Q&A: Door to Hell

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uncle_sam01
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Re: Q&A: Door to Hell

Postby uncle_sam01 » Tue Oct 15, 2019 12:20 am

I think $10 for the bikerides is a bit much. I offered one of the local guys on a bike 20 manat to take me to the main road and he was more than happy.
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garyloam
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Re: Q&A: Door to Hell

Postby garyloam » Sat Nov 02, 2019 9:19 am

I am planning to travel to UZ from Turkmenistan, and visit Khiva, Bukhara, Smarkand.
While in In Turkmenistan, I will plan to visit door to hell (the main point) and merv (if time is available)

Which border do you suggest to cross (dashoguz or farab) , in terms of convenience and transportation?

Option 1)

D1: arrive Ashgabat
D2: Mary-Merv
D3: back to Ashgatbat (shared taxi to Door to hell) and stay over night
D4: Get a ride to dashoguz
D5: Exit to UZ

For D3, is it hard to find yurt for sleeping around crater?
or I have to go back to the main road and find teahouse to stay?

option 2)

D1: arrive Ashgabat
D2: shared taxi to Door to hell and stay over night (or go back to ashgabat at the same night)
D3: back to Ashgabat
D4: Mary--Merv
D5: Exit to UZ

How should I choose? Thank you for your advice.

one more question:
from google map, I find some houses near the main road right close to the crater, like 4-5km away.
Are they the so-called tea-house? if it is, why most of the people said that walking from tea-house to crater is 7.7km and have to walk for 2 hours.
If not, where is the tea-house do they usually refer to?
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Vincels
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Re: Q&A: Door to Hell

Postby Vincels » Sat Nov 02, 2019 12:47 pm

Hi Gary,

We crossed the Dashoguz border yesterday and it all went very easily. Quite busy with locals but as a tourist the border control agents constantly made sure that we were the first that got to the counter and on the bus (which also gave us a bit of an uncomfortable feeling but we just went with it).

Crater: we visited this yesterday evening. There are lots and lots of yurts where you can stay. And Do NOT believe anyone who tells you that a Jeep / 4x4 is needed, a regular 2wd car can make the way. In fact we saw a big French camper (like caravan size) make its way to the crater. Just make sure to have a clear deal with the driver (and that he actually drops you off at the crater, not on the road or at the chaikhana!) we thought we did but it was a lot of hassle when we arrived and the driver stated a different price and initially didn’t want to take us to the crater (but an hour later we went anyway with his car).

About prices:

Dasoguz - Darvaza : locals said it should be $5 per person. They helped us to find a taxi (we could only find drivers for $30 total, which we refused). We ended up paying $15 for the both of us and $5 dollar for the locals for their help ;)

Dasoguz - Ashgabat: locals pay $8 (the guy in our taxi told us).

I think you should pay no more than $20 for the ride Ashgabat - dasoguz.

The exchange rate at dasoguz bazaar is now 1 dollar = 18 manat. We made the mistake of exchanging at the border for 1-15.

Hope it helps and enjoy your trip.
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rhinomaxil
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Re: Q&A: Door to Hell

Postby rhinomaxil » Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:09 am

Vincels wrote:Hi Gary,

We crossed the Dashoguz border yesterday and it all went very easily. Quite busy with locals but as a tourist the border control agents constantly made sure that we were the first that got to the counter and on the bus (which also gave us a bit of an uncomfortable feeling but we just went with it).

Crater: we visited this yesterday evening. There are lots and lots of yurts where you can stay. And Do NOT believe anyone who tells you that a Jeep / 4x4 is needed, a regular 2wd car can make the way. In fact we saw a big French camper (like caravan size) make its way to the crater. Just make sure to have a clear deal with the driver (and that he actually drops you off at the crater, not on the road or at the chaikhana!) we thought we did but it was a lot of hassle when we arrived and the driver stated a different price and initially didn’t want to take us to the crater (but an hour later we went anyway with his car).

About prices:

Dasoguz - Darvaza : locals said it should be $5 per person. They helped us to find a taxi (we could only find drivers for $30 total, which we refused). We ended up paying $15 for the both of us and $5 dollar for the locals for their help ;)

Dasoguz - Ashgabat: locals pay $8 (the guy in our taxi told us).

I think you should pay no more than $20 for the ride Ashgabat - dasoguz.

The exchange rate at dasoguz bazaar is now 1 dollar = 18 manat. We made the mistake of exchanging at the border for 1-15.

Hope it helps and enjoy your trip.


Hey, thanks for the very useful info!

We are planning to cross the border from UZ tomorrow and I have a few questions I hope you can answer:

- did you pay $15 for the whole car or was it a shared taxi?
- how long is the ride to Darvaza?
- did he drop you off at the crater?
- is the yurt camp currently open? Did you spend the night there?
- how did you get to Ashgabat the next day?

