Monument to 10 Years of Independence, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan - By d_proffer
Credit/Licence flickr: By d_proffer

Turkmenistan is a central Asian country bordered by Iran, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Home to a population of more than 5 million, and covering an area almost the size of Spain, Turkmenistan is a diverse and multi-ethnic nation with more than a few surprises.

From lavish palaces and glittering golden monuments to ancient ruins and a vast desert wilderness - Turkmenistan is the second wealthiest country in Central Asia. The country has extensive oil and gas reserves being developed, with recent pipelines to China, Iran, and Azerbaijan.

Ashgabat (meaning City of Love in Persian) is the capital and largest city of Turkmenistan. The ultra modern city has exceptional attractions such as the National Museum, Ertugrul Gazi Mosque, and the Turkmenistan Independence Park, which contains monuments to famous people and events.

The Karakum Desert occupies approx 70% of the area of country.

Note - anyone with a tourist visa is required to hire a guide.

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