Turkmenistan is one of the least visited countries in the world. Having been there leaves me wondering why. Understandably, the further you get from the capital Ashgabat, the more rural it feels. However, for those who wish to explore the unexplored, there are fewer opportunities than this.
With fewer visitors than North Korea, it is highly unlikely that you will encounter tourists anywhere other than with your tour group. And, yes, you will be with a tour group. Travel in Turkmenistan, at least when we went, was only allowed with a registered, state-appointed tour guide.
From the monuments of the deserted streets of Ashghabat, to the Darvaza gas crater and the rolling would-be mothers of Konye Urgench, Turkmenistan has something to tantalise your taste for intrigue at every turn.
More about our journey in Turkmenistan to come, but for now, here’s some pics.