|One-way ticket (local transport)
|Imported beer at restaurant
|Mid range bottle of wine
|Combo meal at McDonalds
|Water bottle (1.5 liter)
|Taxi 1hour Waiting
|1 Summer dress in a chain store
|1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff
The city of Turkmenabat in the province of Lebap is accessible by plane and by train from the Turkmenistan capital of Ashgabat. Visitors would prefer to travel by cheap flights to Turkmenabat instead of a taxing 16 hour travel by train. Because internal flights in Turkmenistan are subsidized, the Turkmenistan Airlines can afford to provide cheap flights to Turkmenabat, Mary, Ashoguz and other destinations.
There is not much attraction in the city although tourists will have no problem looking for hotels in Turkmenabat. Hotels in or near the city center are the Hotel Amu Darja, Hotel Chardjou, Hotel Lebapgurlushyk and Hotel Turkmenabat.
A favorite place is the artificial beach of Zaton where the city’s young people hang out.
Some 70 km southwest is Repetek Nature Reserve in the Western Kara Kum desert, where 100 plants are growing in a herbarium. A Nature Museum contains stuffed birds and reptiles. Other attractions within driving distance are the historical places of Dayahattin Kervansaray from the 11th century, the Amu Darya Nature Reserve Museum exhibiting rare stuffed animals, the Amul’ settlement which was a 10th century fortress, the Alllamberdar Mausoleum also from the 11th century, the Astana-baba Mausoleum from the 11th and 12th centuries.
The most impressive of Turkmenistan’s nature reserves is the Kugitang Nature Reserve. It was established in 1986 to protect and preserve the unique ecosystem of the Kugitang Mountain Range. The site of the country’s highest peak with rich forests, huge canyons, mountain streams, caves and Dinosaur Plateau, it is home to the rare mountain goat capra falconeri. Tourists may join a trekking tour to the preserve that will include visiting the Dinosour Plateau, the Grotto of the Forty Maidens, camping in the Gozel Gyzer Canyon, the Moydan base camp, climbing the Ayrybaba, the Kugitang Caves and Lake Koytenkol. The reserve is about 6 hours from Turkmenabat by car.
Turkmenabat is a city of bazaars, the largest being “World bazaar” otherwise known as Dunya bazaar. The bazaars sell local products as well as Chinese, Russians, Turkish and Usbeks, from jewelry and clothes to home appliances and cars. To save money, tourists are advised to buy only one or two items which they actually need. The city is rich in history and culture, but there are virtually no cinemas, theaters or theme parks and no nightlife to speak of. The few internet cafes are under government control.