Where post-Soviet hangovers collide with the peculiarities of one of the world's most despotic leaders, Ashgabat's glittering white marble capital, Silk Road history, traditional nomadic lifestyle, and the shimmering white marble of Ashgabat make it the least recognized and least visited Central Asian country. You never know what you'll find in Turkmenistan, which is both exotic and baffling. Everywhere you turn, there's a surprise in store. Turkmenistan is an exciting location, and these nine facts about the country will help you realize why it's worth a visit:

Fascinating Facts

Turkmenistan is located in Central Asia and is a landlocked country. Countries that are landlocked lack access to the open ocean because they are encircled by land. There are now 45 landlocked countries and five nations that are only partially recognized.
For at least five millennia BC, Turkmenistan has been inhabited (5000-4001 BC).
Turkmenistan's location on the historical Silk Road connects China, Europe, and the Middle East.
Historical and cultural park "Ancient Marv" in Turkmenistan is the oldest and well oasis city along Central Asia's Silk Route. Four thousand years of human history may be found in the old city.
Turkmenistan is located on the Caspian Sea, the most significant inland body of water globally, despite its landlocked status. It covers an area more significant than the whole country of Japan.
At this time, Cyrus the Great's Persian Empire included Turkmenistan.
In the 4th century BC, Alexander the Great of Macedonia conquered Turkmenistan and Central Asia.
Traditional carpets from Turkmenistan are a national treasure. The "thick texture adorned with unique cultured patterns corresponding to one of the five main Turkmen tribes" of Turkmen carpets is well-known for its quality. Carpet Day is even commemorated every year.
Symbols of the Islamic faith are prominent in the Turkmenistan flag, which features a green backdrop and a white crescent. Five points on each star symbolize distinct states of matter, and the five points on each star reflect the five senses (liquid, solid, gas, crystal and plasma). Claret stripes with five carpet patterns are also included on the flag. Turkmenistan is well-known for its traditional carpets, shown in the themes.
Turkmenistan was a Russian protectorate beginning in 1881. As the Turkestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (ASSR), it joined the USSR in 1921 and became a full member of the USSR in 1925.
The Turkmen republic declared its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 and took Turkmenistan as its new name.
Turkmenistan refers to the "land of the Turks." In English, the suffix "-Stan" refers to a location or a nation.
Turkmenistan's Arvada dubbed the "Door to Hell," has been blazing for more than four decades. In 1971, a mining accident caused the gas crater to open up, releasing gas that killed local fauna. Lighting the gas was supposed to cause it to go out in a few weeks, but it's still burning now.
George Koulouris, an intrepid explorer, became the first person to descend through the "Door to Hell" in 2014.
Turkmenistan was rocked by one of the world's most devastating earthquakes in 1948. Ashgabat and the surrounding area were shaken by an earthquake of a magnitude of 7.3, which killed 110,000 people.
The Karakul Desert covers around two-thirds of Turkmenistan.
There are a variety of world records in Turkmenistan, including the highest density of white marble-clad structures, the largest aquatics sports park, the largest inside Ferris wheel, the most prominent architectural star, and the most fountain pools in a public location.
Turkmenistan celebrates their national fruit, the melon, with a festival. The second Sunday in August is Muskmelon Day, a celebration of the muskmelon, a close cousin of the watermelon and grows in abundance in Russia.
As one of the world's most authoritarian and closed governments, Turkmenistan has been referred to as one of the "most repressive and closed countries."
Only North Korea and Eritrea have worse records regarding press freedom than Turkmenistan.
Turkmenistan's first president, Saparmurat Niyazov, served from 1985 until 2006 when he passed away. Many monuments of Niyazov were erected in his honor. He was given the title of 'Turkmenbashi (father of the Turks)', and he even had the months of January and April named after him.
Outlawing opera and ballet, listening to vehicle radio and young men with beards or long hair were just a few of the odd legislation Niyazov passed.
Rename is Niyazov's book penned (The Book of the Soul). For this reason, the book has to be shown in classrooms alongside the Islamic sacred book, the Koran.
Similarly, Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, Turkmenistan's ruler since 2007 is well-known for his strange public relations stunts and strongman persona. Stunts like making a fitness video, visiting a shooting range, and ordering banks to fund a personal project are all examples of this. The Turkmenator is the moniker given to him.
