Turkmenistan Country Information
As the country of the Great Silk Road and the great Karakum desert, according to DIGOPAUL.COM, Turkmenistan today is one of the popular tourist destinations in Central Asia. Tourists are attracted here by the ruins of the brilliant cities of the past of almost all the known history of the powerful dynasties of Asia and Persia, the endless steppes and the eternal “black sands”, thoroughly forgotten in the post-Soviet era, but such an alluring way of life: skullcaps and pilaf, Akhal-Teke horses and colorful folk weddings, kyzyl, green tea, famous carpets of breathtaking beauty, the lightest silks and honey melons. Among other things, here you can see with your own eyes that there is a cult of personality in Turkmen style – and, frankly, not to believe that this is possible in the 21st century, and not in Neronian Rome or the feudal-vassal Middle Ages. What are even the golden statue of the president, turning after the sun, life-long “shahism” and an obligatory oath of allegiance to the “father of the Turkmens” every morning! In a word, now, as before, Turkmenistan knows how to surprise us.
Visa to Turkmenistan
Citizens of Latvia will need a visa to visit Turkmenistan.
Import and export of the national currency is prohibited. The import of foreign currency is allowed in unlimited quantities, a declaration is required; export – no more than the amount declared at the entrance. Duty-free import of 200 cigarettes or 200 grams of tobacco, 2 liters of any alcoholic beverages, personal items within individual needs is allowed. The import of drugs and narcotic drugs, weapons, ammunition and explosives, pornography and any materials that can offend state power and violate moral standards is prohibited. The export of antiques and works of art is possible only with the permission of the Ministry of Culture; carpets and jewelry – with a document confirming their legal acquisition.
Money and currency exchange
It is better to bring cash into Turkmenistan, although it will not be difficult to find ATMs that work with the international “plastic” MasterCard in the capital (but in other regions of the country it is already more problematic). Money can be withdrawn from a Visa card around the clock at VneshEconomBank’s ATMs.
When exchanging currency, preference is given to dollars; It is advisable to take a large number of small dollar bills with you. You can exchange currency at bank branches (most are open Monday to Friday from 9:30 to 17:30, many of the exchange offices at banks work around the clock), in hotels and at official exchange offices. The latter accept only “fresh” banknotes of the latest issues and series, without scuffs and inscriptions. You can pay with a credit card only in a few prestigious hotels and restaurants in Ashgabat, as well as in airline offices; in the rest of the country, only cash is accepted for payment.
While in Turkmenistan, you should follow standard security measures: keep documents and valuables in a hotel safe, do not take large sums of money with you, and always keep an eye on your bag and wallet. In crowded places – in markets and bazaars, you need to beware of pickpockets. At night, it is better not to walk alone, especially in unfamiliar areas. A trip to the border regions of the country is possible only with official permission and with a Turkmen escort.
In conversations, one should not touch on the topic of politics and the controversial era of the reign of Saparmurat Niyazov, as well as everything related to this in one way or another: from the artistic value of the book “Rukhnameh” to the golden statue of the “father of the Turkmens” on the main square of Ashgabat. Given that the state religion of Turkmenistan is Islam, one should show respect for the norms of Islamic morality and not dress provocatively.
You can drink only bottled or boiled water, wash fruits and vegetables and brush your teeth with it. In bars and restaurants, you should order pre-chilled drinks and refuse food ice.
Climate of Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan is the hottest country in Central Asia. In July and August, the temperature in Ashgabat can reach +50 °C. In general, the country is dominated by a sharply continental arid climate with constantly blowing northern winds that bring cold air from the steppes of Kazakhstan in winter, and heat, sandstorms and dry winds in summer. The average January temperature in the southern regions is +4 °C, in the north of the country -5 °C, in the Karakum Desert – up to -25 .. 30 °C. In July, in the south of Turkmenistan, the average temperature is +35 °C, in the north – +27 °C, in desert areas the temperature reaches +50 °C during the day and +14-17 °C at night. In the Caspian lowland, the climate is milder, quite comfortable both in summer and in winter. The best time to visit the country is from April to June and from September to early November.