Turkmenistan is a country in Central Asia and it has borders with Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Iran, and Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan is washed by the Caspian Sea. A good climate, sea, and good infrastructure allow the country to have a high potential for the development of the tourism business. However, it should be borne in mind that it is not easy to get to Turkmenistan – the visa regime and many restrictions to which an unaccustomed traveler may not be ready. But do not be afraid ahead of time, because if you adhere to the rules, the rest in Turkmenistan will pass comfortably and without unpleasant moments.
The cuisine of Turkmenistan differs little from the cuisine of other Central Asian counties, but it should be borne in mind that all the names of the dishes have been translated into the Turkmen language and not everything will be clear. The Turkmens also prioritize meat, which is dried, canned, cooked, and eaten abundantly. In addition, unlike neighboring countries, Turkmenistan has access to the sea, hence fish is often found in the diet.
Criminality in Turkmenistan, even in the most densely populated cities, is insignificant, so a tourist should not be afraid to walk freely through the cities. As in other CIS countries, the locals are very friendly and hospitable.
Travel to Turkmenistan usually starts from Ashgabat – the capital and the largest city in the country. Ashgabat is a separate administrative unit and is not part of any region. In addition, the capital is also the most populated city, and not so long ago the population reached a million people. Residents of Ashgabat can boast of a number of unique attractions, including the “Oguzkhan and Sons” fountain complex, included in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest fountain complex in a public place. Also, in Ashgabat, theaters, and libraries, many monuments and modern monuments, restaurants, and cafes have been opened.
The town of Kunya-Urgench is located five hundred kilometers from Ashgabat in the direction of Uzbekistan. The city is small in number, the number of inhabitants will hardly ever reach fifty thousand people. But Kunya-Urgench is not as simple as it seems at first glance. The fact is that the town is one of the most ancient settlements, its age reaches 2500 years. In ancient times, the city was part of the Great Silk Road, and its first mention is found in the Avesta. In Kunya-Urgench, there are a lot of architectural monuments, mausoleums, and madrasahs where Biruni and Avicenna studied. Locals know many legends passed throughout the long history of the city.
The most ancient monument on the territory of Turkmenistan is Merv – the ruins of the once largest city in the Central Asian region. People left the first traces of civilization here in the II-III centuries BC, and the first mention of the city under the name of Margu is found in cuneiform sources. Now the ruins of the city are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. There are preserved buildings on the territory of the ancient city, but it should be understood that the whole city is a monument, and the earth under your feet keeps the history of thousands of generations.
There is one truly unique attraction in Turkmenistan called Darvaza – (Turkish) “Gate”. They are often called the “Gateway to Hell” or “Gateway to the Underworld.” Darvaza is a crater sixty meters in diameter and twenty meters deep, which is engulfed in flames all the time.
In 1971, a group of geologists discovered a large gas field with a large “pocket” at depth. The earth crumbled and buried all geological equipment, and the accumulation broke up and gas began to leak. Geologists decided to ignite the gas, assuming that after a while the gas will burn out. But for several decades now, a huge fire crater has continued to exist. Accidental animals trapped in the crater can no longer get out, and the temperature in the depth exceeds hundreds and hundreds of degrees.