Turkmenistan re-opening Q&A

All about Turkmenistan
HalaMadrid
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2023 7:54 pm
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Re: Turkmenistan re-opening Q&A

Post by HalaMadrid »

I visited Turkmenistan last month and tried like everyone else to get a transit visa with no luck. Eventually, I emailed every single tour operator (you can find the list on the government website) hoping corruption would work my way and someone would just let me pay for the LOI and everyone said no except for Saada tour for $150 each to be paid in cash when we arrived in Ashgabat (we were entering through the Uzbekistan border with Dashoguz).

But it wasn't all sunshine and rainbows, at the border the guards asked where our guide was and we told them we would be meeting him after the border. They were having none of this and called the tour company straight away. Saada told them no problem we're sending our guide and he will be there in 30 mins (strange considering they're based in Ashgabat). Our guide arrived and walked us through the rest of the process. I thought he would take us to Dashoguz and then let us go free but when we got to his car he said the rules changed and we need a tour guide with us 24/7 (we knew this but played dumb) and it would cost $350 more ($650 total with the LOI's). We negotiated and said we didn't have a lot of cash on us and we were going to Iran next where our cards don't work so we can't pay. Eventually the guide said his fee was $250 and that we could negotiate when we get to Ashgabat for the rest. This was fine with us because our guide was super nice, showed up with 30 mins notice and the $250 included being driven to Darvaza, dinner, night in a Yurt and then driven to the border with Ashgabat (Cars from outside Ashgabat aren't allowed to drive in Ashgabat).

After getting to Ashgabat the next day I was getting ready for a difficult negotiation mostly talking about how it's not our fault that they didn't know the rules of their own country. But when we got to Saada's main office the person who we met was super nice and just said "look it's our fault, you already paid the driver for yesterday, just pay the driver for today and your drive to the border tomorrow $50 and we wont charge you at all for the LOI's" So in the end we ended up spending $300 for two people to go through Turkmenistan and stay for two nights. But unfortunately for everyone else we just got lucky and I don't think it will be possible anymore to get as good of a deal as we got.

If anyone has anyother questions let me know.
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DamiaanReijnaers
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Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2017 9:20 am
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Re: Turkmenistan re-opening Q&A

Post by DamiaanReijnaers »

Despite the above messages, I can confirm that the Temir Baba border crossing is 100% open for tourism (and has been for some time). The information on the Caravanistan page is wrong. I have asked multiple people for confirmation, and crossed myself on the 9th of August (this Wednesday; in fact, I am writing this message from Turkmenistan).

It is quite a difficult border to get to, though (and according to the officials there, not many people do the crossing through Temir Baba). In my opinion, the best bet would be to hitch-hike any of the many trucks going towards the border. The last 40km of the road on the Kazakh side is really bad (for trucks), although no problem at all for a 4x4. If taking a taxi (from Zhanaozen probably), be very aware of the driver not taking you to the Temir Baba mausoleum, which is about 70km still from the border.

I prefered to hitchhike, but had a tight schedule (Turkmen driver would meet me at 9am at the border) so decided to take a taxi this time. Despite confirming multiple times, in Russian, that I intended the Temir Baba border post, and getting full confirmation from the driver in his own words that we would go to the border point, I got scammed anyway (and had to hitch the rest of the 70km anyway). Unfortunately just a pure scam, no miscommunication. Bad luck, just met a dishonest person who first seemed to look nice/honest. I could write a longer crossing report, but I have not much internet/time at the moment.

By the way, I would actually recommend the border crossing as the road past Gara-Bogaz is very beautiful, and it makes for a cool journey if later crossing back into Uzbekistan through any of the more popular northern crossings.
Fra&Sim wrote:
Tue Jul 04, 2023 10:22 pm
DamiaanReijnaers wrote:
Mon Jul 03, 2023 7:35 pm
TheNonFlyingDutchman wrote:
Mon Jul 03, 2023 2:23 pm


We’re talking about the Alat-Turkmenbashi line here 😅. The Alat-Kuryk connection I took myself last April and is surely running. But as far as I found out, the connection to Turkmenistan is not operational for passengers at the moment. Would love to be proven wrong though!
Dear (Non) Flying Dutchman,

By any chance, do you know whether the Temir Baba border post is currently working? I read mixed newsreports. Planning to do Alat-Kuryk-Temir Baba-Kara Bogaz-Turkmenbashi in about a month...
Hello!As I've said some pages ago Temir Baba border is closed for tourism,open only for local truck driver and the highway is being rebuilded and expected to open,if all is OK,in June 2024,source Turkmenistal official media.
(See above)
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aloksaha
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2023 6:51 am

Re: Turkmenistan re-opening Q&A

Post by aloksaha »

Please send me the contact details of Saada tour.
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Viktoria
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2023 8:40 am

Re: Turkmenistan re-opening Q&A

Post by Viktoria »

I believe it's http://saada-tour.com.tm/page/services
Just looked for it. You'll find the number and email there.

Have you gotten any further with your research?
I want to transit Turkmenistan from Iran, if that is somehow possible...
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liberspirita
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Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2022 4:06 pm
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Re: Turkmenistan re-opening Q&A

Post by liberspirita »

transit through Turkmenistan to go from Iran to Uzbekistan is very unpleasant. You have to pay a lot of money to do supervised tourism. It's almost cheaper to hire a military escort to go through Afghanistan!
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sebhoff
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Re: Turkmenistan re-opening Q&A

Post by sebhoff »

I was quoted the following prices for a 3-day transfer from the Falap border (near Bukhara) via Turkmenabat, Mary and Ashgabat to the Iranian border, travelling by train:

- $1045 for 2 people.
- $1415 for 3 people.
- $1875 for 4 people.

This includes one night at a hotel in Mary, and one night on the train to Ashgabat. It doesn't include the visa ($75 + $4 per person).
Considering how far you can get with $500 in countries like Uzbekistan, this is certainly not cheap. But as long as the transit visa isn't reintroduced...

I might consider looking for 2-3 people to join me around the 1st of April next year. Let's see...
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liberspirita
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Re: Turkmenistan re-opening Q&A

Post by liberspirita »

it's a real scam. i shall transit via Afghanistan
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sebhoff
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Re: Turkmenistan re-opening Q&A

Post by sebhoff »

Still a bit too risky for my taste, I guess…
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Niubi
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Dec 13, 2023 4:19 pm

Re: Turkmenistan re-opening Q&A

Post by Niubi »

Hello everyone,
I'm planning of crossing Turkmenistan from Iran to Uzbekistan by car this summer. I counted on the transit visa but seeing the current situation do you think it's completely impossible ?
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liberspirita
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Re: Turkmenistan re-opening Q&A

Post by liberspirita »

if you pay massive fees to some so called "travel agencies", you can
Niubi wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2023 4:22 pm
Hello everyone,
I'm planning of crossing Turkmenistan from Iran to Uzbekistan by car this summer. I counted on the transit visa but seeing the current situation do you think it's completely impossible ?
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