1 independent reviews for Turkmenistan cultural tour, mysteries of the desert

Reviews for Turkmenistan cultural tour, mysteries of the desert

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review 8 Oct 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

There were quite a few highlights in Turkmenistan: the dinosaur trail near Afghanistan, the fire crater, the old ruins of Merv, Konya Urgench, and more. One day we were passing through a town and saw that there was a wedding. Everyone was so happy and wanted us to be happy with them and join in - so we did. Ashgabat itself is weird. The scale of the city is huge, not people-scaled at all. I don't think that there was any urban planning involved, just large avenues with monuments, government buildings or housing projects, with not a supermarket in site. This is all a result of the 1948 earthquake, where all was destroyed, and what wasn't was too dangerous and was demolished.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Come with an open mind. The trip is not as tough as it sounds. It is a good idea to bring medicine for a dodgy stomach.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Most of the time we stayed in state-owned hotels (I believe all the large hotels are in state hands), but there were two places where we stayed locally and ate locally, so in those cases the locals benefited. Turkmenistan is not a place to worry about the environmental impact. Until recently electricity was free, and even today 1 litre of petrol cost 1 Manat( = 23 p)!

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

An unexpected treat. I have been to many countries, so relatively I cannot give it the highest score, but it was enjoyable and varied.

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