Top 11 Things about Turkmenistan You Should Know

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Turkmenistan, roughly the size of Thailand, is a one-of-a-kind republic in Central Asia's southwest. Turkmenistan has a population of 6 million people. ... read more...

  1. Turkmenistan, according to official assertions, is a safe place for travelers, and even government sources maintain that the country is crime-free. It should be noted that no country in the world is completely free of crime. Turkmenistan is a generally secure country to visit, with extremely few occurrences of violent crime, mugging, pickpocketing, and property theft, but you should still take extra measures.

    Given that Turkmenistan's tourism business is still in its early stages, skipping the necessary precautions will find you in hot water. Thieves are always looking for opportunities to rob you of your money in crowded places such as local markets, or they may even make their move in overnight crowded trains; there have also been reports of bandits looting tourists in rural locales, though this is rare. Furthermore, there are some restricted areas in Turkmenistan. Some of these places are near the borders of Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and the Dashoguz and Caspian Seas.

    However, if you wish to visit these areas, you will need a special permit from the government, and without one, even Turkmenistan Airlines will not allow you to board a flight. A minor caveat: obtaining permission to visit the above-mentioned restricted locations can take anywhere from 10 to 15 days.

  2. You are curious about the ideal time to visit Turkmenistan. Turkmenistan is a land of extremes: it is extremely hot in the summer and extremely frigid in the winter. This is absolutely one of the top Things about Turkmenistan You Should Know. Its location on the famed Silk Road brought different influences that can still be seen today in a plethora of spectacular monuments and ruined ruins. Despite the fact that Turkmenistan offers not only breathtaking sights but also unique natural beauties, it is one of the least traveled sites in Central Asia.

    The ideal months to visit Turkmenistan are April to June and November to December. Temperatures are at their most pleasant during this period, but the weather is harsh in winter and summer; it gets freezing cold and blisteringly hot, respectively! If you decide to travel in the winter, keep in mind that many domestic planes do not operate and that many restaurants are closed.
  3. To enter Turkmenistan, you must get a Letter of Invitation from an authorized or government-approved tour operator agency. It is important to note that obtaining an LOI takes 2 to 3 weeks. Once you receive the LOI, you must obtain a visa at the airport (which generally costs around $100 per person); however, if your nation has a Turkmen consulate, you may apply for your visa there. It is worth noting that it is less expensive than visa-on-arrival and that the visa is stamped on the same day you apply for it. However, keep in mind that while they may give you the visa, they may also deny you, so it's smart to arrange for a backup plan.

    Many people dread visiting this country since it's like playing the lottery! But don't give up; most of the time, they will grant you a visa, but it can take time, so if yours is taking too long, apply again. Many people acquire their visas after applying at least four or five times! In addition, you must pay a migration charge per person (only $12) at Turkmenistan Airlines, and keep in mind that they only accept cash at the counter.

    Also, bear in mind that when entering the nation, you will be required to complete a customs declaration form, which you must retain with you for the duration of your trip. This form will include information regarding the items you can bring into the country for personal use, such as dollars and jewels. Stay away from ammunition, narcotics, and guns. Keep in mind that the customs inspection process can be complex and time-consuming, lasting up to 3 hours in some situations.
  4. The good news is that a transit visa is not required if you wish to travel to Turkmenistan, but if you have one, you will not need a tour agency or an LOI, and you can also explore the country on your own terms. The transit visa, on the other hand, is valid for 5 days, and in other situations, 3 or 7 days. This means you cannot enter the country before the date and must leave before the expiry date. This is absolutely one of the top Things about Turkmenistan You Should Know.

    If you intend to stay for more than three days, you must register with Turkmenistan's State Migration Service. Please do not overstay your visa. To travel to Turkmenistan, all foreign nationals require a visa. If your stay is less than five days and you have a valid transit visa, you can be registered at entry and exit points. However, you will not be able to amend your transit visa while in the nation, and you must notify the authorities if you want to change your path through the country.

    If you plan to cross the Caspian Sea from Turkmenistan to Azerbaijan, you should be aware that visas cannot be purchased on arrival at the Baku ports. If you ride the ferry, make sure you have a valid visa to enter Azerbaijan.
  5. You are wondering if you could explore Turkmenistan on your own with a tourist visa? The simple answer is no. You cannot explore Turkmenistan on your own with a tourist visa. That is only possible with a transit visa. This is absolutely one of the top Things about Turkmenistan You Should Know.

    Do you want to know what Turkmenistan's capital city is? The capital of Turkmenistan is Ashgabat, and the most you can do with a tourist visa is meander around the metropolis. Ashgabat is the main city and is worth exploring, but Turkmenistan as a whole has a lot to offer, and if you plan to visit the wonders, you will need a tour guide. Furthermore, it is unlawful for any visitor to enter Turkmenistan without a tourist visa and without a travel guide.

    If you have a tourist visa, you will travel in a 4x4 with your tour guide, with the possibility of using an airplane or train for a significant transfer. Ashgabat is Turkmenistan's only city having international flights in and out. Turkmenistan Airlines does not yet offer online booking, thus you must purchase your tickets through an agency if you intend to fly with them. This leaves the train or (shared) taxi for independent tourists who do not have their own mode of transportation. There are also some buses. All three are economical and relatively comfortable modes of transportation in Turkmenistan.
  6. Should you travel by taxi in Turkmenistan? The answer is yes, you can, and the best option will be legal taxis (yellow in color) - there have been examples of tourists being stolen when traveling in unregistered taxis, and the charge is reasonable, ranging from 19 to 30 Turkmen manat ($ 5 to $10). Having said that, there are numerous local ATMs that can assist you in converting your money to Turkmenistan currency, Turkmen manat. This is absolutely one of the top Things about Turkmenistan You Should Know.

