Turkmenistan is as large as Spain and is home to roughly five million people.
Understanding the certainties of travelling on the ground will mean an easier trip, and fewer surprises all around.
There are plenty of exciting sights in store for prepared travellers, who are looking for adventure - from Arabian camels and dinosaur footprints to golden Akhal-Teke horses and burning gas craters.
One of the major factors is the weather, 90% of Turkmenistan is made up of the Karakum desert and in summers the temperatures rise to 50° C.
Turkmenistan can get really hot during the summers, so it is important to stay hydrated and covered up, to prevent sunburn and heat exhaustion/dehydration.
Make sure your vaccinations are up to date and that you have comprehensive travel insurance. While it's always a good idea to take any medications you might need with you but make sure you have a doctor's letter describing the reasons for it otherwise you may be refused entry on arrival
Note: Some medications such as codeine are considered illegal in Turkmenistan.
Stay safe and stick to cooked food - typhoid is common and can spread through salads and cold meat.
Avoid drinking tap water anywhere which may contain traces of metal.
Few areas have been restricted areas' by the Government of Turkmenistan– mainly the region of Dashoguz and the Caspian coast, the border areas next to Uzbekistan, Iran and Afghanistan.
Special permission must be taken by the Government if you're really determined to visit, but also note that Turkmenistan Airlines, the national airline, will not sell a ticket to any traveller who intends to travel to a restricted zone without verification of permission from the government. The processing time for such permits is 10 working days.
The border between Turkmenistan and Afghanistan is considered by several advisories as a do not travel location due to ongoing conflicts and terrorism.
Avoid walking through the north-east and east of the capital Ashgabat, especially after sunset because these are the most recognised areas for drugs and violent crime.
Watch the check-in time set up in the capital Ashgabat – which implies entirely no walking around after 11 pm.
Amid the day, watch your things at bazaars like Tolkuchka – the typical wallet or international ID or a camera ought to be concealed securely under your garments on in a zipped sack.
Check your change and note that local vodka and beer aside, imported drinks will be very expensive at the nightclubs in the capital
Be exceptionally cautious while taking photos in Turkmenistan. In case you're uncertain of taking a photograph of an open building, particularly in Ashgabat – check with the police, who will definitely be watching you at any rate.
Pestering in hotel rooms is regular - phones and fax machines might be observed, and individual belonging in lodging rooms might be sought.
One thing to know about as a guest is that except if wedded, two people of the contrary sex are not permitted to share, or occupy, an inn room. In the event that the inn is suspicious this is the situation, lodging security will effectively explore.
Male gay movement is unlawful, deserving of a custodial sentence.
Smoking is prohibited in every single open space – this implies anyplace outside, anyway in exemplary Central Asia style at most indoor scenes – eateries, bistros and so on, you can puff away with forsake.