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About Turkmenistan

About Country Cheat Sheet

Formal Name: Turkmen
Location of Kazakhstan:
Capital: Ashgabat
Demonym: Turkmens
Area: 189660Sq Km
Population: 6031187
Ethnic Groups: Turkmenian, Uzbek, Russian, Kazak, Tatar, Armenian
Languages: Turkmen
Religion: Islam, Christianity, Atheism, Other
Currency: Manat (TMT, m)
Best Time To Visit: Mar-Jun, Sep-Nov
Calling Code: 993
Drives On: Right
Visa on Arrival: No
Major Cities: Ashgabat
Administrative and Territorial Structure:

5 Provinces, 1 Capital City. 50 Districts, 24 Towns, including 15 towns district-wide, 76 villages and 553 rural councils and 1903 rural settlements in Turkmenistan.

Land Boundaries:

Total: 3,736 km, Border Countries: Afghanistan 744 km, Iran 992 km, Kazakhstan 379 km, Uzbekistan 1,621 km

About Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan is a country in Central Asia bordered by the Caspian Sea and largely covered by the Karakum Desert. It’s known for archaeological ruins including those at Nisa and Merv, major stops along the ancient trade route the Silk Road. Ashgabat, the capital, was rebuilt in Soviet style in the mid-20th century and is filled with grand monuments honoring former president Saparmurat Niyazov.

Turkmenistan Geography

The land of Turkmenistan is dominated by Garagum desert. It is an arid, scrubby and sandy land with very less vegetation bordered by Uzbekistan to the north-east, Kazakhstan to the North West, Afghanistan to the south and the Caspian Sea to the west. It is 100 to 200 meters above sea level with its highest point being Mt. Ayrybbab and lowest point being the depression of Akjagaya.

Turkmenistan Climate and Weather

Turkmenistan has a severely cold continental desert climate where summers are long, dry and hot while winters are mild, cold and damp. But the cold is milder in the south and centre of Turkmenistan. As the country is exposed to different air masses, the weather is unpredictable and there can be heat waves as well as cold spells.

Turkmenistan History

Turkmenistan became an independent nation on October 27, 1991, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. In fact, human civilization dates back to over 4,000 years and the country was always on swap for ruling power. Alexander the great was the first to step foot on the country followed by Mongol tribes and it became part of the Soviet Union by the 20th century.

Turkmenistan Culture and Traditions

The culture of the country is slightly different from that of their traditions of other neighbouring countries of Central Asia. The Turkmen were nomadic tribes whereas the land of Tajikistan was occupied by the settled tribes of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. The culture and traditions of Turkmenistan date back to their ancient roots from ancient times.
Food and Cuisine of Turkmenistan

Turkmen cuisine is very similar to other places in Central Asia. Their main staple food is Plov which is their daily food as well as an important dish at any celebrations. Shurpa is another form of soup dish which is available in many eating spots and restaurants. Others are Chegdermeh, Shashlyk, Lagman, salads etc.

Languages of Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan’s official language is Turkmen under the 1992 Constitution. This language is the combination of Turkish and Azerbaijani, spoken by 72 per cent of the population.

Facts about Turkmenistan

1. Turkmenistan is about 70% dessert.
2. The gate of hell was a man-made mistake.
3. Turkmenistan is the hub to many Silk Road cities.
4. A Telpek is always part of Turkmen’s clothing.
5. Ashgabat is listed on the Guinness Book of world records.
6. It is a land of unusual laws.
7. Turkmenistan was formerly known as Turkmenia.
8. Its official language is Turkmen.
9. It is the 52nd largest country in the world.
10. Merv is one of the oldest Silk road cities in Turkmenistan.


Turkmenistan Tourism

The country has a large potential to expand its tourism as most of the places were once a trading point of the Silk Road. Many historian buffs and travellers are always intrigued by this site which makes its now a destination to be explored and discovered more. The country also became so popular because of its ruler and his weird dictatorship. The desert republic was mainly covered with his statues and monuments in most of the avenues, parks etc. However, the country is also very famous for its archaeological and architectural sites.

Ashgabat Tourism

Ashgabat is the capital city of Turkmenistan adorned with white marble buildings bordered by empty wide boulevards. The country has tremendously prospered over the years from their oil resources and natural gas. Ashgabat was described by “Lonely Planet” as a cross between Las Vegas and Pyongyang. What resembles the city of Las Vegas to this city is its nightlife where it stands bright in the middle of the desert. On the other hand, the country somehow resembles North Korea with its starkly artificial looking empty streets and Stalinist looking government.

Different Types of Tourism in Turkmenistan

1. Historical Tourism in Turkmenistan

The historical tourism of Turkmenistan has much to offer to travellers and history buffs. There are many architectural and historical sites that are full of mysterious tales and stories behind them. The ancient ruins of the cities, the Darvaza burning for years in the middle of the desert, the legendary Akhaltek horses make it a worthwhile and once in a lifetime experience for travellers from all over the world.

2. Culture Tourism in Turkmenistan

The culture tourism of Turkmenistan is also expanding with its Silk Road tours where visitors get to explore the rich history and culture of the country. History and culture are somewhat intertwined together and today the country is in contrast with vibrant modern cities alongside the remote places and communities.

3. Honeymoon Tourism in Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan is an ideal destination for a couple to spend their vacation. It is a country with so much contrast in culture, history as well as its natural sights. Here, you can get the experience of enjoying the seaside life as well as the dry desert life which is hard to find in one place. It’s one of a kind and unique place to spend time as a couple.

