STANTOURS Turkmenistan Adventure Trips
Central Asia
Turkmenistan Kazakhstan Uzbekistan Azerbaijan Kyrgyzstan

Tour Styles
Culture & Adventure
Overland & Train
Ethno, Arts & Crafts
Eco & Trekking
Extreme & Expedition
Guided Tour to the Main Attractions
Ahal Attractions
Balkan Attractions
Dashogus Attractions
Lebap Attractions
Mary Attractions
| Visas | Transportation | Hotels | Ticketing | Map | Info & FAQ | Embassy |
Info & FAQ

Climate Medical Money Rugs & Jewellery
Customs Security Clothing & Practical Communication

Climate

Wunderground Weather
Being the southernmost region of the former Soviet Empire, Turkmenistan has by far the highest temperatures in Central Asia, but owing to the low humidity even in summer, this can be bearable. In the south the climate is also slightly less continental than in the north and temperatures seldom drop below -5°C. Northern areas on the Uzbek border and Khorezm (Dashogus) can become very cold in winter with temperatures dropping below -20°C. The best months for moderate temperatures are April and May for beautiful blossoming deserts and mountains. September and October are great for an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables due to the harvest season. There is snow in the north and above 1,000 m in the mountains in January and February.

Medical & Health

Medical care in Turkmenistan is limited. Due to the partial privatisation of pharmacies, availability of non-prescription drugs has increased, but there is still a shortage of some medicines. Two western style clinics in Ashgabat can conduct consultations and / or operations performed by foreign (German and Turkish) specialists.

Travellers are advised to take medical insurance. No vaccinations are obligatory, although Hepatitis vaccinations are recommendable.

Money

Turkmenistan is a cash-only economy. However, several new hotels in Ashgabat and a few restaurants accept credit cards. Vnesheconombank cashes traveller's checks and accepts Visa, Master Card and Eurocard for USD cash advances charging 5% of the amount for this service. Travellers are advised to take only new, clean U.S. dollar bills (1993 and newer) with them. Except at the relevant borders exchange rates for other currencies such as Euros and Pounds are not favourable.

The local currency, the Manat comes in 50, 100, 500, 1,000, 5,000 and 10,000 Manat bills and 500 and 1000 Manat coins and is freely exchangable throughout the country at a variable market rate. Like elsewhere in Central Asia it is not recommendable and illegal to exchange money on the street.

The official exchange rate has been fixed at 5,350 for one USD while the black market rate fluctuates between 20,000 and 22,000 Manat.

Rugs & Jewellery

In order to take Turkmen rugs or jewellery out of the country you need to present an official receipt and registration form from the State or Hotel shop where you bought the items to customs officials. Items purchased otherwise such as those bought at Tolkuchka Bazaar) are subject to a documentation procedure that requires our assistance and takes at least one full working day. Many antique souvenirs, especially silver, and items dating back as little as 20 years are entirely restricted from export.

Customs

Upon arrival and departure from Turkmenistan you are requested to fill out a Customs Declaration in duplicate. You should declare the exact amount of foreign currency you are taking in/out of the country as well as all electronic items carried (cameras, telephones, computers, etc) and valuable souvenirs bought before or during your trip (especially rugs and handicrafts). You should keep one copy of the stamped declaration for exit or onwards travel within the CIS in order to facilitate smooth customs procedures throughout your trip.

Click here to download a Turkmen Customs declaration in PDF format (96 kb). Note that the declaration will only be accepted in A5 Format printed on front and back.

X-rays at the Ashgabat International airport are film-safe; for other airports and borders you should keep your film and camera in a special bag or present them for visual check.

Security

Turkmenistan is a very safe place for travellers. Nevertheless, all foreigners should carry their passport with the valid visa at all the times. Like anywhere else in Central Asia, while travelling overland and at airports & railway stations you may become subject to routine police registration checks. Please respect that you should not take any pictures at police controls, customs facilities, airports, railway stations and bridges.

Clothing & Practical

Turkmenistan is a Muslim country and it is advisable to wear long sleeved clothes for both men and women especially in rural areas. Nevertheless women are not expected to wear headscarves (let alone veils), but a head covering and sunglasses (bring a spare pair!) become essential during summer. When trekking wearing high boots is preferable to sandals as a protection from snakes, spiders and the sun. On off-road trips bring a light scarf to protect against dust and bring dust-proof bags for your cameras.Bottled water and soft drinks are freely available throughout the country and you should drink as much as possible to avoid dehydration. In rural areas check the seal on plastic bottle lids to ensure the bottles have not been refilled and do not drink tap water unless boiled.

There is good and safe restaurant fare available throughout the capital and at some restaurants in the larger cities. Otherwise it is preferable to eat cooked food (as is local custom) and to avoid unpeeled fruit and vegetables. Hepatitis A&B immunisations and plenty of mineral and vitamin substitutes are strongly advised.As a rule carry toilet paper, wet napkins and a small flashlight for some of the less attractive toilet facilities and preferably use the countryside on overland trips.Most foodstuffs and toiletry are available in Ashgabat, and a few basic items throughout the country. Nevertheless you should rely on your own batteries and film.

Communication

The local mobile phone network (BCTI) works throughout the city areas, but some international GSM systems do not work in Turkmenistan. Long distance calls are available from the better hotels, some private homes and at the post / telegraph office. Public phones are scarce throughout the country and usually not suitable for international calls. There are several internet-cafes in the capital.

Services

STANTOURS can arrange for your Hotel bookings, deal with your visa requirements, flight reservations and ticketing throughout Turkmenistan and Central Asia at competitive rates and for a minimal fee.
© 2001-2010 STANtours last modified March 3, 2002