Hotel Gara Altyn
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TripAdvisor Reviews Hotel Gara Altyn Ashgabat
Travel Blogs from Ashgabat
... of day 5. My plan had been to look around Ashgabat for the afternoon and evening, sleep in another overpriced Soviet hotel, and leave early on day 4 on a bus for Dashogus, near the northern border. But now I was concerned... the guide book talked of a 9 hour bus ride, but a quick internet search yesterday turned up results ranging from 10-18 hours... and I couldn't risk overstaying my visa, as this would incur a huge fine, which would probably require backtracking to ...
Unfortunately this entry might be a fairly short one, as I didn't go to Ashgabat for backpacking or a holiday – I was there to work!
Getting to Turkmenistan from Asia is a bugger. I had a 8.5 hour flight from HK to Dubai, followed by an 8 hour transit in Dubai airport and then another 2.5 hour flight to Ashgabat - it certainly was not fun, but I got a LOT of movies watched.
This was my 7th visit to Turkmenistan - there is no other country in the world that I ...
... air conditioned I think) but not many people on buses either. My guide (whose name is Serdar, by the way) tells me everyone drives to work - but where are the car parks (underground?)
There are lots and lots of statues of presidents. The first president (who renamed himself Turkmenbashi and even had one statue of himself built that rotated so he always faced the sun!). And the new president wasn't happy with the old presidential palace so turned that into a ...
... by the way, not the year). For those of you unfamiliar with the modern history of Turkmenistan, one name epitomises it- Sapurmurat Niyazov, aka Beyik Turkmenbashi (literally Great Leader, Father of All Turkmen), President for Life (d. 2006). Outside of North Korea, this is the only extant state where one can view a full-blown personality cult. It is impossible to confine the outlandish narcissism, the gargantuan megalomania, and the whimsically ...
... is. We suspect, rightly as it turns out, that our guide has drunk several vodkas too many with his friend and has been unable to make it back to the tent. We are not amused at this dereliction of duty. We are paying for his services. But we have ultimate control since his briefcase & papers are in our truck.
*We drive in search of his friend's camp across the other side of the crater. We find Rustam asleep on a mat and the rest of the group equally comatose. ...
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