Turkmenistan is an attractive country locating in Central Asia bordered by the Caspian Sea and largely covered by the Karakum Desert. Turkmenistan is known for its glorious past, varied cultural trends, beautiful landscapes, rich flora and fauna, and world famous carpets and Akhal-teke horses. The country is also known for being the major stop along the ancient trade route – the Silk Road. Ashgabat is the capital city and it is full of marble and golden architecture. Ashgabat has a Guinness record for the large amount of white marble-clad buildings in the world. The city also holds the record for the greatest number of fountain pools in a public space and the world’s largest indoor Ferris wheel; the longest staircase in the world. Ashgabat also has a beautiful night display. A lot of people say that the light strips are similar to those of Las Vegas. Turkmenistan tower is the tallest building in the country. It is the TV centre and it was constructed at the foothills of Kopetdag. It is also registered to the Guinness World Records and it has shape of a star.
Turkmenistan is the only country which is officially recognized by the United Nations as neutral while other countries like Switzerland and Sweden have only foreign policies. Turkmenistan is a very safe country to visit.
Turkmenistan has a long and proud history with famous archeological sites and beautiful mountain scenery. In the history, Turkmenistan known as a land of nomadic horse breeders in search of grazing pastures. It attracted conquerors like Alexander the Great, the Parthians, the Arabs, the Mongols and later by Russians because of its considerable size. Turkmenistan has been at the crossroads of civilizations for centuries; Merv is one of the oldest of oasis-cities in Central Asia and was one of the biggest cities of the Islamic world and a main stop on the Silk Road at that time. There are many other historical places in Turkmenistan such as, Koneurgench, Darvaza, Nokhur, Nisa, Yangykala and others.
People of Turkmenistan are called Turkmens. Turkmens are highly moral people. In the attitude toward life, they cultivate hospitality, respecting seniors, truthfulness, honesty, and sincere generosity. Hospitality is very important to friendly Turkmen people. Turkmens often judge a person by the way he welcomes and treats his guests. Turkmens value friendship and love, and keep friendly relations with neighbors. There are a number of national proverbs about this: “Before building a home, find out who thy neighbor is”. Turkmens also have a holiday dedicated to their neighbors. It is a good neighborliness day which is celebrated in the first Sunday of December annually. Turkmens are very proud people and evidence of this can be seen in the Turkmen holidays of Independence Day and Neutrality Day. Other interesting holidays of Turkmenistan are Novruz Bairam, Melon day, Carpet day and Turkmen horse festival and others.
Independence Day is one of the most important holidays in Turkmenistan. In this holiday you could discover more about the culture of Turkmenistan as traditional folklore tales are told, dance shows and traditional horsemanship shows take place. Nowruz Bairam held on March 21, it is the biggest festival of the year in Turkmenistan and Central Asia. This festival takes place on the spring equinox. It is the first day in New Year of the Iranian calendar; for this reason, it is sometimes referred to as Persian New Year. The festival is a celebration of the New Year. Typical meals are cooked and shared with families. Later, communities get together for street carnivals. Another holiday is the Melon Day which is celebrated annually on the second Sunday of August and is centered on a special crossbreed of the muskmelon, an important crop for the nation. The day’s festivities include a large display of the fruit and series of dances and other music events.
Turkmenistan is rich in culture and cuisine. The cuisine is piled high with meat, rice, sour milk products, cereals, vegetables, cheeses and butter made from camel’s milk. The most popular dish in Turkmenistan is pilaf, cooked from lamb, carrots, rice and onions and used cottonseed oil. Shurpa is another common dish. It is a soup made with mutton broth with potatoes and tomatoes but you can also add other vegetables to it. Traditional Turkmen bread is called chorek. Cooking chorek is considered an art. The clay oven where chorek is baked and tablecloth with food are considered the most sacred places in a house. Turkmenistan melons are known for their honey-slike taste. Other famous dishes are dograma, manti, gutap, and kavurma.
