Friday, September 30, 2022

Money & Shopping in Turkmenistan

AsiaTurkmenistanMoney & Shopping in Turkmenistan

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Turkmenistan is Central Asia’s most costly nation. A simple double room will cost you USD30. Around USD60 is a more comfortable choice. A street snack costs between $1 and $3. A decent dinner at an Ashgabat restaurant costs about USD20.


Turkmenistan’s national currency is the new manat (TMT) = 100 tenge. In October 2014, €1 equaled TMT3.57, GBP1 equaled TMT4.55, and USD1 equaled TMT2.85. The US dollar is commonly recognized, but rules state that it should only be accepted in foreign hotels or at the airport. At the larger cities, credit cards are only accepted in large international hotels and banks. Only Visa credit cards are presently accepted (MasterCard will be added soon, although it is currently only valid at one bank in Ashgabat).


The bazaars are the beating heart of every Turkmen town. Bazaars are typically open everyday from 08:00 to 20:00, including Sundays. Large marketplaces, such as the Tolkuchka Bazaar on Ashgabat’s outskirts, are only open two or three mornings each week. During the cotton harvest season in fall, bazaars outside of Ashgabat will be closed during daytime hours. Sundays and lunchtime are off limits to the public.

Why not add Turkmenbashi’s self-penned Ruhnama book, which explores his ideas on what it is to be a Turkmen, to your own dictatorial library? Surprisingly, this is a logical read.


Turkoman carpets are well-known for their deep reds and geometric designs. Some traditional designs are unique to each tribe, and an expert can usually identify the tribe based on the form of the medallion-like pattern components known as guls. However, a combination is quite frequent; when a weaver from one tribe marries into another, she may incorporate aspects from both in her works.

Turkoman carpets are often referred to as “Bokhara” rugs since Bukhara, in neighboring Uzbekistan, was a center for their commerce. Turkmenistan is not the sole source of Turkoman carpets; Uzbekistan, as well as northern Iran and Afghanistan, have Turkoman populations. Other Afghan carpets are strongly inspired by Turkoman design, and Turkoman patterns are often imitated in India and Pakistan; sellers may also refer to these rugs as “Bokhara,” although while some of them are excellent rugs, they are neither as high quality nor as expensive as genuine Turkoman rugs.

Wool is often colored using synthetic dyes rather than natural dyes nowadays; this was an issue in the 19th and early 20th centuries since early synthetic dyes were of poor quality. Although it is no longer a problem, some collectors still prefer natural dyes, mostly because they produce superior arbrash, or subtle color variation throughout a rug.

Carpets bought at a bazaar or private store need an export permit. The Expert Commission in Ashgabat (phone 398879 and 398887, working hours Mon to Fri 14:30 to 17:30, Sat 10:00 to 12:00) must declare that the carpet is not more than 50 years old and may be exported. This costs TMT115 per square metre and may take many days to complete. Furthermore, carpets larger than 1.5 square metres are subject to an export tax of TMT400 per square metre. payable in USD at the official rate of currency at the time of departure at customs

Turkmenhaly, a state-owned enterprise, operates several carpet manufacturers. If you purchase a carpet from a government store, the export costs are usually included in the price, but customs will levy a commission fee of 0.2 percent of the carpet’s price.

Look for publications by Dr. Murray Eiland, a California collector, for an approachable (and reasonably priced) guide to these carpets. If you plan to spend a significant amount of money on these carpets, particularly if you are interested in older carpets, it may be worthwhile to investigate further. Tappiseries de l’Asie Centrale by AA Bogolyubov, the Tsarist administrator of Turkmenistan, was published in Russian and French in St. Petersburg in 1905. It was a limited edition with hand-painted drawings that is now very rare and costly (several thousand dollars). Carpets of Central Asia, edited by J.M.A. Thompson, was published in the United Kingdom in the 1960s; book is no longer in print but may be obtained in libraries. It is considerably simpler to locate and much less costly than the original on the secondhand market.

How To Travel To Turkmenistan

By plane Turkmenistan Airlines flies nonstop to Ashgabat from Abu Dhabi, Almaty, Amritsar, Bangkok, Beijing, Birmingham, Delhi, Dubai, Frankfurt, Istanbul, Kiev, London, Minsk, Moscow, and Saint Petersburg. At the front of the cabin, look for a picture of Sapamurat 'Turkmenbashi' Niyazov. The timetables are often inconvenient, and there is no...

How To Travel Around Turkmenistan

By plane 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...

Visa & Passport Requirements for Turkmenistan

To enter Turkmenistan, all nationalities must get a visa. A temporary transit visa may be acquired for independent travel, however obtaining a complete visa may be challenging. The majority of border guards are youthful conscripts, and a modest bribe may let you get through the border and obstacles. Arranging a...

Destinations in Turkmenistan

Regions in Turkmenistan While the provinces are a useful method to divide vast Turkmenistan into regional travel regions, keep in mind that one geographical region dominates them all—the harsh desert wasteland known as the Karakum. Ahal ProvinceThe country's center area, which includes the capital. Balkan ProvinceThe western province of the Caspian Basin. Dashoguz...

Things to do in Turkmenistan

Horse trekking with Akhal Teke horses: Orexca offers a 12 day Turkem Akhalteke Horse Ride Wonders of the Karakum Desert package that includes transportation from Ashgabar to Geokdepe Stud Farm, a ride through the North East of the Karakum Desert to Tummekli, nomadic villages of Chyria, Gurrukly, Hakysh Gongurajy, Orazsahet, and the...

Food & Drinks in Turkmenistan

Food in Turkmenistan Restaurants will provide distinctively mediocre Russian food. Plov and other Central Asian cuisine may be available at marketplaces, as in Uzbekistan. If you can locate it, try Caspian Sea sturgeon, which is occasionally cooked in a 'tempura' manner. Meals often begin with a soup, such as chorba, a...

Festivals & Holidays in Turkmenistan

Public holidays in Turkmenistan are divided into three categories: (a) holidays commemorating historical events (the defense of the Geok Teppe fortress in 1881, World War II in 1941-45) and landmarks since Turkmenistan's independence in 1991 (Independence Day, Neutrality Day, State Flag Day, Day of Revival and Unity); (b) traditional...

Language & Phrasebook in Turkmenistan

Turkmen is spoken by about 70% of the population of Turkmenistan, while Russian is spoken by 50%. If you are unable to converse in Turkmen, Russian is your best option. Everyone does not have the time, resources, or money to study Turkmen. However, acquiring basic Turkmen is recommended out...

Culture Of Turkmenistan

Mass media Turkmenistan publishes a variety of newspapers and monthly publications. Turkmenistan presently transmits seven national television stations via satellite. Altyn asyr, Yashlyk, Miras, Turkmenistan (in seven languages), Turkmen owazy, Turkmen sportive, and Ashgabat are among them. There are no commercial or private television channels in the country. State-controlled publications...

History Of Turkmenistan

Turkic-speaking Oghuz tribes migrated from Mongolia into present-day Central Asia around the eighth century AD. These Oghuz formed the ethnic foundation of the current Turkmen people as part of a strong confederation of tribes. The term "Turkmen" was originally given to Oghuz tribes that embraced Islam and started to...

Stay Safe & Healthy in Turkmenistan

Stay Safe in Turkmenistan Turkmenistan is a safe and welcoming nation as long as visitors avoid political discussions. Politics is still a highly delicate subject, and it is your duty to avoid becoming involved in or speaking out against the government, since doing so is a felony. Do not, under...



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