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Peculiarities of tourism in Turkmen

The Republic of Turkmenistan today is one of the most closed states in the whole space of the former USSR. Until recently, the country’s tourist ties with the rest of the world were difficult, but in recent years, the leadership of Turkmenistan has begun to pay serious attention to the development of the tourism industry. In this article we will talk about some of the features of “tourism in Turkmen.”

Airports, hotels and beaches
Most travelers arrive in Turkmenistan by plane through the capital, Ashgabat, or by sea through the Caspian Sea through the port city of Turkmenbashi (formerly Krasnovodsk). Ashgabat receives foreign guests at the modern international airport named after the Great Saparmurat Turkmenbashi, and the Turkmen Airlines state company is also based here.

S7 Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Lufthansa, Flydubai, Turkmen Airlines, Belavia, China Southern Airlines fly to Ashgabat International Airport. Two more Turkmen airports, Mary and Turkmenbashi, have international status.

Tourists in Turkmenistan are hosted by 83 hotels, 35 of them are located in Ashgabat. A beach holiday is focused on the Caspian resort of Avaza, a modern tourist infrastructure is being created here by the decision of the Turkmen authorities. Already built eight high-rise hotels, restaurants, cafes, leisure centers, equipped beaches.

Avaza Resort in Turkmenistan
However, the closeness of the country hinders the development of the resort, mainly tourists from Iran and other Muslim countries rest here. The completion of the Avaza complex is scheduled for 2020.

Balneological tourism in Turkmenistan is represented mainly by mud baths. The largest of them are: Mallagara, 25 km from the city of Balkanabat, and Archman, 130 km from Ashkhabad, in the foothills of Kopet-Dag. The mud baths of these resorts, preserved from the time of the USSR, are still considered the best in the post-Soviet space.

Visas and customs
Turkmenistan does not have a visa-free regime with any of the countries of the world. Getting an entry visa for Russians, as well as for residents of other countries, is associated with a number of difficulties. Clear, unambiguous visa rules are absent, and denials of visas are often not motivated. You can get a visa at the written invitation of a legal or natural person certified by the national migration service. Or on a voucher from a travel agency that has a state license. The consular fee is quite high – $ 155. Upon arrival in the country, a foreigner should be sure to register with the Office of Tourism and Sports.

Visa to Turkmenistan
Turkmen customs regulations are also pretty tough. Turkmen national currency, manat, can neither be exported nor imported. Foreign currency can be imported without any restrictions, but with the obligatory declaration. In addition to items prohibited from being imported everywhere – drugs, weapons, etc., it is forbidden to import any printing products (books, magazines, etc.), as well as film, audio and video materials, pyrotechnics to Turkmenistan. Alcohol – no more than two liters per adult (over 21 years old), tobacco – no more than 200 cigarettes. Prohibited the importation of right-hand drive cars, as well as entry into them into the country. There are many bans, some are capable of puzzling, such as the prohibition of the importation of children’s toy weapons (pistols, machine guns), shooting with plastic and other (!) Bullets.

The list of prohibited items for export from the country is also very extensive. Here and the meat in any form, and licorice root extract, and propolis, and mumiyo. Special mention should be made of the export of famous Turkmen carpets. In addition to documents confirming the legality of the purchase (they are also required when exporting any other art products, as well as jewelry), the export of carpet products will require a separate certificate issued by the Museum of Turkmen Carpet in Ashgabat.

For lovers of educational tourism, ancient cities may be of the greatest interest in Turkmenistan.

This is first of all Kunya-Urgench (Köneürgench), the capital of the medieval state of Khorezm. There are extensive archaeological excavations. Kunya Urgench is eagerly visited not only by tourists, but also by Muslim pilgrims. They are attracted by the mausoleums of the Khorezm rulers, other shrines of Islam and architectural monuments of Urgench.

Interesting and Mevr – one of the oldest cities in Central Asia, historians believe that the first settlement here arose fifteen hundred years ago.

Mevr – one of the oldest cities in Central Asia

Sanjar’s Mausoleum in Merv
The ancient city of Nisa, founded in the 3rd century BC, is also popular with tourists. BC e, the ruins of which are located 18 km west of Ashgabat. It consists of two settlements – the Parthian city in the valley, and the royal fortress on a hill.

Ancient city of Nisa in Turkmenistan

Dehistan, Misrian, Ekedeshik (cave castle), Sarakhs (caravanserai on the Great Silk Road) – in all these ancient cities you can see and photograph magnificent monuments.

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