Fun things to do in Turkmenistan

  • Things to Do
    by JessieLang
  • Things to Do
    by JessieLang
  • Things to Do
    by JessieLang

Most Viewed Things to Do in Turkmenistan

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    Ashgabat: Extravaganza in the desert

    by Bonobo2005 Updated May 17, 2003

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    In Ashgabat we found the Psychiatric Institute mentioned in the LP for possibly cheap accommodation ($5/bed) and were friendly welcomed with melon and tea.

    Besides some patients also some friendly Iranian traders were guest here with their families. Unfortunately I got a bad fever that evening, which lasted for 3 horrible days while my friends had already left for Iran.

    I visited the Arch of Neutrality, the 75m high tripod with the 12m high rotating golden statue of President Mr. Niyazov on top. Boots creep up one leg to a cheap bar and from there elevators bring you to the top for grand views over Ashgabat, including the golden domes of Mr. Nyazov's palace.

    Then there's the -reputedly- world's biggest fountain, and that in a country that is 90% desert!! A extravagant 5-star hotel strip waits already half a decade for the wealthy oil barons to come.

    I went to Ayan Travel to do have my police registration done and found internet connection at the friendly American Institute.

    With one of the students of the Institute I walked around town to see some monuments, palaces and bazaars, but there was not much in the city that really attracted me. Walking around is the highlight itself.

    Ashgabat is one of the strangest capitals I've ever visited and maybe that's it's main attraction...

    on the Arch with the palace in the back
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    Turkmenbashi City: Relax on the Caspian shore

    by Bonobo2005 Updated May 17, 2003

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    Turkmenbashi City (former Krasnovodsk), is beautifully situated on the Caspian Sea shore, but, although the atmosphere is relaxed, there's nothing of much interest to a traveller besides being the port to/from Azerbaijan.

    After I arrived from Ashgabat by plane (which cost me $1,80/1 hour), I decided to go for the most pleasant thing to do -according to LP- and tried to hike up the mountains behind town for spectacular views over town and the Caspian. Scrambling on the scree slopes I encountered 4 agressive dogs and while I tried to hit one of them I fell and hurt my lower arm badly. the wounds were so dirty and bleeding so badly that I had to go down.

    I decided to relax a bit on the beach for the rest of the day but there was no shade and the sun burned intensely. I ended up sleeping on a kind of covered stage at a deserted playground.

    The most memorable was that evening when Mr. President himself showed up at a festivity amidst of thousand schoolchildren waving with his portrait and the Turkmen flag. But he actually didn't come out of he car in public so I couldn't question him ;-).

    After a sleepless night in the filthiest -insectwise- and noisiest hotel (*) I had been so far, the only thing I wanted was to leave, so I booked a ticket on the train to Mary (which cost me $1,10/28 hours) later that day, close to the ancient town of Merv -that I wanted to visit.

    (*) Hotel Turkmenbashi ($3/night).
    Tip: I met a traveler who managed to bargain down the luxurious sea shore Hotel Tolkun from $80, - to $9 a night!

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    Mary / Merv: a stopover to see some former glory

    by Bonobo2005 Written May 17, 2003

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    After 28 sweaty hours in the train I arrived in early evening in Mary, close the ancient cities of Merv..

    It took an hour before I found a room -terribly overpriced ($12) and again one plagued by insects- and when I wanted to eat there was nothing else to find than a watermelon. That evening I watched TV with the servant, browsing through the 3 channels. The president starred in each of them. We chose the one in which some girls were dancing nicely for him.

    Anyway, next day I hired a Lada taxi for the morning (about $10/4 hrs.) and set off for Merv, that used to be the 2nd most important centre of the Islamic world after Baghdad in the 12th century. We asked around but apparently we asked something strange, nobody seemed to know where it was.

    After an hour of driving through sandy steppes with grazing camels, the driver stopped the car and told me "this is it". We stepped out of the car and I saw a big, earthen and ruined circular wall, a bit overgrown. We scrambled over it and we found here and there some pieces of stone, including some fortress like structures. Nice, but...is this all, I wondered?

    impression of Merv
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    Merv: Mausoleum of Mohammed Ibn Zeid

    by Bonobo2005 Updated May 18, 2003

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    This 12th century Mausoleum is one of the most beautiful structures around Merv, the best restored anyway.

    Not only the building but also it's surroundings are really attractive. Mystical bush and trees where camels wander around.

    The caretaker is a very frienly old mullah who's living there in a mystical cave like room.