    That being said, while tipping the driver is not required, it is always optional. They will be grateful if you tip them for their excellent services. Also, keep in mind that the country has an 11 p.m. curfew, so avoid going anywhere during that time. Above all, use common sense, avoid going anyplace alone, keep yourself safe by not flashing any of your things, and keep your money secure.
  7. Morphine, codeine, tramadol, temazepam, and other comparable components found in pharmaceuticals are outlawed in Turkmenistan, as are over-the-counter medications, including the widely available Nurofen. All such pharmaceuticals (in any form or amount) are prohibited from being imported into Turkmenistan or transferred across its borders – the fact that the traveler has a written and authorized prescription from a licensed doctor DOES NOT COUNT. The discovery of any of the aforementioned agents can be regarded as narcotic drug smuggling and can result in extremely serious problems for both the individual carrying them and the ground operator, including incarceration.

    Because a prescription from your doctor here cannot be filled abroad, and familiar over-the-counter medications may not be available in foreign countries, it is also critical to pack enough quantity for the entire trip, plus some extra in case of flight disruption or delay. Other prescriptions, with the exception of those listed above, are okay to take; however, remember to bring the prescription with you and show it to customs officers.
  8. As many of you are aware, smoking in public areas is prohibited in Turkmenistan. It's also quite tough to buy smokes in Turkmenistan. In reality, Turkmenistan and Bhutan are the only countries that have nationwide smoking bans in all public locations, as well as bans on the sale of cigarettes. This is absolutely one of the top Things about Turkmenistan You Should Know.

    People will always smoke, so where is it genuinely permitted, and how can one obtain cigarettes? The essential point of the law is that smoking is prohibited in all public areas. This means that you can smoke at hotels, for example. They usually feature a smoking area in the back for international tourists as well as locals who need a short nicotine fix. There are also some unauthorized smoking zones where local law enforcement turns a blind eye when you're out and about. One example is near one of the Berkarar Shopping Centre's side entrances. There are a few modest cafes where folks congregate for a quick cigarette.
  9. Because health services in Turkmenistan aren't of a high standard, try to avoid any injuries that can land you in the hospital. You should schedule an appointment with the practice nurse to discuss the immunizations you will require based on your destination. It is critical to schedule this initial consultation at least eight weeks before your trip in order for the immunizations to be ordered. The vaccines will require a second appointment. To allow the immunizations to work, your second appointment should be at least two weeks before your trip.

    Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR), diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (Tdap), chickenpox, polio, and a yearly flu shot are all recommended by the CDC. In Turkmenistan, tuberculosis is endemic, and HIV is present. Hepatitis A and B, rabies, and typhoid vaccines may also be suggested, and your doctor can advise you based on your specific circumstances.

    In Turkmenistan, several common drugs, such as codeine, are prohibited. While it's generally a good idea to bring prescriptions with you while traveling abroad, ask your doctor to produce a letter verifying why you need them — otherwise, you may be denied entrance. Always declare your prescription drugs. If you become ill or injured while traveling, your medical expenditures could be costly. Pack travel insurance with 24-hour emergency support.
  10. Food-borne infections can occur in any location in Turkmenistan, so it is best to be cautious. This is absolutely one of the top Things about Turkmenistan You Should Know. Choose prepared meals in Turkmenistan, and avoid anything that appears undercooked. Turkmenistan is primarily a non-vegetarian country, thus if you are a vegan, you may have difficulty finding vegan products.

    As a result, in Turkmenistan, you should eat only cooked meals and peel all fruits and vegetables. Typhoid is common and can be found in salads and cold meat. What you should do is order specially prepared food. It also helps that Turkmenistan is rich in local markets where you can find plenty of fresh and organic fruits and veggies.

    Drinking tap water in Turkmenistan is not recommended because it may contain metal residues. Even if drinking water is regarded safe, if you want to visit Turkmenistan, contact local people to confirm. Old pipes may be spewing dangerous stuff, or the water in that country may include heavy metals or microorganisms. Avoid ice cubes in drinks and only consume boiled, purified, filtered, or bottled water.
  11. Turkmenistan is located at a crossroads between east and west. The majority of today's main towns and cities were previously trading sites along the historic Silk Road, which connected the riches of the east with profitable marketplaces in the west. This cultural fusion may be seen in the country's current celebrations, such as the ever-important Eid al-Fitr, a Muslim festival observed by approximately 90% of the population. Turkmenistanis are a proud people, as seen by the national holidays of Independence Day and Memorial Day in Turkmenistan. Melon Day is a fun festival to attend if you're looking for something different.

    Melon Day is a new public holiday in Turkmenistan that was instigated in 1994 by the then-dictator Saparmurat Niyazov, commonly known as Turkmenbashi. It is held on the second Sunday in August every year and is centered on a unique crossbreed of the muskmelon, a vital crop for the country. A massive display of the fruit, as well as a succession of dances and other musical activities, are part of the day's festivities.

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