Travel

Crossing the Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan Border

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Crossing the Turkmenistan-UzbekistanBorder

I was given a four-day transit visa by Turkmenistan immigration so I had to leave on time or risk deportation (probably, maybe).After my overnight stay in the Darvaza Gas Crater, fittingly dubbed the Door to Hell by people for its creepy but romantic (a combination that doesn’t work for people) ambience at night then a […]

Travel

The Beautiful Ruins of Konye-Urgench

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Konye-Urgench

After saying goodbye to the Darvaza Gas Crater, we took off for a short tour of Konye-Urgench before I cross the border to Uzbekistan. We left at 9 a.m. since Konye-Urgench is 270 kilometers away, or around 3 and a half hours of driving.  I really debated with myself whether or not I will visit […]

Travel

Overnight Tour of Darvaza Gas Crater

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Overnight Tour of Darvaza

This post was first published in 2017 in my old travel blog, Erudite Traveller. During the height of the Cold War in the 70s, a team of Soviet geologists looking for oil fields excavated a likely spot in Derweza village in the Karakum desert. Unfortunately, the site they chose was on top of a cavernous […]

Travel

Riding an Akhal Teke Horse in Turkmenistan

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Akhal Teke riding experience in turkmenistan

This article was first published in my travel blog, Erudite Traveller, in 2017. While doing my research for the Turkmenistan leg of my Silk Road trip, I stumbled upon the existence of the Akhal Teke horse. The Akhal Teke – also called Golden Horses and Celestial Horses – belong to the world’s most ancient existing […]

Travel

The Wonderfully Strange City of Ashgabat

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Ashgabat Trip

After my short visit to Ancient Merv, I had a simple dinner at the canteen beside Mary’s train station to wait for my 11 pm overnight train to Ashgabat, Turkmenistan’s capital 360 kilometers to the west. I asked Sergey*, my tour guide, to book the train tickets instead of driving to the capital since I […]

Travel

A Visit to Ancient Merv

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A Visit to Ancient Merv

After my relatively painless border crossing from Iran, I was pumped to finally start the next leg of my Silk Road journey. This time visiting Ancient Merv, located near one of Turkmenistan’s largest cities, Mary.  Waiting for me right outside the border gates was Sergey*, my local tour guide. My first request to Sergey was […]

Travel

Crossing the Iran-Turkmenistan Border

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Crossing the Iran-Turkmenistan Border

This post was first published in my old travel blog, Erudite Traveller on 20 December 2017. One of the things I obsessively prepared for during the planning stage of my Silk Road 2017 trip is how to cross to Turkmenistan, a land-locked country with border crossings in Iran, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan. In the end, […]

Travel

Communing with the devout in Mashhad, Iran

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Communing with the Devout in Mashhad Iran

This post was originally published in my old travel blog, Erudite Traveller on 05 December 2017. Mashhad, Iran’s spiritual capital and second largest city is located more than 900 kilometers to the northeast and borders Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. This made Mashhad  the perfect entry point to my next destination: the ancient Achaemenid satrapy and Seljuk […]