After arriving at 2am, it took about an hour to get a visa stamped and exit the airport. We were picked up by our driver at airport and dropped-off at Yyldyz Hotel.
After checking-in the hotel and some rest for a few hours, we drove for 2 hours towards Nokhur village.
Akhal-Teke Horse Farm
The first stop is the Akhal-Teke Horse farm – The Akhal Teke horse breed is well-known for speed and endurance, intelligence, and a distinctive metallic sheen. The shiny coat of the breed led to their nickname, “Golden Horses”.
Köw Ata Underground Lake
A quick drive from the horse farm brought us to Köw Ata Underground Lake – A long metal staircase leads down into the Bakharden Cave, where the 235-foot-long lake is located. The warm waters contain a high amount of different salts and minerals, most notably sulfur, which is responsible for the distinct smell within the cave.
A short drive after, we reached our last destination of the day – Nokhur Village. Known to be one of the most picturesque villages in Turkmenistan, Nokhur (or Nohur) village is known for a huge centuries-old plane tree with the hollow of which several people can fit. The Nokhur cemetery has nearly every grave marked by wooden post adorned with the horns of a mountain goat. The goat horns are thought to fight off evil spirits and help the souls of the deceased to ensure a safe passage to heaven.
On the outskirts of the village, above a hilltop is a place where desires come true – Gyz Bibi, one of nine sisters slipped through a narrow crack in the rock where, according to legends, the locals consider one of the gates to paradise. Even today, women consider this place to be a good-luck charm and they leave their hairpins in the small crack as a symbol of good luck and protection, especially during pregnancy.
We drove back to Ashgabat late afternoon and headed to Berk Cafe for dinner and drinks. This is known to be ‘the cafe’ where all the expats and travelers go!
Note: All values in USD, unless otherwise mentioned, are approximate and based on the exchange rate of USD 1 = TMM 3.50 at the time of publishing. Each cost is for one adult. Note that the expenses do not include international flights to and from Turkmenistan.
|Dinner||$8.14||At Berk Cafe. TMM 57 for two persons.|
|Total Costs||$8.14||Per person|
|Overall Costs||$1,178.14||Per person|
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Ashgabat, Kow Ata, Nokhur
Arriving in Ashgabat and visiting horse farm, Kow Ata and Nokhur.
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Travel from Ashgabat to Darvaza Gas Crater.