very brief Turkmenistan report
Replies: 4 - Last Post: May 10, 2011 2:38 AM Last Post By: wesleyl
May 8, 2011 1:37 AM
very brief Turkmenistan reportHi!
Turkmenistan: prices for transport from Turkmenbasy to Ashgabat are correct but thats about it as far as pricing goes, shared taxis are all more expensive, and thats not because we cant haggle! some prices in LP are way too cheap. shared taxi from farab to border with UZ is 10manat per person for example.
just budget for more regarding travel prices.
watch out in Ashgabat, the police will definitely like to get money from you if they see you snapping away, be careful. we even asked each time and mostly it was no, just to take photo of a sitting Niyazov....
in general for whatever reason the guide is a bit weaker than normal on Turkmenistan.... somewhow we couldnt find resto minara, is it still there?
it would be good to do as in the chinese books and give the Cyrillic names for places, just saying independence park doesnt help much when asking locals, sorry i forgot the long word for indepence in russian... but it would help in places like TU to do this...LP people please note :-))
the distances on the maps maybe inaccurate in Ashgabat
Kyrgyz embassy in Ashgabat, no way as in map, '200m south on the Garassyzlyk street' but actually at the very end of it, 4km further, thanks LP :-)
we eventually found it. if you need it then go on Garassyzlyk and just take any of the busses heading south to the end, there are maps on each stop, so you can see that at the end of the street they will turn left or right at a big crossroads, just jump out before this, then backtrack about 100m and look to the left to see set behind the street an avenue of low level housing with red tiles, the Libyan, Kazakh and Kyrgyz are all there together--if you need it then note this, as far as i could ascertain they are open tues and thurs only! and from 10 to 12 and 3-5! good luck!
regarding Ashgabat if you are heading to Mary then do this: take trolleybus 1 along Magtymguly to the last stop, autokombinat, then backtrack to the cross roads, 100m, and go right, the mary marshrutka stop is there about 100m further on. easy!
Mary: Caravansary is closed! a freindly neighbour drove us out of town to their new place, where a really unfriendly girl wanted $50 for a cell, they didnt get it that location matters. as it turned out we stayed 500m further out of town at the motel Rahat--a very helpful guy at the desk at another hotel drove us out there, 100manat a night
(sorry i am adding on little bits to each of these as i figure if the new info interests you then you will find what i did maybe also helpful:-)
not a bad bus route is the 29 in Ashgabat it does a loop heading slightly east then south from Magtymguly, passed the Ympas and around the outlying
Hotel Ashgabat was a grand spot for a couple nights, at $50, pizza haus was also grand for some food...
In Turkmenbasy we had just walked from the port to close to the hotel Hazar when we got stopped by a patrol car, apparently we werent supposed to be walking around at 3.00, we got taken to the hotel Turkmenbashi instead, we went along for the ride i guess, he wanted us to pay a strafe for being out, but we cheerfully ignored this and he let us out there, so we will never know about the Hazar but the Turkmenbashi was grand for a few hours sleep at $60.
we took shared taxi to Ashgabat next day from the train station and paid $40 or 113 Manat, other prices we paid for transport, taxi shared Ashgabat Mary was 70 Manat, Mary Turkmenabat was 50 Manat. the manat is stable at 2.84 to the $. good luck getting better prices....
May 8, 2011 10:54 AM
Thank you so much for the info... I am planning a trip this summer and this trip report was very helpful. A few questions...
1. Travel time one way in shared taxi from Ashgabat to Mary?
2. Are your prices for shared taxi (70 manat Mary-Ashgabat) for one seat, or for the whole car? One way, I assume?
3. How were roadblocks/checkpoints on the main highways? Frequent/infrequent? Did they check your documents? Were you on transit or tourist visa?
4. I have heard of some people getting tourist visas and then breaking away from their guides to check out Mary, Darvaza, Konye, etc. Does this seem viable, or do you think you'd most likely be nailed by the militsia?
May 9, 2011 7:58 AM
2Hi there. We too had difficulty getting to the Minara restaurant. We could see it and were pointing at it but our cries of Restoran Minara were met with shrugs by the taxi drivers. Once we had discovered it is called 'piatnosky' by the locals (five legs in Russian) we had no problem.
When you get inside the building it seems to be a virtually empty shopping centre. There are no signs to the Minara and at first we thought that the lift was broken but it does work if you press for the sixth floor. We had a good meal of chicken, chips, lots of veg and two beers for around US$12. Sit outside for great views as the sun goes down and the lights of the city come on.
We were two females travelling together and weren't stopped once while walking around. We took photos freely and the only time we were stopped was taking pictures of the fantastic mural on the building that the statue of Lenin is pointing to, which is a government office. Even then, the guard only came over after we had been standing there with our cameras for around 5 minutes. I get the sense that female travellers are left pretty much alone by the police, which was useful for us.
Travel blocks: we were stopped only twice on the road during our 10 day visit. Once going to Mary and another time going into Konye Urgency.
May 9, 2011 9:09 AM
3''watch out in Ashgabat, the police will definitely like to get money from you if they see you snapping away, be careful. we even asked each time and mostly it was no, just to take photo of a sitting Niyazov....''
That is odd. I had no such problems in Ashgabat and snapped merrily away.
Is this a new development, or was I lucky, or you unlucky?
May 10, 2011 2:38 AM
(4 star Hotel)
From US$304.29 per night
(5 star Hotel)
From US$416.28 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$135.68 per night