There are now 2 travel guides dedicated to Turkmenistan: the Bradt guide to Turkmenistan and Simon Proudman’s guide. A few others have small sections on Turkmenistan in a larger Silk Road or Central Asia travel guide.
Bradt Turkmenistan guidebook
With so little information coming out of the country, this book is a real treasure trove. There is still very little travel information to be found on the internet, so this guidebook is a true service to the Turkmen travel industry, showing that indeed there is more to see in Turkmenistan than a burning hellhole and a bunch of marble buildings.
The book is written with humour and expertise by the former ambassador to the country. It is old though, and practical information is mostly out of date. Despite this, if you are planning an in-depth visit to Turkmenistan poking around places no one else bothers with, this is still an indispensable guide.
Turkmenistan – Simon Proudman
Published in 2014 and revised in 2017 and 2018, here is finally an update to Paul Brummell’s seminal effort. This guidebook gives good practical advice about what’s important: how to visit Merv, where to find wi-fi in Ashgabat or a vegetarian meal in Mary. It does not cover the country in as much detail as the Bradt guide, but it covers all the places you are most likely to visit and adds interesting background information from the past and present.
The writing style is pleasant and humorous, and Proudman does not forget to add some entertaining and inspiring storytelling into the book. All in all, an excellent guidebook anyone traveling to Turkmenistan will find very useful, for an unbeatable price.