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 […]

Travel

Wandering in Tehran on Ashura

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WANDERING IN TEHRAN

I knew that my trip was off to a roaring start when my Thai Airways plane en route to Tehran announced that alcohol is to be served less than an hour into the flight.  I have sworn off alcohol due to my fear of hangovers but decided to join in on the fun. Alcohol is strictly […]

Travel

Accidental Pilgrim in Tehran on Ashura

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Ashura in Tehran

Disclaimer: This post was originally published in my old travel blog, Erudite Traveller in 2017.   “It’s Ashura,” my guide said, surprised and confused when I asked why there were so many people on Tehran’s streets close to midnight. She probably assumed that I knew that  I will be in her country during a religious […]