The least-visited of Central Asia’s countries, Turkmenistan, is slowly opening its borders to tourists whilst remaining firmly off the beaten track. Explore this ancient land of spirituality, exquisite natural beauty, rich history and exciting modern culture while experiencing the legendary Turkmen hospitality.
Turkmenistan is a country steeped in history. Travel the Silk Road, observing the vast natural beauty of the Karakum Desert and soaking in the culture of magnificent ancient cities such as Merv and Konye-Urgench. Gaze in wonder at the Darvaza gas crater, known as “The Gates of Hell”, still burning since 1971, and be awestruck by the breathtaking colours of the Yangykala Canyon.
The country’s fascinating present can be experienced in the capital city of Ashgabat, “The City of Love”, sometimes called the “The White City” for the glistening marble palaces accented with shimmering gold domes. Here the presence of the President for Life, Saparmurat Niyazov (also known as “Türkmenbaşy”) can still be felt due to the many statues and pictures dedicated to him adorning the city. Must-see attractions in Ashgabat include the Arch of Neutrality, the Wheel of Enlightenment, the Palace of Happiness and the Monument to the Constitution, to mention but a few.
Ashgabat will host The Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, beginning on the 15th of September 2017 and ending on September 24th. The state-of-the-art stadiums and arenas of the Ashgabat Olympic Complex feature brand new, custom-built facilities, all made of the city’s characteristic white marble. The people of Turkmenistan love to put on a show, so we eagerly await the opening and closing ceremonies. On October 27th, Ashgabat will host their annual Independence Day concert at Kopetdag Stadium. This is a spectacle that must be seen to be believed, featuring performances of local popular artists and traditional folk music and dance in a blaze of colour.