under Communism. Compared with its neighbor, Pridnestrovie is like the Riviera. In fact, in the past three years the capital, Tiraspol, has been spruced up — even its infamous pavements are in the process of being re-laid; new shops and restaurants have opened. And, unlike most other post-Soviet societies, local restaurants and bars are affordable to locals."

'Transnistria 2006: Is Regime Change Underway?',
British Helsinki Human Rights Group

Returning visitors call it "Europe's hidden jewel"

Once you have been to Pridnestrovie you will want to come back ... again and again and again. The owner of a newspaper from the European Union has this to say —

"PMR is a fantastic country. There is a certain wonderful energy from the people there. Its people have a tremendous community spirit and its celebrations are truly joyful and colourful. I have been to PMR five times since 2003. It is Europe's hidden jewel."

— Des Grant (),
newspaper owner, Ireland

"Leafy lanes ... full of cafes and restaurants" (BBC)

BBC's Simon Reeve didn't pay heed to Moldova's scare tactics that tried to demonize Pridnestrovie in the eyes of the world. He came anyway, saw the truth for himself, and then wrote this —

"Moldovans had warned me hungry armed men roam the streets, but although the border is tense, the leafy lanes of Tiraspol were full of cafes and restaurants."

BBC News, 2005

"16 types of hamburger toppings" (Associated Press)

The Associated Press' Mara D. Bellaby visited Pridnestrovie in September 2006. She was assured that "it's not correct to say that life here is bleak" and reported that —

"On a bright Sunday afternoon, people packed a main street pizza parlor, 7th Day, and streamed in and out of Mickey's, which advertises 16 types of hamburger toppings."

Associated Press, 2006

» How to find out what life is really like
in Pridnestrovie

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