Thanks a lot for your help!
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garyloam
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Re: Q&A: Door to Hell

Postby garyloam » Sun Nov 10, 2019 11:20 am

Vincels wrote:Hi Gary,

We crossed the Dashoguz border yesterday and it all went very easily. Quite busy with locals but as a tourist the border control agents constantly made sure that we were the first that got to the counter and on the bus (which also gave us a bit of an uncomfortable feeling but we just went with it).

Crater: we visited this yesterday evening. There are lots and lots of yurts where you can stay. And Do NOT believe anyone who tells you that a Jeep / 4x4 is needed, a regular 2wd car can make the way. In fact we saw a big French camper (like caravan size) make its way to the crater. Just make sure to have a clear deal with the driver (and that he actually drops you off at the crater, not on the road or at the chaikhana!) we thought we did but it was a lot of hassle when we arrived and the driver stated a different price and initially didn’t want to take us to the crater (but an hour later we went anyway with his car).

About prices:

Dasoguz - Darvaza : locals said it should be $5 per person. They helped us to find a taxi (we could only find drivers for $30 total, which we refused). We ended up paying $15 for the both of us and $5 dollar for the locals for their help ;)

Dasoguz - Ashgabat: locals pay $8 (the guy in our taxi told us).

I think you should pay no more than $20 for the ride Ashgabat - dasoguz.

The exchange rate at dasoguz bazaar is now 1 dollar = 18 manat. We made the mistake of exchanging at the border for 1-15.

Hope it helps and enjoy your trip.


Thanks for your reply

Do you have any idea if I want to get a taxi from Ashgabat, with 1 night stayying at crater and then go to dasoguz next day. How much for this kind of chartered taxi?
Thanks
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egarbugli
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Re: Q&A: Door to Hell

Postby egarbugli » Sun Nov 10, 2019 5:00 pm

Hi there,

I'm planning to cross over Nov 16th or 17th from Khiva, UZ to Dashoguz, TM. Is it realistic to cross over, hire a car, visit Konye-Urgench, and make it to the Darvaza gas crater all within one day?

If so, can I expect there will be yurts or tents I can rent when I get at the crater in the evening?

Thanks!
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bwv812
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Re: Q&A: Door to Hell

Postby bwv812 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:59 am

Yes and yes.
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Jealgu
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Re: Q&A: Door to Hell

Postby Jealgu » Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:52 pm

I visited the crater in the same periid on year ago. Plebty of yurts at the crater, but they all seemed closed.
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egarbugli
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Re: Q&A: Door to Hell

Postby egarbugli » Tue Nov 12, 2019 1:38 pm

Jealgu wrote:I visited the crater in the same periid on year ago. Plebty of yurts at the crater, but they all seemed closed.


What did you end up doing? Is it realistic to expect yurts to rent out every night?
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dper99
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Re: Q&A: Door to Hell

Postby dper99 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:33 pm

Good way to get from Dashoguz to Ashgabat via Darweza Gas Crater
(Cheap and save a day for transit visa holders)

I arrived in Dashoguz fron Khiva, Uzbekistan around lunchtime. No issues at border, and paid 3 manat for travel across no-mans land. Changed a couple dollars with local traveller at poor rate before border (14 manat to dollar) but got 17 across border, since been told you can get up to 20 but 18.5 is normal. The bazaar in Dashoguz is worth a look around and not too far from shared taxi place just north of the bus station. Paid 100 manat to Darweza (US$5.50) for shared taxi on way to Ashgabat. Dropped off at restaurant/teahouse with crazy owner. Only took 3.5 hours, fast driver, who didn't seen to care about road condition as sometimes it wasn't too good. Other drivers may take longer. Teahouse owner wanted $10 to sleep on the floor and another $20 to take to crater and back. Instead walked with help of maps me from the trail leading from the back of his place (1.5 hours approx). Stayed until after dark at crater then walked back in dark. No issues when using GPS. Crazy man wanted $10 for leaving backpack in his place but he had never mentioned this earlier so I just walked out. To get to Ashgabat I caught a train that departed from station at 12.30am. Didn't have a ticket but one of the train people asked for 45 manat ($2.50) to get me on the train. 5 minutes after train arrived he came and took me to the carriage. Had to sleep on floor of the train but with a few cigarettes as commision you can get blankets from the conductors. Make sure you bring your quota of 2 packets of cigarettes. Used them also as part of the deal to get a taxi from Ashgabat to Turkmenbasi. Locals love good foreign cigarettes, they can really be a deal breaker. If you decide to stay in a yurt at the crater you will be asked for $20 but definitely get it cheaper. Guess there must be other posts that give this information. Just a word of warning if you don't have to DON'T USE THE FERRY FROM TURKMENBASHI TO AZERBAIJAN. For US$100 you get to sleep on the floor or possibly a couch if you are quick and everything is disorganized. I will be writing another post concerning this.
Enjoy Turkmenistan. It is a great place to travel!!
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