4. Health and Wellness Tourism in Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan has a number of sanatoriums such as the Archman Sanatorium, Yilysum sanatorium, Dashoguz sanatorium, Kowata and many others. They are great recreational centres for treating many kinds of illness and sickness. It has great facilities that will suit the needs of any patients who need to spend some time for the mind, body and soul in such health centres.

5. Culinary Tourism in Turkmenistan

The food of Turkmenistan is no different from that of the rest of Central Asia. There are a number of eating spots and restaurants which serves traditional food of the Turks. Some of the daily food includes plov, cutlet, borscht, stogan, pirmeni, entrecote, shashlyk, shorpa and many others. And, a special drink is Kefir which is a drinking yoghurt.

6. Nightlife Tourism in Turkmenistan

Much of the country is desolated and rural which is difficult to find a spot for good nightlife. But, Ashgabat is a fit place for entertainment nightlife with great clubs, discos, theatres, restaurants and pubs. There’s a great club called Kumush Ay Club with live music and entertainment while enjoying a drink. The Mollanepes Drama Theatre is an interesting place for traditional and folk tales drama.

7. Winter Tourism in Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan is a country with almost 70% of the desert surrounding it. Therefore, it gets extremely hot in the summer which makes it less suitable to see the attractions and travel around the country. Winter tourism is huge in the country as the weather is more pleasant and there’s no summer heat. Thus, the weather makes it more suitable to visit Turkmenistan and it is an ideal time for outdoor activities.

Travel Guide

Turkmenistan Tour and Travel Guide

Turkmenistan is similar in size to Spain and for a long time has been off the traveller’s radar. But today, the country is quite known and becoming a popular travel destination for its bizarre history. Apart from its bizarreness, the country is attracting many tourists as the country has an untamed terrain and barren desert. Turkmenistan is also a destination which offers most tourists what other countries cannot offer. Some of its attractions include Gonur Depe, Darvaza Gas Craters, Mausoleum of Sultan Sanjar, Turabeg Khanym Complex, Köw Ata Underground Lake and many others.

Ashgabat Travel Guide

The capital city of Turkmenistan is a modern city which was built in 1948 after earthquake destruction. And, there’s an interesting museum which exhibits about even at one of the finest attractions of the country called the Earthquake Museum. There are other interesting landmarks in the city which have a Soviet flavour to all of them. Some of them include the numerous Lenin statues, Independence square, Arch of neutrality, galleries, mosques and gardens. Along with the landmarks, there’s also a great bazaar known as the Altyn Asyr Bazaar which is very popular in the city and it is worth a visit especially if you want to shop for a good Turkmen carpet.
1. Penny Wise Turkmenistan


Price in  Turkmenistan Manat (TMT)

Price in Dollars ($)

 Meal for 2, in inexpensive Restaurant



 Meal for 2, in mid range Restaurant, Three-course



 McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal)



 Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught)



 Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle)



 Cappuccino (regular)



 Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle)



 Water (1.5 liter bottle)



 Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range)



 Pack of Cigarettes (Marlboro)



 Taxi Start (Normal Tariff)



 Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff)



 Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff)



 1 Min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans)



 Internet/WiFi Charges (1GB )



* Prices are our approximation and may vary slightly.
* Prices are market prices of articles and may vary at restaurants and hotels.
2. Accommodation in Turkmenistan

There is no shortage of hotel accommodation in Turkmenistan. There are a number of luxury hotels which has been built recently along the road known as Miracle Mile. The small hotel is in line with between 15 to 50 rooms. Accommodation can be paid by local currency or US dollars. There is also much bed and breakfast available on the shores of the Caspian Sea.

3. Transportation in Turkmenistan

There are many flights that fly between Ashgabat, Mary, and other cities in Turkmenistan. You can also travel by road with by hiring a car or self-drive to the inner towns and villages but the road conditions are quite dangerous. There are also rails which are cheap but quite uncomfortable for the journey running day time and overnight too many cities.

4. Shopping in Turkmenistan

If you are looking to buy some Bukhara rugs, the best place is the Sunday market. There is a shop in the Art gallery which sells traditional silver, handicrafts and costumes which are distinctive and interesting. If you want to try out some local food, the Central Market is a place for your curiosity.

5. Best Time to Visit in Turkmenistan

The best time to visit Turkmenistan is from the month of March to May if you prefer summer over winter. The month of September to November is also advisable to from the month of September to November when the weather is pleasant and ideal for sightseeing. It is boiling hot in the month of July and August especially in the desert regions.

6. Turkmenistan Travel Tips

Turkmenistan is a controlled police state.
Outside the capital, you require to have a guide.
Summer temperature can soar up to 50° C.
With a tourist visa, you can stay up to 30 days.
A transit visa is usually valid for five days.
Turkmenistan is known for its gas and gold.
The country is safe to travel with very low rates of violent crime.
Vodka terrorism is a term given for a robbery.

7. Turkmenistan Flight Connections

The main international airport of Turkmenistan is Ashgabat International Airport. The main carriers for travellers flying to Turkmenistan from India are Turkish Airlines, China Southern, and Lufthansa from the main metropolitan cities of India.

Visa Information

Turkmenistan Visa Procedure (Stamped Visa):

* Visa needs minimum 14 days in getting Letter of Invitation and 02 days for stamping.
* For On Arrival minimum 14 days in getting Letter of Invitation.

Documents Required:

• Letter of Invitation from tour company in Turkmenistan.
• 1 Photo
• Passport validity of minimum 6 months from date of travel.

* Please note that Turkmen visa will be included in the tourism package along with the Letter of Invitation fee.
* Scanned copy of passport is required for acquiring Letter of Invitation from Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Turkmenistan and the process takes 10 working days.
* After we receive Invitation, original passports are required for visa stamping in Delhi.

Visit here for more details about Turkmenistan Tourist Visa!