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Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan Capital Claims Guinness Record For Most Marble Buildings

Turkmenistan Capital Claims Guinness Record For Most Marble Buildings Neil Melville-Kenny, Flickr The capital of Turkmenistan has been recognized by Guinness for having the highest density of white marble buildings in the world. Ashgabat boasts 543 new buildings clad with over 48 million square feet of marble, according to Guinness. The...

Train In Vain: Four Days With A Pair Of Uzbek Prostitutes, Final Part

Train In Vain: Four Days With A Pair Of Uzbek Prostitutes, Final Part Read parts one, two, three and four of this story. I said a tentative goodbye to Marina, not knowing whether she wanted to lose me or not. I didn't have the mental capacity to deal with the chaos and uncertainty of a new place, so I was pleased when Marina said we should...

Train In Vain: Four Days With A Pair Of Uzbek Prostitutes, Part Four

Train In Vain: Four Days With A Pair Of Uzbek Prostitutes, Part Four Read parts one, two and three of this story. Day Four I woke up in a sweat and was told by Marina that we had crossed into Turkmenistan, a country I had no transit visa for. The compartment was a white-hot crucible of heat that was exacerbated by the fact that none of...

Train In Vain: Four Days With A Pair of Uzbek Prostitutes, Part Three

Train In Vain: Four Days With A Pair of Uzbek Prostitutes, Part Three Read part one and two of this story. Day Three On my third morning on board an increasingly hellish train ride, I found a fully intact piece of excrement resting on the train's only toilet seat I could get to. It seemed not to have been an accident; in fact, the feces...

10 countries Americans need advance visas to visit

10 countries Americans need advance visas to visit We live in an increasingly borderless world and we have access to many countries that were closed (or non-existent) 20 years ago. As reported earlier this week, Americans are especially lucky with access to 169 countries visa free. Still, there are still many countries that...

Travel then and now: Travel to the USSR and GDR

Travel then and now: Travel to the USSR and GDR This year is the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Soviet Union and 21 years since the reunification of Germany. While citizens of the USSR and GDR were unable to travel abroad and restricted in domestic travel, foreign travelers were permitted under a controlled...

Ten most corrupt countries of the world

Ten most corrupt countries of the world You spend every holiday weekend annoyed that you can't talk your way out of a speeding ticket. If only there were some way out of that predicament ... aside from taking your lead foot off the gas, right? You may be out of luck on the New Jersey Turnpike, but there are...

Mother attempts to flush newborn baby down airplane toilet

Mother attempts to flush newborn baby down airplane toilet A 25-year-old medical student has been arrested in Northern India after attempting to flush her newborn baby down the toilet. The woman was flying home from Turkmenistan when she gave birth in the bathroom. Upon landing, she left the plane, leaving the baby in the toilet....

Cycling the Silk Road

Cycling the Silk Road Cycling tours have become increasingly popular in recent years, especially amongst adventure travelers who are looking to explore the world from the seat of their bikes. One of the leaders in organizing these kinds of adventure cycling trips has always been Tour d'Afrique...

Visiting Turkmenistan

Visiting Turkmenistan Add former Soviet satellite Turkmenistan to the growing list of countries that were once off limits to visitors from the West, who are now opening their borders to tourists for the first time. According to this story from the Wall Street Journal, the Central Asian country is...

Lonely Planet names top 10 "weird" cities

Lonely Planet names top 10 Top 10 lists are the lifeblood of blogging. How else, dear reader, can we quickly inform you of all you need to know about a topic in a format that is quick to read and simultaneously entertaining? The end of the year is fertile ground for top 10 lists, providing an...

Turkmenistan's "Door to Hell"

Turkmenistan's We've previously reported here at Gadling on the intriguing, surreal and downright bizarre tourist attractions of the Central Asian nation of Turkmenistan. Now today comes further "fuel" for the country's already odd reputation. Website English Russia is reporting on what...

Ranking the world's best and worst flags

Ranking the world's best and worst flags Gambia's great, Senegal plagiarized, and Libya didn't even try. So says a fun new evaluation of the flags of every nation in the world. In an admittedly unscientific ranking of the world's flags, high marks are given for good color schemes and originality, while grades are...

Keeping the 'Stans Straight, part 3: Turkmenistan

Keeping the 'Stans Straight, part 3: Turkmenistan Turkmenistan Capital: Ashgabat Location: North of Iran and Afghanistan, it shares a Western border with the Caspian Sea. In a nutshell: Under President-for-Life Saparmurat Niyazov, Turkmenistan became one of the most bizarre, isolated countries in the world. The...

Seven (screwed up) wonders of the totalitarian world

Seven (screwed up) wonders of the totalitarian world There is something terribly crazy about totalitarian governments and their sense of architecture: monumental, gaudy, pompous, and, more often than not, in extraordinarily poor taste. That's whey the fine folks over at Esquire Magazine have compiled a list of what they feel...

Kazakhstan Replacing Cyrillic Alphabet with Latin One

Kazakhstan Replacing Cyrillic Alphabet with Latin One One of the biggest challenges of traveling through the former Soviet Union is tying to decipher the Cyrillic alphabet. The unnerving thing is that it shares many letters with the Latin alphabet, yet they are pronounced very differently. Like a "B" having a "V" sound, for...

Death of Turkmen Dictator leads to ease of Travel Restrictions

Death of Turkmen Dictator leads to ease of Travel Restrictions With the death of Turkmenistan dictator Saparmurat Niyazov, the country he ruled for 21 years has announced that it will be softening its stance on foreign tourism, easing visa requirements, and developing coastal resorts along the Caspian Sea. Niyazov was a bit of a nut,...

Word for the Travel Wise (11/10/06)

Word for the Travel Wise (11/10/06) I assume now that Turkmenistan has a fairytale like theme park, that there will be many a visitor busting down the doors to ride the rides. Visitors shall be greeted by characters of Turkmen folklore and the Ferris wheel will follow designs of Turkmen jewelry. Let's say...

Word for the Travel Wise (09/04/06)

Word for the Travel Wise (09/04/06) Turkmens.com is the Internet's number one site on everything Turkmen. If you want to hear Turkmen pop music, Turkmen classical music, see Turkmen horses, Turkmen art work and Turkmen artists you've found the right link. This was one of those countries I expected to google...

SmarterTravel: Best & Worst Travel Destinations for Women

SmarterTravel: Best & Worst Travel Destinations for Women As a woman, traveler, and the type that tends to like parachuting into off-the-beaten track destinations, I long for articles that point out where women should go and where they should exercise extra caution when going. Well, USA Today features a fine piece for the solo...

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