For a tourist traveling in Turkmenistan, it is best to start your acquaintance with this country from the “city of love”. This is how the capital of the country, Ashgabat, is translated. The city is located in the south-west of the country, in a large oasis near the Kopetdag mountains. The city itself is young. Formed around the Russian fortress in 1881. In 1885, a branch of the Caspian railway began to run through the city. This gave a strong impetus to the development of Ashgabat. In 1948, on October 6, Ashgabat was wiped off the face of the earth by a powerful earthquake. More than 110 thousand people died on that terrible day. But the city was built from scratch in less than 20 years. In Ashgabat, I recommend visiting the Tolkuchka bazaar, where you can buy traditional Turkmen carpets that are brought here from all over the country. Instead of a market, you can go to the Metropolitan Carpet Museum. This is the only building of its kind in the world. The museum contains carpets dating back to the 17th century. Not far from Ashgabat, you can visit the place of Anau-Depe (IV-III thousand years BC). Archaeological excavations are currently underway there. Scientists argue that these foothill oases were home to many civilizations in ancient times. It is worth visiting the Anau fortress (III century BC – III century AD) and the ruins of the city of Anau with a mosque to make sure of this. Not far from Ashgabat, an ancient architectural monument, the ruins of the capital of the Parthian state, Nisa, keeps silence. On the territory of Nisa, a huge number of clay tablets, the remains of quarters, houses, archives of documents and works of art were found. Be sure to take a walk along the footpath in the Serdaor-Ely mountains. Her path lies through the most beautiful places in Kopetgad. Traces of ancient civilizations lead to the most ancient region of Central Asia – to the oasis of Merv. It was here that the first traces of irrigation in these parts were discovered. The find belongs to the period of the Bronze Age. The very origin of the city of Mevre is shrouded in mysteries. It was here that Omar Khayyam, al-Samani and Imamad din Isfahani lived and created their works. The city of Mary is the third largest city in Turkmenistan. Located in the middle of the Karakum in a large oasis. Founded in 1884 by Russians as an administrative center not far from ancient Merv. In the city you can visit the History Museum. There you will see a huge collection of Turkmen carpets from different times, national clothes, sets of silver and gold. Be sure to visit the local history and ethnographic exposition. Turkmenbashi (former Krasnovodsk) is the only port city in the country. All communication with Europe and Russia goes through it. From the east, the city is surrounded by low mountains. In the west it is washed by the waves of the Caspian Sea. On the coast of the Caspian Sea you can have a good rest. Clean beaches, warm clear water, rich flora and fauna. All available sports will be open to you.
According to best-medical-schools, Turkmen cuisine is close to many Asian cuisines, especially Uzbek and Tajik ones. Milk and meat for the Turkmen became the main products in the desert. In this country, you need to try lamb meat. He is always praised. The meat of mountain goats is also often used. True Turkmen cuisine is characterized by purely meat dishes, without admixture of other products. Meat that has undergone heat treatment is served without side dishes.
Roads in Turkmenistan are poorly developed, the whole point is in the peculiarities of the geographical position of the state. It is impossible to lay highways through the desert. So far, the government has not been able to solve this problem. Turkmenistan has a railway, but not electrified. Trains are mostly old Soviet or old Chinese. All this infrastructure needs investment and is poorly developed. Air transport is best developed in Turkmenistan. The international airport allows you to fly in and out of the country to almost anywhere in the world. Ashgabat has an airport in a modern building. On the scoreboard you will always see information about current flights. The quality of air transportation in the country is at a good level. Only one state-owned company is engaged in air transportation. As for the capital of Turkmenistan, in order for a tourist to quickly explore the city, it is best to use a taxi. The city is full of taxi drivers. Any person who has a car is already starting to taxi. This is now the only inexpensive and good opportunity to move around the city. Public transport is poorly developed, and therefore all residents of Ashgabat use the services of taxi drivers. The fare is not expensive. Finding a free car is easy enough – you just need to go to the side of the road and vote. The car you need will be there right away.
The local currency is Manat. It is equal to 100 tenge. The exchange rate for June 2011 is 1 RUB = 0.1 TMT. The country has banknotes in denominations of 5, 50, 100, 500, 1000, 5000, 10,000 manats. And also 1 manat. Small change (tenge) in coins – 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 tenge. Despite the fact that the manat is the only legal means of buying and selling, it is often possible to purchase a rare or precious commodity in another currency. Banking hours. Monday Friday. From 10-30 to 17-30. If you want to change currency, I recommend changing only in banks and exchange offices. I do not recommend using the services of private money changers, due to their frequent fraud. You can pay with a credit card only in very large stores in Ashgabat.