There are many ruins of ancient cities in Turkmenistan and Merv is one of them. Merv is a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1999, and it is four thousand years old. Until the 11th century, it was one of the important learning centers in the Islamic world. It was the capital city of the Great Seljuk Empire in the 11th – 12th centuries. In the 13th century, it had a population of more than 500,000 and was considered as one of the largest cities in the world at that time. It was destroyed by the Mongol Empire and since then it was rebuilt several times, but never became as it was before. Nowadays, you can walk around the ruins of ancient fortresses, medieval streets and even visit the mausoleum of Seljuk ruler Sultan Sanjar.
One of the most interesting touristic places is Darvaza – gas crater also known as a “Door to Hell”. The burning gas crater is one of the most unusual touristic highlights around the world. Darvaza means Gate in Turkmen language. Its flames from the huge crater in the middle of the desert awakes the imagination of both travelers and locals. The history of this crater is that Soviet geologists, in1971, drilled the cavern searching for gas and the cavern collapsed, releasing the gas. By the fear of getting poisoned, the gas was set on fire on purpose. the fact is that this gas cavern has been burning since then for more than 50 years now.
Another touristic place is Yangykala. It is surreal cliffs and landscape of canyons. The fascinating canyons of Yangykala formed 5.5 million years ago, and its limestone landscapes has been formed by the rivers and winds of the Karakum desert.
One of the interesting places in Turkmenistan is Koytendag which locating in the eastern part of the country. Koytendag is surrounded by largest mountains and deepest lakes. There is also the State Koytendag reserve where kept all the species of inhabitant animals. There you can also visit the most interesting caves and see natural waterfalls. Koytendag fascinates guests at once since its plants are peculiar and has the weirdest inhabitant animals. There has a place called Kaynar-baba and it is very famous for its springs. Springs are called the Karasu and Aksu and people tell interesting stories about them. Koytendag is very famous for its Dinosaur Plateau. It is located in the Hojapil preserve. The meaning of Hojapil is “Holy Elephants” in Turkmen language. Local people tell that these footprints belong the elephants of the legendary ancient military leader – Alexander The Great. Such a large number of dinosaur footprints have never been seen in anywhere else except this place in the world.
Turkmenistan is also famous for its health resorts and sanatoriums. Health protection system is developed these days all around the world. Sanatoriums have a lot of perspectives and resources for treatment of many serious illnesses. Bayramaly or “Turkmenbashi” sanatorium is in the southern part of Turkmenistan. It is a great place for people with kidneys and heart problems. Its climate is beneficial to nephritis treatment. Bayramaly is a climatic renal sanatorium and fame of this Turkmen land possessing wonderful medical characteristics such as dryness, heat and sun and that resembles Egyptian climate has been spread far beyond the borders. Moreover, treatment in the sanatorium makes health better and restores ability to work. Besides the renal treatment here, the treatment of people with nervous system is very efficient which was confirmed by scientific researches of many years.
Another touristic and also health resort place is Avaza. It is located on the Caspian Sea coast. Avaza is the national Tourist zone. There are a lot of white marble hotels, two yacht clubs, sporting centres, amusement parks, aqua parks, swimming pools, bowling alleys, mini golf courses, and a dinosaur park. Aqua park has indoor and outdoor parts where you will have an amazing time. Amusement park – there are couple of amusement parks along the beach and dinosaur park is one of them. Several hotels have bowling alleys, as well as couple of shopping centres. There are several mini golf courses in Avaza but the most beautiful one is at the front of the Berkarar Hotel, a hotel that is built in the shape of the Turkmen flag. Cruise on the canal is a great way to get a glimpse of all the hotels and amusement facilities.
To summarize, Turkmenistan is the country where you will see not only historical and archeological ruins of great cities but also it is the place where you will enjoy your time in every corner and have good health conditions in our valuable health resorts. Our neighborly people will always welcome you in our Motherland.
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