I want to share some basic Turkmenistan Travel Information because Turkmenistan is unknown place with the reason it is really hard to get visa. If you want to know more about real Turkmenistan, you can read My Turkmenistan Travel Blog Here
1. Location and map
Turkmenistan is located in Central Asia. Turkmenistan shares boundaries with Iran, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Afghanistan.
Turkmen and Russian
5. Ethnic groups
85% Turkmen, 5% Uzbek, 4% Russian, 6% others
6. Time Zone
Turkmenistan is 1.5 hours ahead of Iran. (When Turkmenistan is 2 pm, Iran is 12:30 pm)
Turkmenistan has same time zone with Uzbekistan.
Official Bank Rate $1 = 3.5 Manat (From 2015 to now 2017)
Black Market $1 = 7.5 Manat (In 2017)
Turkmen government tries to control currency. So, there is black market. You can exchange money from people with black market rate on the street. (Local people would find you, foreigner and will ask to exchange money. Usually the rate at the border is bad like Official Bank Rate)
6. Money – Must bring USD
When you cross the border, they only accept USD for entrance tax, $12~$14. (NO Euro! No Local money even!)
Hotel only accepts USD, too.
* Tourist visa
You must book a tour
* 3~7 Days Transit Visa
You don’t need to book a tour
Many people were rejected without the reason since 2015.
Only 5 out of 10 people get transit visa.
Five days Transit visa is standard usually.
* What you need for Transit visa
(All forms are provided by Embassy and it is so easy to write.)
– Request in written form (by e-mail or by post) (Form_801_request)
– Passport copy (high quality)
– Copies of visas of the entry and departure countries
– Copies of vehicle documents (if you travel by car, motorcycle, bicycle etc.)
(I had my bicycle, but said I will travel by transportation.)
– Completed application form with photo (2 copies).
– Completed Forms_101 and _201 in Word format.
– Completed Form_701 with colour photo per person.
– $55 (If you are approved to apply transit visa)
Hotels can start from $40 and it is quite good.
They only accept USD. No Local money or Euro! Carry USD!
(Turkmenistan Attraction Map)
* Door to Hell (Darvaza)
– A burning natural gas field
* Parthian Settlement of Nisa (Ashgabat)
– Old Ruins
* Ancient Merv (Mery)
– Impressive Ruins; Old walls, Fortresses, Several Mausoleums.
* Gypjak Mosque (Ashgabat)
– Bit mosuqe built on 2004
-Historic sites and important city on the Silk iRoad
10. When to visit
March to April or October to November.
On the summer, it is too hot like 45 Celsius (113 Fahrenheit)
The government is so strict and it makes actually country safe to travel. People are quite kind, too.
The country was part of Soviet Union over 69 years. Turkmenistan became independent in 1991. First president (Saparmyrat Nyýazow) ruled the country over 16 years. After he died, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow is the president until now 2017. (So far 10 years)
13. The popular route for cyclist
It is about 500 km (310 miles).