Turkmenistan

About Turkmenistan

Geographically this is the most western of all the stans, but culturally it sure isn't. The turkmen never formed a real nation and only settled in recent history in cities - if they did at all. Most of the cities in Turkmenistan were founded by non Turkmen, but by the Russians, Iranians and even Alexander the Great.

If you are not an oil man, maybe the most important reason to visit Turkmenistan would be not the sights, but the people and their age old nomad tradition of hospitatility. They can be hard to reach with stranger at first, but when they open up, anything goes.

Ashgabat the capital city is probably your point of arrival. It is filled with monuments in the honour of the president Turkmenbasi. Mary has the ruins of the old Persian town of Merv and is worth a visit as well.

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