Turkmenistan has some of the remotest scenery on Earth. Most of the country is covered by the inhospitable Karakum Desert. The indigenous people are the Turkmen who mainly live outside the urban centres, many of whom still live a nomadic or semi-nomadic way of life. The rural Turkmen are a hospitable people whose culture and way of life has altered little in hundreds of years.
In the unique capital of Ashgabat there are many beautiful marble palaces and gleaming golden domes. It isa strange modern city that has been extensively rebuilt in the years since independence, and its futuristic and outrageous public buildings are an extraordinary sight!Little is now left of the original Russian Imperial city that was destroyed by a massive earthquake in the 1940s.
One unusual attraction is the famous Darvasa Gas Crater, lying deep in the deserts of Turkmenistan. Initially the result of an industrial accident by Soviet gas prospectors, it is a huge burning crater that has been on fire for decades by being kept alight by the natural gas in the ground. It's a bewildering and mesmerising sight, especially after dark!