Internal flights are available by Turkmenistan Airlines, which operates daily flights between Ashgabat, Mary, Turkmenbashi, Dashoguz, and a few more cities. Flights are subsidized and very inexpensive owing to fuel prices. A flight from Ashgabat to Mary or Dashoguz costs about $5 USD. Turkmenistan Airlines has a new fleet of Boeing 717s, which were bought in 2001. It’s possible that you won’t be allowed to shoot freely at and around the airport, although this isn’t unheard of elsewhere.
At least in Ashgabat, like in most of the former Soviet Union, “taxis” are largely unauthorized – and may be hailed by waving down a vehicle on the side of the road. Negotiate and agree on the location and price ahead of time – knowing Russian will come in useful. The roads in Ashgabat and Turkmenbashi are excellent. The route between Turkmenbashi and Ashgabat is being renovated to a two-lane, dual carriageway.
The normal prudent measures apply. If your instincts tell you that something isn’t quite right, then trust them.
Across the nation, roadblocks are in place. You will be pulled over and requested to show your passport and vehicle documents. Although uncomfortable, this procedure will not take long.
Take the right lane. Minimum age: 17 years old. Permits from other countries are needed. Speed limit: 60km/h in cities, 90-120km/h on motorways. Police officers may also stop you for no apparent reason. Just be nice and don’t bribe them. Radar guns may be used to determine your speed. If you are caught speeding, you should bargain for a fine; a few dollars should enough in most instances.
Traveling by rail between some of Turkmenistan’s main towns is feasible, but trips are sluggish (up to 16 hours from Ashgabat to Turkmenbashi) – therefore, unless you have a particular interest, flying is the easiest method to move across the country.
Turkmendemiryollari (Turkmenistan Zeleznice), Ashgabat, phone 3632 255545, fax 3632 473858, provides rail service in Turkmenistan. They include soft and hard accommodations, as well as sleeping and eating carriages, on the main trains. Tourists utilizing Turkmen train services can expect to pay higher rates than locals and to pay in foreign currency. Turkmendemiryollari (Turkmenistan Zeleznice) runs trains from Ashgabat to Turkmenbashi, then to Turkmenabat via Mary and back.