Imagine walking through the country that was a prominent point during Silk Route. With Caspian Sea and Karakom Desert around it, Turkmenistan is one of the most historically prominent countries in Central Asia. Turkmenistan also has been every archaeologist’s haven with the famous ancient ruins at Nisa and Merv. Another place to definitely include in your Turkmenistan travel guide is Ashgabhat- the glorious capital. The country is known for its soviet influences and also various museums that have been inspired by its intriguing history.
The only time that you might not need a visa to enter Turkmenistan is if you belong to some regions from Kazak and Uzbek. Otherwise, you need to procure a visa well in advance. You can book a full tour with any operator in Turkmenistan(after verifying the authenticity of course) and get a full visa, otherwise you can only obtain a visa for 3-7 days. You also need travel permits to get around the borders.
When to go
The best time to visit Turkmenistan is during the months of April- June. September- December are also good months to visit. Rest of the time, the summer heat is almost unbearable and make sure that you do not visit during summer time.
Destinations to cover
There are plenty of things to see and things to do in Turkmenistan. You should visit Neutrality Monument, Ashgabat National Museum of History, Turkmen Carpet Museum, Ruhyyet Palace and Namazga Tepe. If you are into archaeological sites, then remember to visit Altin Dape, Anau, Gonur Dape, Merv, Jeitun and Nissa. If you want to see some medieval wonders- then Abiverd, Astana-baba, Darganata, Imukshir and Parau should definitely make it to your itinerary.
Get in and around
You can get in by plane as the Turkmenistan Airlines is connected to most of the major airports in the world. Even though there is a train connection to Russia and Iran, it is not operational. Even though entering by car is an option, but the additional charges are too heavy to be levied upon and hence it is better to avoid this mode. You can also enter Turkmenistan by boat via Turkmenbashy from Baku and Azerbaijaan. Ashgabat, Mary, Turkmenbashi, Dashoguz are all connected by internal flights. You can also get around by boat, car and train.
Hotels and Food
The currency of Turkmenistan is Manat which is made up of 100 tenne. There are budget and mid range accommodation options available in plenty although not all of them are available online and you might find some options when you enter the country, especially in the budget range. There is a culture of street food and there is plenty you can eat for a meagre sum of money. Remember to try out Chorba, Manty, Plov, Kurma and Ichlekli.