Trans Eurasia travel

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Fast facts about the country

Location: Central Asia, bordering Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and the Caspian
Area: 488,100km2
Status: Republic
Head of state: President
Population: Official figures just over 6 million; most unofficial estimates 4-5 million
Capital: Ashgabat
Other main towns: Turkmenabat, Mary, Dashoguz, Balkanabat, Turkmenbashy
Major exports: Natural gas, oil, textiles, cotton
Language: Turkmen; Russian also fairly widely spoken, especially in urban areas
Religion: Predominantly Sunni Muslim
Currency: Manat, US$1 = 2.85M
International telephone code: +993
Emergency phone numbers: Fire brigade 01; police 02; ambulance 03
Time: GMT +5 hours
Electricity: 220 volts, 50 Hertz
Weights and measures: Metric
National flag: Green, with a vertical maroon stripe near the hoist decorated with a pattern of carpet designs, representing the five regions of Turkmenistan, and two olive branches, symbolising Turkmenistan's permanent neutrality. In the upper left corner of the largest green field is a white crescent and five white five-pointed stars.
Famous for: Multiple personality cults, gas reserves, Akhal-Teke horses, carpets
Off the map: Pretty much anywhere, but for true adventure try the Yangykala Canyon
Phrases in Turkmen: salam aleykum (peace be with you/hello); sagh bol (thanks); siz nahili? (how are you?)

Cost of living:
Snickers bar US$0.70
Bus ride in Ashgabat US$0.07
Traditional hat US$9
Good dinner in A shgabat U$18
1L petrol US$0.70
1L bottled water US$0.24
Entry to major archaeological sites US$4