    The mausoleum
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    If you can, travel to...

    by catdockev Written Feb 25, 2003

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    If you can, travel to Merv/Mary and see the archeological digs and museum.This is the site of many religious roots of many religions in Central Asia. This is a very ancient part of the world with a history filled with different cultures and religions. Study the religion and trade correlation to get he whole picture! Attend a fashion show in Ashgabad. See the Golden Statue downtown as well!
    The fashion show includes antique clothing as well as new designs.

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    The Five Tribes with Five rugs Teke

    by Ekahau Updated Jul 16, 2006

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    Teke (Tekke) style Gul

    The Teke were the dominant southern Turkmen tribe when the Russians came into this part of central Asia and are still the folks the VTer runs into visiting Ancient Merv or Mary south east of Ashgabat. Very proud People with their name forever associated with the famous Akhal-Teke a horse that is thought to have descended from an ancient Scythian type. The Tekes of Turkmenistan were a nomadic people who are direct descendent of the ancient Scythians People.

    Tekke Carpet Tekke Carpet son Joe and Carpet
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    Salyr

    by Ekahau Updated Jul 16, 2006

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    Salyr (Salor).

    Many of the Salyr (Salyrth) people from the are of central asia around Samarkand and Bukara is moved eastward , eventually settling in Western China. I know all this central Asian people and their movement are very confusing. Their language has an Oghuz Turkic base and in China these folks are the Salor. But they make some wonderful carpets and are such nice folks.

    salyer Salyr kids
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    The Bazaar, wow, a Cecil B....

    by catdockev Written Nov 10, 2002

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    The Bazaar, wow, a Cecil B. Demille movie set! This is the jewlery section, they still use old time scales! Visit the ruins in Mary/Merv. Please check everything out before you go, it seems different parts of the country are closed off at different times. The place is sureal, and can be dangerous. It is very much a police state.

    Selling Jewelry by WEIGHT!!!

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    The ruins of Merv

    by jorgejuansanchez Written Aug 23, 2014

    I hired a taxi to get to the most important ruins of Merv. In the past it was an oasis and a stop in the Silk Road.
    Unfortunately no much was left. I saw some parts of walls, but I was satisfaed anyway, since I understood that it was all, the taxi driver has been honest and showed me all he knew.

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  • Tolkuchka

    by lynncreamcheese Updated Apr 4, 2011

    when you get there keep you belongings safe, as the word "Толкучка" comes from the word "толчок" and "толкать" Which means to push or to shove. So have a bit of fun and have a push yourself! Everything is cheaper in tolkuchka than in the cities.
    Go to atamurat Niyazow street.. the corner of kopetdag stadium, and wait for a bus or a mini van that has a sign tolkuchka or Толкучка(in russian) in the buses you might have to stand but in the minivans you will always sit the sandard price is 1 new manat(5,000 old).... it will take you right there get of at the big brick/green metal gate just have a wonder and see where its takes you... but still have in mind where the exit is...also you might have a little bit of trouble on the way back so you might holar a taxi about 6 - 10 new manat will do or can get a bus saying 30mkp, teke bazar or 11mkp if you find them

    the jewelry market stands Carpets tepek stand.. hats made out of real sheep fur

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    TAKE YOUR FREE VT FLAG WITH YOU !

    by V.T.FLAG Written Jun 18, 2014


    If you are coming to Turkmenistan - make sure you have your free Virtual Tourist Flag with you!

    Just email the wonderful VT staff at:

    feedback@virtualtourist.com

    Just send them your address and the rest is history. History to make!


    Don't forget!

    The VT staff like postcards, so please send them a nice postcard while you are here!


    VirtualTourist
    801 Parkview Drive N.
    Suite 200
    El Segundo, CA 90245

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    Konye Urgench: a mysterious gate in the steppes

    by Bonobo2005 Updated May 16, 2003

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    A bit more outlying is the 14th century gate of probably the Dash Kala Caravansarai. With some efforts you can climb up to the roof and have perfect views over the whole area!

    sunset from Mysterious Gate
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Turkmenistan Hotels

  • Hotel Nissa

    I stayed at Nissa Hotel for two weeks. Service and food are good. Nice facilities including: -...

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  • Hotel Margush

    Margush Hotel is living proof that the dictatorship in Turkmenistan does not understand or even want...

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  • Hotel President

    Archabil Shayoly str. 54, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Families

Top Turkmenistan Hotels

Ashgabat Hotels
135 Reviews - 295 Photos
Mary Hotels
6 Reviews - 42 Photos

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Turkmenistan Things to Do

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