Into Turkmenistan – Ancient Ruins, a Burning Crater and Ashgabat

So hey all – here I am in Ashgabat, the Turkmen capital which is quite the city let me tell you. I hadn’t thought I would be able to blog, but I have Wi-Fi at my hotel here and have no problems accessing WordPress.

So it was only yesterday that I crossed the border from Uzbekistan into Turkmenistan, it really does feel a lot longer. The border crossing was time consuming, but I was so lucky that my guide turned up at the border and was basically able to do most things for me except pay the visa fees and a couple of other fees. It was interesting – there is a stretch of no-man’s land between the two countries and everyone crossing had to hop on this bus. All of this in the middle of this stretch of wheat growing seemingly between the two counties.Konye Urgench

Then it was off to an historic site on my one-person tour. Konye-Urgench is the site, some 800+ years old of a city. Today all that you can see is a mausoleum or two and this huge minaret.

From there we went southwards and stayed the night at a camp (in a yurt) next to the Darvaza crater. In 1971 geologists were looking for gas when the ground collapsed. Gas was escaping, they lit it believing it would burn for two weeks, it’s now 2019 and I have been told it’s Turkmenistan’s most popular tourist attraction.

DarvazaToday I arrived in Ashgabat and have had something of a city tour. The buildings here are amazing, it’s a sleek city with wide streets and most buildings are made from marble. I went to Independence Park, the National Museum and took and awful lot of photos of this amazing place!Ashgabat Ferris Wheel

Anyways, I’ll be excursioning out of the city tomorrow and off to the ancient site of Merv the day after. Stay safe in whatever you are doing – and May the Journey Never End!Ashgabat statue

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9 Comments

    1. it was considered, I believe, to be too dangerous to explore more in the area. However, Turkmenistan these days has a great deal of gas which they export and it has made this quite a rich country. thanks for commenting.

    1. not as yet – i am on a tour here. I met some guys who got a transit visa which lasted 5 days. They got it in Tashkent, but I am told it is hit and miss whether they will give people one. thanks for commenting

  1. I’ve never been to this part of the world and it really sounds interesting.

    By the way, I had wanted to comment on your last post on Uzbekistan but comments seem to be inactive. Just wanted to say that Samarkland looks incredible. You’ve got some amazing photos and I’d love to get there one day.

    1. thanks for reading and commenting. Sorry about the Khiva post. I’ve been using my phone and restricted editor to post whilst in Central Asia. I must have clicked something accidentally. its been rectified and thanks for letting me know.

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