Where is it?: Turkmenistan is central Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and Kazakhstan
Why do people go here?: Few people make it to the remote Turkmenistan, since much of it are barren and isolated. However, if you want to see real nomadic culture, this is where you should head.
What are the main entry points?: Most travelers arrive in Turkmenistan from flights via the Middle East. The border between Turkmenistan and Iran is closed to travelers. You can occasionally catch a ship from Azerbaijan.
Currency used: Manat
Country Code for Phones: 993
Area codes for Major Cities: Ashgabat 12
Religion: 89% Muslim, 9% Eastern Orthodox
Population: 5 million
Ethnic Groups: 77% Turkmen, 9.2% Uzbek, 6.7% Russian, 2% Kazakh
Government: Presidential republic Single-party state
Languages: Turkmen 72%, Russian 12%, Uzbek 9%, other 7%
Major Cities: Ashgabat
Attractions: Merv, Konye-Urgench
Accomodation: Asia Hostels
Tourism Office locations and links: Permanent Mission of Turkmenistan, 136 East 67th Street, New York, NY 10021. Telephone: +1 212-472-5921
Off-the-Beaten-Path: Repetek Desert Reserve
Health Issues: hepatitis, diphtheria, tuberculosis
Tips for Visiting
When to go: Much like the rest of Central Asia, it’s best to visit in the off-season, whenever there isn’t much sun or much chill. Therefore, from early April to late June or from end of August until November.
Specific Events/Holidays: New Year’s Day: January 1, National Flag Day February 19, International Women’s Day: March 8, Labour Day: May 1, Victory Day: May 9, Independence Day: October 27. Various Islamic Holidays
Getting Around: Though most travelers use the plane, some choose to use the Amu Darya, a significant inland waterway of Turkmenistan. Also, others would opt to travel using train or taxi.
Good to know: Throughout Turkmenistan, there are pictures of president everywhere who sees himself as a prophet sent by God.
Cheapest airport to fly into: The cheapest airport to fly into Turkmenistan is the Turkmenbashi Airport.
Need more information?: Check out the Turkmenistan travel guide for more on what to see, where to stay, and how to get there.