The 5 Stans of the Silk Road | Page 4 | Australian Frequent Flyer
Australian Frequent Flyer

Welcome to Australia's leading independent Frequent Flyer and Travel Resource since 1998!
Our site contains tons of information that will improve your travel experience.

Joining AFF is fast, simple & absolutely free - register now and take immediate advantage of these great BENEFITS.

Once registered, this box will disappear. And you will see fewer advertisements :)

The 5 Stans of the Silk Road

RooFlyer

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
14,776
Qantas
Platinum
Flights
My Map
One of the things that is very noticeable walking around is the dress of the women. Some young women are dressed as per their peers in the West. Tank tops or t shirts, skinny jeans etc. But the vast majority are in what I might call ( perhaps mistakenly) as 'traditional dress's. A to the ankle somewhat form hugging dress, usually in a colourful pattern. Many young women wear red patterns which I'm pretty sure is traditional. Long plaited hair is common.

Married women were what looks like a turban type thing, but I'm told it's a foam cap type of thing, covered in a scarf or piece of fabric.

Many of the outfits are gorgeous in pattern and very colourful. I'd love to get better pics but one has to be discreet!

87F16BDC-5C10-4AF3-B935-F50C61FAA327.jpeg

8A66D466-EBA8-4713-AF7E-50C069FB179F.jpeg

4F5669FE-D521-4A83-80EC-4FC81EC1E911.jpeg

500E8B37-D663-444E-A82A-7B58AF98D0A0.jpeg

AAA393E6-E25F-4329-A466-C656C0DC8AA2.jpeg
 

RooFlyer

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
14,776
Qantas
Platinum
Flights
My Map
The hotel unfortunately isn't near anything in particular (except the Circus!) so my orientation walk had to be jusy towards the botanical gardens, a few km away,

Typical footpath along a main road. The city is very green.

IMG_3967.jpg

Random fancy monument.

IMG_3966.jpg

After walking a few km, the fence revealed the botanical gardens to be a bit odd - lots of buildings and pretty dry. I kept going to the other side and the entrance and it was shut (its Thursday). :mad: These 8 pointed 'stars' are a feature here. 8 is the local lucky number.

IMG_3963.jpg

So here is a pic of some plants to keep the botanists happy.;)🙃

IMG_3964.jpg

Local flags:

IMG_3961.jpg

Another pic of the 'falcon' airport terminal building, taken this morning.

IMG_3976.jpg
 
Last edited:

egoode

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2003
Messages
39
The red dresses are for school. They have different colours depending on which level of school they are at. Young primary students wear green, I think it was red for high school and purple for university. I was there when it was the beginning of the school year and they had special ceremonies and things happening for the first day of school which were pretty cool.
 

Norjet441

Newbie
Joined
Jun 11, 2018
Messages
2
Qantas
Platinum
Virgin
Silver
Flights
My Map
Very good observation. Perhaps history has its part to play in creating that impression. I'm quite sure you're noticed though! You're only once of a few hundred foreign tourists visiting each year. And the expat head count probably doesn't reach double figures.

We always used to say the streets were so clean first thing in the morning you could almost eat your breakfast off them. Noticed lots of white marble and the occasional water fountain? Hope the cable car was working. On a clear day, the view is tremendous.
 

RooFlyer

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
14,776
Qantas
Platinum
Flights
My Map
We are doing the cable car this early evening, to get the sunset view. :) Also the 'indoor ferris wheel' which should be ... interesting.

Last night a group of us went to a nearby beer garden for dinner. Mainly because we found out beforehand that they had an English menu. Just one, mind you, but that was enough.

Beers! 5 manat (A$2) for 0.5 litre .

IMG_3939.jpg

Menu was still a bit hard to follow (this was just 1 page of 5, but the one we all ordered from) ,

IMG_3973.jpg

Most of us ordered the 'roast vegetables' and lamb shiskabob

The roast veges were a surprise ... served cold and like a compote, but nice enough.

IMG_3974.jpg

Lamb served de-skewer6 and tender and tasty. We had tried to convey 'no slad' (unsafe, we were told by our tour guide due to washing in local water), but salad came, and was left by all.

IMG_3975.jpg

Dinner came to A$17, incl an automatic 10% service charge. So the place isn't dirt cheap, but economical enough.

Got back to the hotel to crash, but discovered the hotel disco had opened up. I asked to change rooms and was moved without a problem , so a tick to the hotel for that, at least.
 
Last edited:

swoof

Newbie
Joined
Dec 22, 2006
Messages
2
Flights
My Map
I'm enjoying reading your report. I travelled much the same route as yours in May this year with World Expeditions. I enjoyed Turkmenistan although I probably may not have got much below the surface while there. A report on the CNN website on the country, posted a week, ago is worth a look. John Oliver also very recently looked at the country and its <ahem> unique leader. We were told that it's an offence to drive a dirty car in the capital and that all non government and non diplomatic vehicles have to be white.
 

RooFlyer

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
14,776
Qantas
Platinum
Flights
My Map
Just been for a long morning walk into the government etc precinct. About 30 degrees by noon.

Just wow. Like they say, Las Vegas meets Pyongyang. Kilometers of incredible buildings clad in white marble.

