Turkmenistan by car: mandatory GPS tracker questions

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ninanina
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Turkmenistan by car: mandatory GPS tracker questions

Post by ninanina »

Dear all,

I will be crossing Turkmenistan by car and on a transit visa soon and was wondering if anyone has information about the mandatory GPS tracker that foreign cars receive at the border:
- Is this practice still up to date?
- If yes, will the border guards prescribe a route, or is it possible to take another road to the exit point?
- How strictly will I have to follow the route to stay out of trouble?

Thanks in advance for any help,
Nina
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steven
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Re: Turkmenistan by car: mandatory GPS tracker questions

Post by steven »

There are always ways to get around it, I think. Leave the tracker in place, go off, then pick it up again for instance. Even before the GPS tracker, you were not allowed to go a different route - there are checkpoints along the way, so they know where you are anyway,

How far exactly do you want to go off-route?

In general, you are a foreigner, not much can happen to you, the most they can do is deport you if you do not have a lot of cash money on you. Just make sure you don't have phone numbers of local people in your phone etc.
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ninanina
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Re: Turkmenistan by car: mandatory GPS tracker questions

Post by ninanina »

Thanks a lot for the info, that's very helpful.
I don't know yet where exactly I would want to go off-route, I just find it hard to stick to one prescribed path when travelling which is why I wanted to check my options :)
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ninanina
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Re: Turkmenistan by car: mandatory GPS tracker questions

Post by ninanina »

I have one more question actually :)
will the route be given to me when entering the country, or can I tell them the route I want to take?

(to make it more concrete: I will enter at the Bājgirān/Asgabat border and exit at the Kunja-Urgench border. Do I automatically have to take the road via Devreze, or can I take the one via Tejen and Mary?
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steven
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Re: Turkmenistan by car: mandatory GPS tracker questions

Post by steven »

It will be the Darwaza route. That is why it is a transit visa.
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ninanina
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Re: Turkmenistan by car: mandatory GPS tracker questions

Post by ninanina »

makes sense! thanks
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Danko
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Re: Turkmenistan by car: mandatory GPS tracker questions

Post by Danko »

There are two ways from Ashgabat to Kunya-Urgench:
1. Ashgabat-Darvaza-Kunyaurgench-500km
2. Ashgabat-Mary-Turkmenabat-Dashoguz-Kunyaurgench - 1250km.
If you want to visit Mary it is better to drive to and back from Mary to Ashgabat and then go to the north. About 170km to the north from Darvasa there will a small town with a gas station and police checkpoint to your left. It is 80km to Kunyaurgench straight from there but the road is extremely bad. You can take a right turn from the checkpoint and drive to Kunyaurgench through Dashoguz. It will be 200km but good roads.
If you have any other questions, just write me personally. Good luck!
P.S. Lower tire pressure helps a lot on bumpy roads
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ninanina
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Re: Turkmenistan by car: mandatory GPS tracker questions

Post by ninanina »

Danko, that's amazingly helpful information. Thank you so much!
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ninanina
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Re: Turkmenistan by car: mandatory GPS tracker questions

Post by ninanina »

here some updates/experiences, maybe they are of use for somebody:
- the route we were supposed to take was negotiated and written down on a paper we got when entering at Gaudan. it would have been possible to change the point of exiting when entering. we could also have chosen another route than the darwaza route from Gaudan to Urgench, or at least so it seemed.
- the police checkpoints were very lax on us, and none of them checked our assigned route. at the exit, it didn't appear as if they checked the gps tracker or had done so. this probably can change from day to day, so handle this anecdotal evidence with care :)
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GMJA
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Re: Turkmenistan by car: mandatory GPS tracker questions

Post by GMJA »

We drove Turkmenistan this month. They didn't give us GPS. We made a big detour to Derweze (our rout was from Farap to Altyn Asyr through Mary). Police stopped us several times on the road to Derweze and didn't care about our transit route. Also the cameras at the checkpoints seemed harmless. At the exit border they had absolutely no data about our actual route. We kept on claiming we drove directly, just stayed 1 day in Ashgabad.
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