Introducing Western Turkmenistan
Rather off-the-beaten path, even by Turkmenistan standards, the western part of the country is one of haunting moonscapes, ruined cities and minority tribes such as the mountain-dwelling Nokhurians. The region is economically crucial to Turkmenistan, being home to vast oil and gas reserves, as well as the fishing and caviar business centred on the Caspian Sea. Most people simply pass through here on the way to the port of Turkmenbashi, from where it’s possible to continue on to Azerbaijan by ferry. But with a slower pace it’s possible to see a handful of extraordinary sights, including some of the country’s best natural phenomena, the Kopet Dag mountains and Yangykala Canyon, and the historically important Dekhistan (Misrian).