Turkmenistan is the most mysterious, secluded countries of Central Asia. It is also the most isolated country, kind of ``North Korea`` in Central Asia.
Turkmenistan is rich in historical and cultural heritage, there are plenty monuments of the past – cities and palaces of the dynasties of Tamerlane, Sasanids, Khorezm; traces of the Great Silk Road, caravanserais, mosques, medieval fortresses and mausoleums. And, despite the fact that more than 70% of the territory of Turkmenistan is covered by deserts – Karakum (Black Sands), one can also enjoy and observe the breathtaking nature: the sulfur lake Kou-Ata, the burning crater of Darvaza, national nature parks and flowering valleys, and even a dinosaur plateau with traces of prehistoric dinosaurs.
Turkmenistan is ranked 4th in terms of natural gas reserves worldwide. Another valuable natural resource in the country is oil. Petrol is cheaper than water.
The capital of the state is Ashgabat, the largest city in the country. Ashgabat is called the “white dead city” – almost all administrative and residential buildings are made of white marble. And due to the continental arid climate, the constantly scorching sun and heat, one can rarely see people on the streets of the city.
The pride of the country is horses and carpets. Here you can see beautiful noble horses of the Akhal-Teke breed and bargain for a beautiful Turkmen rug.
The horse is considered a sacred animal, practically a member of the family and the property of the country. If in other countries of Central Asia horse meat is a delicacy of local cuisines, then in Turkmenistan it is forbidden to eat horse meat. Reverent and careful attitude to the noble steed was carried by the Turkmens through the millennia. In the V century BC, Herodotus wrote that the ancestors of the Turkmen worship the horse as a symbol of the sun, according to their vision; the fastest terrestrial animal should correspond to the fastest celestial body.