Turkmenistan is the most mysterious and underestimated country of the Central Asian region, about which little is known in the Western world. In part, this is due to its closed nature: it takes a long time to get to Turkmenistan and it is difficult to get a visa there. Difficult, but possible. To obtain a tourist visa, all foreign citizens must have an invitation issued on behalf of a travel agency licensed to work in Turkmenistan. Those lucky ones who manage to get to Turkmenistan, as if by magic, open a time portal to the wonderful world of the Ancient and Medieval East.
The capital is the city of Ashgabat. According to the latest estimates, the population of the country is 5,171,943 people. The territory of Turkmenistan is 491.210 km2.
The climate of Turkmenistan is sharply continental and arid. It is the hottest country in Central Asia; in summer, the air here warms up to 50 degrees Celsius. Therefore, the best time to travel across the country is from April to June and from September to early November.
Entertainment and travel attractions of Turkmenistan
Here, even though several millennia have passed, the remains of the first states of Central Asia, recognized as unique attractions of Turkmenistan, have been preserved. Merv is one of the most ancient states on the territory of Central Asia, Nisa is the heart of the Parthian kingdom, Ekedeshik is a cave complex built before our era, Serakhs, a flourishing city of the famous Great Silk Road, Kunya-Urgench is the focus of Muslim shrines and many other sights of Turkmenistan amaze imagination not only with the beauty of architecture and its age but also with a rich history, stretching behind each monument, like a train of a dress of a noble lady. Many ancient architectural monuments are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, and several modern ones are in the Guinness Book of Records as the best, and therefore, undoubtedly, are worth seeing with your own eyes at least once in your life.
The nature of Turkmenistan is very beautiful and diverse, especially in spring, which colors landscapes with bright patterns, as if embroidering a huge carpet, like those for which Turkmenistan is so famous. Here is no less surprising for a tourist thirsting for adventure and active recreation: the Dinosaur Plateau with real paw prints of prehistoric animals, and the fantastic labyrinths of the Karluk caves, and the Moon Mountains, similar to giant pink cakes, and the fiery Gates of Hell, which opened in the middle of the desert at the beginning of 80 -s due to the miscalculation of Soviet geologists. Add to this the ancient mud volcano Boyadag, the kilometer-long steep discharges of the Big Balkan, a colony of freshwater crabs in the Chalsu spring, ancient pistachio forests in the Kopetdag reserve, the Badkhyz hollow and its Er-Oilan-Duz depression, studded with cones of ancient volcanoes – and then …
A separate attraction of Turkmenistan is its people with their distinctive traditions and customs. The way of life and mentality of the Turkmen is fundamentally different from the Western and carries the philosophy of centuries-old Eastern wisdom. For example, the Nokhur region, located in the hard-to-reach area of the Kopetdag mountains and retaining its originality, is one of the most striking tourist destinations in Turkmenistan. Even a short acquaintance with its culture and life is a unique experience that is imprinted in the memory of any traveler.
Another attraction of Turkmenistan and its pride are Turkmen carpets known all over the world for their beauty and quality. In Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan, there is even the world’s only Carpet Museum, where you can see both the oldest Turkmen carpet and the world’s largest carpet, more than 300 square meters in size.
Ashgabat itself deserves special attention and stands out against the background of the whole country for its architecture and splendor, as befits a capital city. Several years ago, Ashgabat entered the Guinness Book as the city with the largest number of white marble buildings. And the state emblem of Turkmenistan is decorated with the image of the Akhal-Teke – a thoroughbred horse, bred by the Turkmens about 5 thousand years ago. Fast, hardy, graceful horses are a national treasure and a recognized landmark of Turkmenistan.
In terms of prices, Turkmenistan is a different planet. There are 2 courses: the official rate and the black race of the manat, which differ from each other several times. You can immediately forget about the official rate: it is extremely unprofitable. At the same time, it is best to call into Turkmenistan with dollars, since they can be exchanged almost everywhere, for example, in the market. At the same time, you should be careful when exchanging money, because it is officially forbidden to change money in this way and you may have problems with the police.
In general, with $ 100 in your pocket, you can feel like a wealthy person in this country. For example, travel by bus in the capital of Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, is less than one cent! And a train from Turkmenabat (a city bordering Uzbekistan) to Ashgabat (this is 500 km) – almost $ 1. A flight from Turkmenabat to Ashgabat will cost a little more – $ 5. A good lunch at a cafe will cost you $ 1.5.