Travel to Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan is located in Central Asia, and from there the Silk Road continued towards Europe. The country borders Uzbekistan in the northeast and the Caspian Sea in the west. In addition, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan and Iran all border Turkmenistan. Here you will find, among other things, the UNESCO-preserved old town of Konye Urgench, which testifies to the kingdoms of times gone by and a sophisticated culture. Today, the country offers enormous contrasts with a gold-colored desert with wild sandstorms to a capital that is a simmering modern oasis with huge marble palaces, high-rise buildings and monuments in shiny glass and metal. A wealth created with the help of Turkmenistan’s vast oil and gas resources. Turkmenistan is also famous for its beautiful hand-knotted rugs.
See trips to Turkmenistan
Population: 5 mill.
Language: Turkmen and Russian
Turkmenistan is the world’s second largest exporter of natural gas?
Does the country’s legislation make it possible to require that hair and beards be kept well-groomed?
The large black-sand desert Karakum occupies about 85 percent of Turkmenistan’s land area. In the northern part of the country, on the river Amu Darja, there is a small habitable area and in the mountains towards Iran, where the capital Ashgabat is located, there is a larger habitable area. The Karakum Canal was built to irrigate the desert with water from Amu Darja, primarily for cotton cultivation. Unfortunately, irrigation has contributed to the drying up of the Aral Sea. Turkmenistan has large oil reserves and can boast the world’s fourth largest natural gas resources.
For the past 3,000 years, Turkmenistan has been ruled by one great empire after another. From 400 to 700 AD. the country was invaded by Turks and Arabs, and the population converted to Islam. Turkish immigration has been of great importance to the country, and the Turkmen language comes from Turkish. In the 1880s, Turkmenistan was conquered by the Russian army during violent fighting. For many years, the Turkmen put up strong resistance to the Soviet Union, which resulted in bloody riots and many arrests. Despite the resistance, they did not succeed in liberating themselves from the Soviet Union, and in 1924 Turkmenistan became a Soviet republic. The Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic mainly exported raw materials such as cotton, oil and silk. Turkmenistan was able to declare its independence after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. The country continued with communist rule under the leadership of President Saparmurat Nijazov, who was an authoritarian and autocratic leader, appointed president for life. He died in 2006. The current government has allowed parties other than the ruling party Turkmenistan’s Democratic Party, but the country can still not be considered a democracy in the true sense of the word.
Traveling in Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan used to be a closed country, and tourists were rare. But the country with the hospitable population has opened up more and more over the years, and is definitely worth a visit. The old town of Konye Urgench was built where two important caravan routes met, and was an important trading hub on the Silk Road. The refined architecture of the remaining buildings speaks its own clear language about the city’s caliber. Konye Urgench is on the UNESCO World Heritage List, as is the ancient city of Nisa, which was probably the first capital of the Parthian Empire. The city is an impressive relic of a bygone era of greatness. The country’s current capital, Ashgabat, on the other hand, is very modern, and almost reminiscent of a mini-Dubai. With its magnificent marble palaces, gleaming golden domes, well-kept and large parks and wide roads with newly laid asphalt, the city is a symbol of the wealth that the country’s large gas and oil resources have produced. Many of the impressive buildings have their very own character. Among other things, the head office of the country’s gas industry is shaped like a lighter. In the evening, when all the lights are on, the city is dazzlingly beautiful. Visit shoe-wiki for Turkmenistan Travel Guide.
Below you will find practical information in connection with your trip to Turkmenistan.
- Language: Turkmen and Russian
- Capital: Ashgabat
- Population: 5 mill.
- Religion: Muslims, primarily Sunni
- Currency: Manat (TMM)
- Surface: 488,100 km2
The time difference between Sweden and Turkmenistan varies according to whether it is summer or winter time.
Summer time + 3 hours / winter time + 4 hours.
Transport in Turkmenistan
Buses in Turkmenistan do not meet the same standard as in Sweden. We have of course chosen the best category of air conditioning where possible.
During our round trips in Turkmenistan, we often travel the longer distances by domestic flights. If so, the tour guide will provide all the practical information.
Turkmenistan has one of the world’s largest oil and gas resources, which has meant that the country has undergone fantastic development in recent years. Especially in the capital, Turkmenistan today appears as a very modern country, while the countryside is still rather primitive.
The price level is slightly below the Swedish, and the prices are very humane. It is possible to get a good meal for less than SEK 100.
Currency and credit cards
Turkmenistan’s currency is Manat (TMM). If you want to withdraw money by credit card, this is only possible in Ashgabat. Preferably bring cash in US dollars or euros, and then exchange them at the destination. The tour guide is happy to help. VISA and Mastercard can be used in the larger hotels and in better restaurants in the capital.
In many hotels, restaurants and cafés, tips are often put at 10-14 percent in the usual bill. This is stated in the bill. If the tip is already on the bill, you do not need to add additional money.
Just like Sweden, Turkmenistan has 200 volts. The plugs can vary a lot, so feel free to bring an adapter with several different plugs.
Telephone and internet
Turkmenistan’s international country code is +993. It is expensive to call home, so you may inquire with your mobile operator about coverage and price for calls from Turkmenistan. The internet connection is generally very unstable. In many hotels it is possible to connect to the internet, but the connection is somewhat unobtrusive.
Drinking water and hygiene
Hotels and larger restaurants have western toilet facilities. In public toilets and in the countryside, however, it can look different with pedal toilets and lack of toilet paper. However, the standard of public toilets in cities and in the countryside may seem somewhat primitive. Bring your own toilet paper or a package of wet wipes and possibly. hand disinfection (available at Swedish pharmacies, among other places). Then you can do without water if there is no such thing. You should not drink tap water. Instead, buy bottled water.
It is forbidden to smoke outdoors but allowed to smoke indoors in restaurants and hotels.
Tact and tone
You are not allowed to take pictures of public buildings. The police take it very seriously if they discover that someone is doing it. Ask for permission if you are in doubt. Special rules apply when visiting temples and mosques. You must cover your arms and legs and take off your shoes before entering.
Climate and weather Turkmenistan
Here you will find the weather forecast for Turkmenistan’s capital, Ashgabat.
Turkmenistan has a typical mainland climate with long and hot summers and cold winters. Precipitation is very sparse and most of the country is covered by desert.