Q&A: Door to Hell

All about Turkmenistan
togreiser
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Re: Q&A: Door to Hell

Postby togreiser » Mon Jun 24, 2019 5:44 am

"But why not ask the driver to wait a few hours and bring you to the train station?" <- yes, this is a good option
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sfymoises
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Re: Q&A: Door to Hell

Postby sfymoises » Tue Jun 25, 2019 5:14 am

AlbertoBoero wrote:We found a good way to go to the crater, stay there the night and continue to Kunya-Urgenz/Dashoguz/Uzbek border. Per person the cross country transport costed us just 200 manat! (Or 150 if you are with 4). No tour can compete with this, plus you have your freedom.

To go to Derweze Crater, we went to the Intercity Taxi Station north of Ashgabat. It is pretty far away, like 10 kilometers. It's further north than the bus station. It is not hard to find on Maps.me, but if you want to find it with Google, this is it:
https://maps.app.goo.gl/RnoASpP1P9bwfRdY7

There were 18 taxi drivers wanting to take us, so we could make a good bargain. We made a deal for 600 manat in total (30€!) from Ashgabat to the crater and the next day to Kunya-Urgench. The driver brought us to the crater, it was no problem for him to go off the main road with his normal Toyota, so a 4WD is not necessary. He went back to Ashgabat and picked us up the next morning at 9 am.

At 1 pm we arrived at Kunya-Urgench and paid the 600 manat without a problem.

At the Crater there are many yurts to choose from. You will see a whole row of them at the right / east side, like a camp. This place has by far better facilities than the other Yurts. There was a hot shower, separate toilets, dinner and breakfast. The place looked very new and clean. We bargained down the price from 20$ per person to 40$ for the three of us. I think it helped that one of us went to check out the other Yurts:p

One last recommendation. Search in Maps.me for the water and mud crater before you go. They are next to the main road (just before you turn right to take the dirt track). You could ask the driver to stop and see them first.

In Kunya-Urgench there is one cheap but not so clean hotel (price before bargaining 130 manat pppn). Instead, we decided to see all the main sights in two hours and continue to the border.


Oh You guys amazing!! This is most useful information and cheapest option to crater ever!!
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FRT15
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Re: Q&A: Door to Hell

Postby FRT15 » Tue Jun 25, 2019 1:51 pm

I concur, Thanks Alberto for your post. Do you have other posts that talk more about your itinerary in Turkmenistan? Can I assume you used a Transit Visa? Thanks
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Jealgu
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Re: Q&A: Door to Hell

Postby Jealgu » Tue Jun 25, 2019 5:28 pm

Isnt the train option cheaper? Considering you get a bed with it. It definitely is qhen you go solo.
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AlbertoBoero
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Re: Q&A: Door to Hell

Postby AlbertoBoero » Wed Jun 26, 2019 5:06 pm

FRT15 wrote:I concur, Thanks Alberto for your post. Do you have other posts that talk more about your itinerary in Turkmenistan? Can I assume you used a Transit Visa? Thanks


You're welcome! My only other post is about the border crossing from Iran. We used a transit visum indeed. Although I expected to use all 4 nights, we already left on the 3rd day, mainly because Kunya-Urgench does not have lot to offer after you have seen the two main sites.
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AlbertoBoero
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Re: Q&A: Door to Hell

Postby AlbertoBoero » Wed Jun 26, 2019 5:09 pm

Jealgu wrote:Isnt the train option cheaper? Considering you get a bed with it. It definitely is qhen you go solo.


Might be! But I liked staying overnight at the crater. We got up early in the morning and watched the sunrise which was quite nice.
Plus walking from the station to the crater is not for the faint hearted if you walk between 11 and 17 I think😅
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togreiser
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Re: Q&A: Door to Hell

Postby togreiser » Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:59 am

Jealgu wrote:Isnt the train option cheaper? Considering you get a bed with it. It definitely is qhen you go solo.


I possible way to do it with train going north without staying the night, would be something like this:

    Aşgabat 15:40 - Içoguz 20:53. Price 15,10 m. Plaskart
    4 hours to go to the crater
    Içoguz 00:55 - Daşoguz 08:00. Price 28,10 m. Küpe

I had an offer from one of the Caravanistan tour operators: USD 100 for pick up and drop up at Içoguz train station

Walking to and from the crater would take the most of the 4 hours you have there. I'm unsure about the taxi situation around Darwaza. Anyone have some information about that?
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Jealgu
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Re: Q&A: Door to Hell

Postby Jealgu » Thu Jun 27, 2019 12:38 pm

Last november I went there (mybquestion was rhetorical). I went from the train station to the maon road, at the police post there I found a motor guy there who wanted to take me. Not a very reliable service, turned out his lights did not work, so had to leave before it got really dark. So check that. Do not remember the price, but 20 usd at most with one hour waiting time, I do remember the bargaining was hard though. You could also go to the chaikhanas to ask for a car.

With the above timings I would considerbdoing the first leg by, shared, taxi to arrive a bit earlier.

Should note that in a summer I would prefer to stay the night.
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MerijnM
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Re: Q&A: Door to Hell

Postby MerijnM » Thu Jun 27, 2019 5:42 pm

Hi there!

We just came back from the fire crater in Turkmenistan.
Thanks Alberto for your suggestion. We did the same.

In Ashgabat we went to the Intercity Taxi Terminal which is indeed all the way up north.
A lot of taxi drivers were gathering around me, it was not that pleasant but okay (one grabbed my phone and walked away).

We made a deal for 500 TMT + 1 pack of cigarettes (bought in Mashhad, Iran, 75.000 IRR).
The driver brought us to the crater the next day. The pick-up time in Ashgabat was 03:30 PM.
I would advice to do the same. It's bloody hot in the desert, in my opinion no need to be there around noon.
We arrived around 6:30 PM at the fire crater, right on time for the sunset.

The driver slept in the car and we got a yurt for 20$ per person (dinner, breakfast included). Tried to bargain but the 'manager' resisted.
It's the yurt-camp in the back. Please have the exact amount of money with you as they did not had any change in USD.
In my opinion it was overpriced but it was okay. The facilities are new and clean.

The next day the driver brought us to Kunye-Urgench (2,5 hours), since our exit-point was here (5day transit visa)
We paid him the 500 TMT and 1 pack of cigarettes (Camel, yellow). But, the driver thought he would get 20 packages of cigarettes (??)
I told him that 1 package includes 20 cigarettes, which was clearly discussed at the Taxi Terminal in Ashgabat. He got mad.
He tried to fool us and wanted more money. Of course we did not accept this and disembarked the car.

The town of Kunye-Urgench looked a bit depressed and we made a good choice to not sleep there.
We checked the hotel there (Urgench Hotel, 130 TMT per person) but it was not clean and the atmosphere was very bad.

We got an other taxi we brought us to the border for one pack of cigarettes (seems that they are very happy with it).
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FRT15
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Re: Q&A: Door to Hell

Postby FRT15 » Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:11 pm

Another nice post MerijnM. What kind of rate were you getting? Meaning how much was 500 TMT? Thanks
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