Last updated: 24 December 2017
Turkmenistan, in Central Asia, is little more than a police state. Tourists are required to hire a guide when they venture outside of the capital city, Ashgabat. Curfews are in place and it is generally not safe for women to walk alone at night. This is nevertheless a fascinating country.

Once part of the ancient Silk Road, the ruins of the ancient cities of Merv and Urgench have origins that go back two and a half thousand years. Merv is one of the oldest places in Central Asia, and was once one of the largest cities in the ancient world. Both cities contain the splendid remains of Mosques, temples, fortresses, mausoleums and monasteries.


The Karakum Desert covers seventy percent of the interior of the country, but it too has its charms. The Darvaza gas crater, known as the Door to Hell is an inferno filled pit in the middle of the desert. At the the Yangikala Canyons, nature has painted the cliffs in a multitude of colors from white to red, yellow and purple, making it an inviting hiking venue.

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