With 7.5 billion cubic meters (cm) of known natural gas reserves in 2018, Turkmenistan is the fifth-largest natural gas producer on the planet.
As a result of its "strong commitment to world peace and security," Turkmenistan has the status of perpetual neutrality. Every year, on the Day of Neutrality, the country commemorates this achievement.
It became a sovereign state of Turkmenistan on October 27, 1991, when the Soviet Union disintegrated.
Saparmurat Niyazov, a tyrant and President for Life of Turkmenistan, controlled the country from 1991 until 2006.
Unique to this country is a record for the world's most giant Ferris wheel inside an architectural structure held by this country. When it comes to height, the Ferris wheel stands at an impressive 156 feet (47.60 m) (57 m).
As the locals call it, the Arvada Gas Craters, or the Gates to Hell, it is an enormous crater 226 feet (60 m) broad and 30 meters (98 ft.) deep. In 1971, Soviet engineers lit it alight in an attempt to burn out the extra gas, predicting that it would take a few weeks to do so. Even now, the fire continues to rage.
There have been multiple instances when the Ancient City of Marv in South-Eastern Turkmenistan has been entirely devastated. As a result of the Mongols' conquest, it was razed to the ground, except 400 artisans. Over a million people were supposedly slaughtered, according to certain historians.
Turkmenistan's Karakul Desert, or Black Sand in Turkic, encompasses 135,135 square miles and constitutes 70% of Turkmenistan's land (350,000 km2). Additionally, it receives an average of 0.12mm of rain each year, making this dessert a one-of-a-kind place to visit.
The hottest day in Turkmenistan or the Soviet Union was July 1983, when the Repetek Reserve recorded 122 degrees Fahrenheit.
Turkmenistan is home to some of the world's most excellent proven oil and natural gas reserves.
15,000 public health personnel were let off in March of this year. All hospitals outside of the capital were shut down a year later. It was determined that everyone should travel to the capital city for therapy.
Saparmurat Niyazov, President for Life, enacted various legislation during his time in office, including the following: In February of that year, males were prohibited from sporting long hair or beards in public places. During concerts in 2005, lip-syncing was outlawed. An "unappealing stench" led to a ban on dogs in the capital city. Tobacco use was outlawed in government workplaces and other public places.
Turkmenistan is known as the North Korea of Central Asia because of its rigorous visa requirements, which necessitate the aid of travel firms and a guide.
According to Guinness World Records, there are more public swimming pools in Ashgabat than in any other city in the world. With a staggering expanse of 34,875 square feet, it's the most significant architectural marvel in the world at just 27 years old (3,240 sq. m).
Between 2002 and 2008, Turkmen National Symbols were used to rename the days of the week and the months of the year.
After launching its first satellite in 2015, Turkmenistan outlawed satellite dishes to prevent Turks from accessing Western media.
It was mandatory to exhibit Saparmurat Niyazov's Rename in prominent areas, including government buildings and retail establishments. It was to be given the same status as the Qur'an in mosques. The mosque would be destroyed if this step was not taken.
After Saparmurat Niyazov's death in February 2007, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow was sworn in as Turkmenistan's next president.
In 1995, the United Nations formally acknowledged the country's "permanent neutrality," which was a vital aspect of the country's initial constitution. To date, Turkmenistan is not a member of NATO or the Collective Security Agreement (CSTO).
Subsidized power, natural gas, water, and salt would be available to Turkmenistan's citizens until 2030, according to a decree passed by the People's Council on August 17, 2003. When it came to automobiles, this was true until 2014.
The film "The Dictator" was based on the cult of personality and leadership that surrounded Saparmurat Niyazov.
Turkmenistan is placed 178th out of 180 countries in the 2017 World Press Freedom Index, behind North Korea and Eritrea. This places it among the ten most heavily censored nations in the world.
Horses of Turkmen origin, known as Akhal Teke, are among Earth's most unique and elusive species. A whole government department is committed to keeping things running smoothly.
Turkmenistan's capital city features stunning white marble architecture and offers a spectacular light show at night. Many visitors compare the neon lights to those found in Las Vegas.
President Niyazov of Turkmenistan proclaimed himself "President for Life" when the country became independent of Soviet authority in 1991. As president, he served until 2006, when he passed away.
Turkmenistan is a land of sand. The immense Karakul Desert dominates the country's geography. The country's geologic history is complicated because 30 million years ago, the whole land was covered by a vast sea.