Day 1, 05.06.09: Ashgabat arrival
Early morning arrival to Ashgabat. Transfer to hotel. City tour of Ashgabat. Visit National Museum of Turkmenistan.. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 2: Ashgabat - Mary
Morning visit to the famous Sunday Bazaar-Tolkuchka. The Bazaar in Ashgabat is by far Turkmenistan's No. 1 sight and a visit should not be missed. Most colorfully dressed this is where practically the entire country comes together to trade on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Basically anything and everything importance is traded within the 50 ha of open-air bazaar - from camels and sheep to amulets, antiques, carpets and jewelry. In its authenticity the buzzing Tolkuchka Bazaar easily rivals with the famed Kashgar Bazaar. After this unique visit drive to Mary, some 370 km form Ashgabat. Overnight in g/h.
Day 3: Margush
After early breakfast we drive northeast from Mary to Margush / Gonur Depe. Here first agricultural settlements appeared in the old delta of Murgab river as back as 3 millennium BC. Fertile silt coming from mountains, abundance of water and moderate climate had created favorable conditions for good crops and the progress of the ancient economy was continuing for several centuries. The American newspaper "Boston Glob" wrote that before we knew the four oldest centers of the world's civilizations: Mesopotamia, Egypt, India and China, and due to the fantastic results of the Margiana expedition it is quite possible to think that there was another, the fifth center. Picnic lunch. Return to Mary.
Day 4: Mary - Tahtabazar - Mary
After breakfast we drive to South of Turkmenistan to visit Ancient Cave Yekedeshik. According to some legends this cave was dug by the army of Alexander the Great. This cave is 40 km long, but you can visit first 1-2 km. After that part was blow by Bolsheviks. Overnight in hotel
Day 5: Ashgabat - Serakhs
In the morning we'll visit the old city of Merv. Visit the unique series of cities, not built on top of each other, as is so often the case, for instance at Damascus or Jerusalem, but constructed on adjacent virgin sites. The sites of the ancient town Erk-Kala (the fortress- citadel), Gyaur-Kala, Sultan-Kala, Abdulla-khan-Kala correspond to the different periods of Mervs' existence. The monuments we will tour and walk through are the Great and Little Kiz Kalas, the Kiz Bibi mausoleum, the magnificent Mausoleum of Sultan Sanjar, the Palace and keshk in the Shahriar Ark or Royal Citadel, the mosque of Yusuf Hamdani, the Timurid iwans or Askhab, and the Mausoleum of Muhammad ibn Zeid. Then we will drive to city of Serakhs. Dinner and overnight in local g/h.
Day 6: Serakhs - Ashgabat
After breakfast we drive to visit the Mausoleum of Abu Fazl As Sarakhsi and Yarti Gumbez. As Sarkhsi was a Sufi Leader and was teacher of many great students. Lunch. Then drive to Ashgabat. Overnight in hotel.
Day 7: Ashgabat - Bakharden - Ashgabat
Today we will visit the Bakharden Underground lake Kow Ata and the ruins of Murche. The lake is an unusual natural site in the biggest cave of the Kopetdag Mountains, located about 107 km south-west of Ashgabat. The lake is located at a depth of 52 m from the entrance on a vertical line. The lake is 72m long and 30 m wide. The water has a constant temperature 33-37 C. Chemical analysis has shown that water contains a complex combination of chemical elements. En route we will see Central Mosque of Turkmenistan and Gokdepe Mosque. Overnight in hotel.
Day 8: Departure
Early morning transfer to Gaudan-Bajgiran border. After border formalities See Off
Price is in USD based on Triple room with B&B:
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Asia Turkmenistan Local Culture Cultural Journey
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