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Turkmenistan

Capital
Ashgabat
Time Zone
GMT + 5
Telephone Services
Country Code: 7 (3632 for Ashgabat).
Outgoing Code: 00
Emergency Telephone Numbers
All services – 03
Tourist Information
Intourist, 219 Marsh Wall, Isle of Dogs, London E14 9PD Tel: (0171) 538 8600 Fax: (0171) 538 5967.
Passport Information
Valid passport required by all. Requirements may be subject to short-term change. Contact the relevant authority before departure.
Visa Information
Required by all except holders of valid passports of CIS countries. Visas should be obtained well in advance of intended travel and be specifially valid for ‘travel throughout Turkmenistan if you intend to leave Ashgabat. Visitors are usually asked to produce hotel bookings or a letter of invitation if on business.
Health Information
Polio, Typhoid: Vaccination recommended
Malaria: Has been reported
Other Health Risks: Cholera is a particular risk in Turkmenistan, medical advice is recommended. Diphtheria and Rabies are also potential dangers.
Food & Drink
Water is untreated and not safe to drink. Avoid dairy products as they are not pasteurised. Fruit and vegetables should be peeled before consumption.
Currency
1 Manat = 100 tenge
Exchange: The preferred hard currency is US Dollars. Visitors may find it hard to change other currencies. A cash only economy exists.
NOTE: Import of local currency is prohibited.
Credit cards are not accepted. Only travellers cheques drawn on banks with special arrangements with the Turkmen National Bank are accepted. ATM availability: Unavailable.
Cost of Living
Exploitative for the traveller.
Languages
Turkmen. Russian is also spoken.
Weather
Extreme Continental climate. Summers are very hot and dry and winters are very cold.
Electricity
20 volts AC, 50 Hz. Plugs are usually the round 2 pin type.
Post
Mail to the USA and Western Europe can take anything from two weeks to two months.
Transport
ROAD: Roads outside of the cities are in poor condition. BUS: Services are available to all major towns. TAXI: They can be found in all major towns. Many are unlicensed and fares should be agreed in advance. As many of the street names have changed since independence it is advisable to use both old and new names. DOCUMENTATION: When car hire is available an IDP will be required.
Special Information
Carry your passport at all times. Bread should never be placed upside down. Shoes must be removed on entering someone’s home. Shorts are rarely seen. If worn by women they may attract unwelcome attention. In common with other Moslem countries drunkeness is not approved of and could be punished.