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Made up of nearly 80% desert but with access to the Caspian Sea, Turkmenistan is perhaps best known for its intricately detailed carpets. While tourism is welcome in Turkmenistan, the country's strict governance means a guided tour is absolutely necessary when on a trip to the country. Perhaps one of the world's most unusual destinations for tourists, photography is mostly prohibited and there is a heavy military presence across the country.
- See the golden dome of the Gypjak Mosque
- Visit the "Door to Hell", a massive gas crater in Darvaza
- Experience tradition at the Turkmen Carpet Museum
- Browse the hundreds of stalls at the Tolkuchka-Basar
- Find your inner archaeologist at Gonur Tepe, a larger former settlement of the Mouru civilization
- Smokers take note - it is 100% forbidden to smoke outside in a public place. However, smoking is permitted inside some restaurants and shops. If you don't see anyone else smoking, you shouldn't either.
- Unless you particularly love sweltering heat, avoid a tour to Turkmenistan in the summer months. The country is mostly made up of desert, and summer temperatures often surpass 50°C (122°F).
- Travel outside Turkmenistan's capital city, Ashgabat, requires the accompaniment of a travel guide. This can be costly, so be sure to budget accordingly before your visit.
- While the country has generally been free of terrorism that has rocked its neighbouring countries, Turkmenistan is known for what is called "vodka terrorism". This crime occurs when Turkmen drink far too much vodka and attempt to fight or rob the people they come across on trains or in the streets. To be on the safe side, avoid men who are evidently drunk.
- There is a strict curfew of 11pm in Ashgabat, the capital city. This applies to locals and visitors alike. Always return to your hotel before curfew, and women, in particular, should never walk the streets alone at night.
- Feel free to converse with the friendly locals, but avoid talking about politics especially avoid commenting on the country's leader.
Turkmenistan has seasonal weather so please do check up on the best time to visit Turkmenistan before planning your tour.