Unfortunately, most with police and soldiers outside, which means no pictures. They have whistles and who knows what else. When they say no pictures, they mean it. We couldn't even get within half a park distance from the Presidential Palace, let alone sneak a pic.

So a couple pics of some of the non governmental piles. These in no way do the place justice.

9187B2EC-F939-4492-B612-14FEF57B945C.jpeg

623869CC-1FA6-453A-97A7-73A30F4290AF.jpeg

BE5A36D5-3431-4885-8CB0-36C9CABF55C0.jpeg

3673BF76-19F7-4C42-A7B8-16871ED66648.jpeg
 

RooFlyer

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
14,776
Qantas
Platinum
Flights
My Map
C8D6FEAB-C845-4682-81E0-907B2C544474.jpeg

3D87D142-28E7-4C53-904E-C484B6AF2296.jpeg

A kids amusement park, with no-impact dodgem cars!

5B475E80-F1ED-43BC-86DC-A076847FC982.jpeg

The country had been isolated for a long time!

556D7A60-12F4-49F9-AB0C-8D07EE58CA83.jpeg

A nice park with some buildings of no consequence in the back ground.

8F0F9E5D-C6FF-461E-9876-A1ECCAA447B0.jpeg

Typical vista: apartments and major road with light traffic.

27E99D30-4918-4A5B-9882-44C77FF3A61F.jpeg

A vast hospital complex. There are many large gleaming medical institutes around town.

9227A558-B3A5-41B9-80A8-DE16FC903B3B.jpeg
 

JohnM

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2006
Messages
7,932
Qantas
Platinum
Flights
My Map
Oi, don’t show it all before I get there tomorrow 😜.

If Turkmenistan Airlines hadn’t moved the flight from today until tomorrow, I’d already be there... :mad:.
 

rginoz

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2015
Messages
42
Qantas
Platinum
Flights
My Map
I'm enjoying your trip report very much. Looking forward to seeing more of these very interesting places.
 

RooFlyer

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
14,776
Qantas
Platinum
Flights
My Map
Oi, don’t show it all before I get there tomorrow 😜.
I can assure you, after today, you ain't seen nutt'n yet!!!

And when you see it, you just won't believe it!

Consider Las Vegas a dumpy small town side-show.
 
Last edited:

JohnM

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2006
Messages
7,932
Qantas
Platinum
Flights
My Map
It’s been a mission this morning. 2h to check in and get through security at DEL but I’m at the gate and due to board soon.
 

RooFlyer

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
14,776
Qantas
Platinum
Flights
My Map
Hope the flight goes well, JohnM. See you later today.

Its now my second morning in Ashgabat, after what turned into a long day of sightseeing yesterday. It wasn't a 'tour' day, but since there were 9 Aussies with a day to spare, after a nights sleep, the Turkman guide arranged a minibus from the local tour operator for a 'half day' afternoon/evening tour from 2pm to 9pm, timed so we can go up the cable car behind the city and see the sunset. At a grand total cost of US$60, or about US$6.70/each, plus a dollar or so for some rides!!!

So, after seeing the city very well, all I can say is - this place is the most freak'n bizarre place I've ever seen. There is no other word for it. Kilometre after kilometre after kilometre of gleaming white marble clad buildings and monuments, many of waaaaay out there design; huge parks, immaculately maintained - I mean HUGE. Then, go again with the kilometre after kilometre of the white marble buildings in all the other directions. All linked by freeways with virtually no traffic. Its all sort of beautiful, but surreal is the better word.

Oh, the marble. From Carrara in Italy, of course! The stuff Michelangelo worked with. The finest. The Turkmans have consumed most of the mountain, and are still going strong!

Two 'unfortunatelys'. One, no photos of most government buildings, which is a shame, because they are the grandest and strangest in some cases. Two, its the scale of the place that hits you, and I can't give you any idea of that here. You'll have to visit and see for yourself.

So, to continue with yesterday's preliminary walk, before the bus tour.

'Apartments and an empty freeway.

IMG_4011.JPG


IMG_4013.JPG

The 'Continuation' monument with obligatory falcons

IMG_4019.JPG
 

Skyhawk

Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2016
Messages
162
Very few vehicles and pedestrians .... where are all of the people who live in the apartments? Or are they empty?
 

RooFlyer

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
14,776
Qantas
Platinum
Flights
My Map
And so to the bus tour. Again, unfortunately, many sections of 'no photos' and often no opportunity to stop on the freeways, so they are 'drive by' shots out the bus window. These pics myy give you a taste.

Two years ago they hosted the Asian 'indoor' games (plus soccer) .. Australia participated, apparently. So naturally they built a HUGE, grand 'Olympic area' (complete with Olympic rings), with a huge monorail connecting it all. All mostly unused now, except for the accommodation.

Monorail:

IMG_4032.JPG

IMG_4034.JPG

The 'Olympic Stadium', with horse's head ... horses are a BIG thing here. Especially with the President.

IMG_4040.JPG

A glimpse of the stadium

IMG_4042.JPG

The mascot, of course

IMG_4039.JPG

I think this was part of the athlete's village

IMG_4043.JPG
 

Community Statistics

Threads
84,837
Messages
1,983,733
Members
52,182
Latest member
cjny
Top