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Town centre

The hotels and major administrative buildings of Dashoguz cluster along Saparmurat Turkmenbashy Shayoly, which runs from east to west through the town centre. This road was formerly named Andalyp Shayoly, in honour of the 18th-century Turkmen poet who was a native of this region. A statue of Andalyp sits atop a pile of rocks in a rather bleak park to the west of the Dashoguz Hotel, surveying the road that used to be his. Andalyp does, however, get another road to his name: the former Turkmenbashy Shayoly, a less central thoroughfare running northeastwards from the roundabout close to the Dashoguz Hotel, is now Andalyp Kochesi, completing the swap. In the same park is a golden bust of the 9th-century scientist, Al Khorezmi, a corruption of whose name gave us the mathematical term 'algorithm'.

On the other side of the Dashoguz Hotel, a statue centred around President Niyazov's book Ruhnama groups together many of the symbols favoured by the Turkmen government. A seated golden President Niyazov, looking nothing like the man, holds a copy of Ruhnama. Behind is a large concrete mock-up of the cover of Ruhnama. To either side stand statues of the four leaders heralded by Niyazov as responsible for the past Golden Ages of the Turkmen people: Oguz Han, Georogly, Gorkut Ata and Magtymguly. Across the road from here is a particularly quirky sculpture: a pair of dinosaurs. A stegosaurus snarls at a looming tyrannosaurus, the latter evidently discomfited by its oversized tail.