UniEel Experiencing: Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan is a large country located in Central Asia. The nation is known for its history, its abundance of natural gas reserves and its desert. Turkmenistan shares borders with Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Iran and Afghanistan, along with the Caspian Sea. The main religion of Uzbekistan is Islam. Turkmenistan has a largely warm climate, with the May-September months enjoying very warm temperatures. Between December and February however, temperatures drop vastly. The population of Turkmenistan is approximately 5.7M. There is a lot to see and do in this country. Overall, Turkmenistan is a nation well worth visiting, helping to form this edition of ‘UniEel Experiencing’.





Nation: Turkmenistan
Continent: Asia
Capital: Ashgabat
Land Mass: 190,000 square miles
Population: 5,600,000
Religion: Islam
Language: Turkmen
Currency: Turkmen new manat


Turkmenistan has an interesting history. The roots of the country date back hundreds of years. Oghuz tribes moved from Mongolia to Turkmenistan, eventually using the name ‘Turkmen’. Some travelled to the present-day Turkey. The tribes would remain for the following years, but eventually they would be under control of Uzbek rulers. The Turkmen territory was eventually annexed, becoming part of the Russian Empire. The 1948 Ashgabat earthquake claimed the lives of over 110,000 people – one of the worst natural disasters of all time. Turkmenistan declared independence in 1991. In more recent times, the nation has been criticised for its human rights record and restriction on foreign travel for residents. The nation is often considered one of the most censored countries. At the time of writing, Turkmenistan uses a ‘tourism tax’ which means all foreign visitors are charged $2 per day for their stay in the country.


Things to Do and See:

Turkmenistan offers plenty to do. There are a range of excavation sites worth visiting, with the most famous being the Gonur Tepe. Bagir, a small village, hosts another site that was once an ancient city. The Repetek Biosphere State Reserve is a nature reserve in the desert, featuring wildlife. There are many museums too, with the Turkmen Carpet Museum featuring a range of hand-woven carpets. The Mary Museum provides history. The capital city Ashgabat hosts many landmarks too, such as a theme park named the World of Turkmenbashi Tales. There is also a zoo, as well as a cable car that offers a stunning view of the capital and further beyond. Finally, one of the most well-known locations is the Darvaza gas crater, which locals refer to as the ‘Door to Hell’. It is a natural gas field and arguably the most popular tourist site in the nation.


Turkmenistan is an interesting location to visit. As shown in this article, Turkmenistan certainly offers a lot to do and see. This short guide should provide you with key information regarding Turkmenistan, complete with ideas of things to do. Look out for more countries being analysed in our ‘Experiencing’ series. For more information on Turkmenistan, consult the UK’s Travel Advice for Turkmenistan at this link. Happy travelling!




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