Moving into the 126th nation of my travels, I’m as soon as once more struck by the world’s variety.
Turkmenistan is a rustic that carries the historic burden of wars and pure disasters. However God has additionally bestowed upon it a wealth of sources within the type of oil and gasoline. All through the years, the nation has learnt to embrace change and progress in city aesthetics. We might imagine that Turkmenistan could be very completely different from our personal nation, however it’s this uniqueness that makes it a vacation spot price visiting.
Turkmenistan is a pivotal station within the Silk Street of Asia and Europe, with an space of 440,000sq km. They’ve a inhabitants of six million individuals, of which 97% are liberal Muslims. It’s a republic that virtually rebuilt itself from the bottom up after a 9.0-magnitude earthquake in 1948 worn out nearly 2/Three of its inhabitants.
Along with that catastrophe, the nation additionally lived by means of 66 years of socialist rule beneath the Soviet Union.
Turkmenistan solely gained independence in 1991 however has unexpectedly grow to be certainly one of immediately’s prime powers among the many 5 Central Asian international locations located alongside the traditional Silk Street. The federal government immediately actively carries a deliberate economic system technique and contributes equal welfare, medication and free training for all times for all its residents.
The primary president (who died of coronary heart illness in 2006) and the second president (who’s now in his 14th yr of rule), are extensively revered leaders. Tolerant, patriotic leaders with a coronary heart for the individuals; there are definitely few on this planet.
Since 1995, the federal government declared that Turkmenistan could be a impartial nation and won’t take part in any worldwide wars and disputes, emulating the peaceable needs of Switzerland and Norway. Apparently, each presidents insisted on constructing a stronger metropolis, and is consistently modernising and giving their individuals a superb life. After all, it’s essential that oil manufacturing capability and earnings should rise steadily, as Turkmenistan’s agricultural, industrial, tourism industries have grow to be stagnant, and 75% of their uncooked supplies are reliant on imports.
Our aircraft flew from the traditional metropolis of Mary to the nation’s capital, town of Ashgabat. The primary impression of this metropolis that started to develop in 1881 is that of an overachiever displaying his energy. The evening lights within the night dazzle like in Las Vegas – such a good looking sight!
For those who look fastidiously, you will note a younger impartial nation that began off poor however now has 1000’s of Italian marble buildings on each avenue within the metropolis, neatly organized and superbly formed. It’s an incredible sight to behold, and undoubtedly one thing vacationers can take pleasure in.
This treasure kingdom has each proper to be “smug” – Ashgabat is listed within the Guinness World Data for being essentially the most “marble-clad, whitest, cleanest and non-smoking metropolis”. What an honour!
Nevertheless, there are rumours saying it’s abandoned and describing it as a “ghost city” with just a few guests. That is simply reckless as I can guarantee you none of rumours is true!
I love the dominance of the white blocks of residential towers, authorities places of work, and the state-owned shops within the metropolis. The roads are spacious, vibrant and dust-free, whereas 90% of the automobiles are additionally white, exuding a clear feeling. The federal government constructed this new space that comes with many worldwide designer’s works. You possibly can see this on the street lamps, eco-friendly pedestrian streets, inexperienced parks, massive monuments, large sculptures, vibrant fountains, bus stops, state-run outlets, wedding ceremony palace and airports. Every one appears superior and excellent.
It is usually attention-grabbing to notice that the nation has a textile minister and a horse minister. The Ferghana horse of Turkmenistan was as soon as Genghis Khan’s private warhorse, a uncommon and treasured species with solely 3,000 left on this planet. One of many horse minister’s duties is to make sure that their Ferghana horses mature safely (the president additionally has a deep love for horses and canines).
In comparison with different international locations within the Center East, Turkmenistan is much more religiously open-minded. They’re Sunni Muslims, however they don’t undertake the non secular cultures of Saudi Arabia. Most significantly, the road between politics and faith there may be distinct.
Nevertheless, they’re nonetheless a conservative nation and considerably restrictive when it comes to “connecting with the world”. Until circumvention might be finished, 90% of international web sites are blocked there. Actually, solely 10-20% of the individuals can have entry to broadband companies. Due to this, one could understand Turkmens as pitiful folks who’re shut off from the world. In actuality, although, you and I do know that the net world is a potent poison. Clearly, Turkmens don’t have to spend time on-line to find out about world information. Furthermore, they’re surprisingly pleased and humane.
Give it some thought: 80% of the nation’s land is desert, and it’s sparsely populated. Received’t a broad-minded boldness develop? The traditionally skilled and ethnically blended Turkmenistan have streets stuffed with good-looking and wholesome women and men, all smiling at one another. As there are fewer than 20,000 inbound vacationers, the locals are exceptionally keen on seeing international vacationers. They may take the initiative to pose for a photograph with you; even the market aunties will come swarming like bees. Aren’t they pleasant?
On the market, I noticed the environment. There are not any loud noises, the place is clear and there are not any foul smells both. Costs are clearly labelled for all greens, fruits and groceries – no hidden or deceptive tags, it’s a civilised nation. The markets are additionally non-smoking areas.
Actually, after being oppressed by the Soviet Union for 66 years, the Turkmens have grow to be utterly liberated from the constraints of faith, mindset, and materials enjoyment – they had been reborn, so to talk.
It is just within the 28th yr of improvement however its infrastructures and academic achievements are sufficient for me to drool. With strong constructions and a broad path, the subsequent step is to see how a complete of 30 state-run schools and universities can domesticate skills and smart individuals.
Within the state-run six-star resort, a workers was delighted to know that we had been from Malaysia. Because it seems, most individuals within the 5 Central Asian international locations know that Malaysia is a various nation.
They joked, “I’ll attempt driving the Ferghana horse to go to your nation’s ‘Outdated Horse’ (a pun on Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad’s title).” They’re certainly humorous. Maybe everybody has a skeleton of their closet?
The views expressed are completely the author’s personal.
From Dec 22, Turkmenistan Airways will resume flights from Ashgabat to Kuala Lumpur Worldwide Airport, thrice weekly. The flight is about eight hours.
Merv Historic Website
Mary is at the moment the fourth largest metropolis within the nation, with a inhabitants of 130,000. Merv, an enormous 300BC, man-made deserted metropolis lies 10km away. In keeping with historians, Merv was an vital political economic system of the Silk Street and a communication centre for philosophers within the 13th century. At the moment, the resident inhabitants was about 500,000 individuals. From Persia to Greece, Mongolia, and Arabia, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam successively entered Merv, thus leaving a precious tradition of beliefs and ideologies, which incorporates the muse of fundamental training. Nevertheless, resulting from numerous results and the aftermath of battle, Merv was utterly deserted within the arms of the Soviet Union in 1989. In 1999, it was declared a Unesco World Heritage Website.
Darvaza Gasoline Crater
Most vacationers come for this “Door to Hell”. Though known as a “door”, it’s really a man-made crater stuffed with flammable gasoline.
Within the early 1970s, geologists got here to the realm to seek for underground pure gasoline. After digging three pits within the desert, no pure gasoline was discovered however an oil area was found simply 10km away.
Shortly after that, the outdated pits that had been dug out (measuring about 50-100m in diameter) began to burn… this blazing flame has been burning for 48 years and by no means extinguished! It’s a man-made miracle.
It burns across the clock, however essentially the most appropriate time to witness that is within the night, when you may higher expertise the “infernal fireplace”, making it appear and appear to be it’s the entrance to Hell.
Leesan, the founding father of Apple Holidays, has travelled to 127 international locations, six continents and enjoys sharing his journey tales and insights. He has additionally authored two books.
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