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Turkmenistan – Visit the Desert Country to Explore Museums and Monuments

Turkmenistan is a Central Asian country, known for its oil and gas reserves and historical treasure offered in the form of museums, monuments and other structures. The country shares its borders with Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan and also has a coast on the Caspian Sea.

History:
Achaemenid Empire of Persia was the first one to capture the region of Turkmenistan. Before that, the region was divided by different rulers belonging to Margiana, Parthian and Khwarezm dynasties. The region was captured by Alexander the Great in the 4th century BC. The Parthian kingdom and the Sassanids were the next to rule over the region. During the 7th century AD, the region came under the influence of Arabs. Soon, the region was captured by Turkoman-led Seljuk Empire. After the demolishing of Turkoman rule, the region was ruled by many dynasties for various short time periods.

In the 17th century, Turkmenistan was eyed by rulers like Persian Shahs, Khivan Khans and the rulers of Afghanistan among others. As the European powers started capturing a number of regions in Asia, Turkmenistan was also fought over by the British Empire and the Russian forces. By the end of the 19th century, the country was completely brought under the Russian rule. It was in 1924 that it was declare done of the six Soviet Union Republics. It was in 1991 that like other republics, Turkmenistan also declared its independence to become a separate nation.

Popular Places:
Ashgabat, Dasoguz, Merv, Turkmenbashi and Balkanabat are the important cities of Turkmenistan. The Arch of Neutrality located in the capital city, Ashgabat, is certainly one of the most popular places of Turkmenistan. The Palace of Turkmenbashi is well-known for its gold-mirrored glass and a beautiful dome. Kov Ata, the popular mineral lake is another popular tourist destination. Kutlug Timur Minaret in Dashgouz city is one of the tallest in the Asian continent.

A number of museums can be found in various parts of the country. Some of them include the National Museum of Turkmenistan, Museum of Regional History and Natural History, Mary Ethnographical Museum, Charjou Historical and Ethnographical Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts.

Other important tourist destinations include the historical site of Nisa and Geok-Depe fortress.  In fact, the historical sites can be explored in all main cities of the country.  Baherden karst cave Kovata, the Koytendag Mountains and Plateau of Dinosaurs are other great destinations to explore. 

Getting Around:
Apart from the domestic flights, one can also use boats, trains and cars to travel in different parts of Turkmenistan, a good guide is to plane your journey in advance to stop any mishaps along the way.

Places of Entertainment:
Horseback riding is one of the famous activities in the country. One can enjoy being in the laps of Karakum Desert that occupies nearly 80% of the country. Yangykala Canyon is a great site for camping. Chuli is another spot for enjoying climbing and trekking. Turkmenistan is best known for offering world-famous carpets. You can enjoy food in the form of Russian cuisines and drinks in the form of vodka, beer and tea at various restaurants and cafes.

Accommodation Options:
Budget hotels, guesthouse, bed and breakfast, youth hostels accommodation, motels and camping accommodations are the most popular ones to have a comfortable stay.

Currency:
New Manat (TMT) is the official currency of Turkmenistan and it is equal to 100 tenge. Coins are available as 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1 tenge and notes as 1,000, 500, 100, 50, 10, 5 and 1 TMT. Currency exchange points can be easily located, check the news and internet for the latest exchange rates.

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