Airlines runs regular flights between Ashgabat, Chardzhou,
Dashoguz, Mary, Turkmenbashi and Turkmenabat, and once daily flights
to Kerki (far east) and Balkanabat. All flight tickets have to be paid
for in local currency.
Approximate flight times :
From Ashgabat to Mary is 1 hour and to
Chardzhou is 1 hour 30 minutes.
There is a daytime and overnight train between Ashgabat and
Turkmenbashi; two daily overnight trains to Turkmenabat, one
continuing to Dashgouz; and a daily overnight service between Ashgabat
and Gushgi via Mary (although Gushgi is off limits due to its border
with Afghanistan). The Trans-Caspian Railway runs from Turkmenbashi
(formerly Krasnovodsk) in the west, through Ashgabat and Mary to
Chardzhou in the east before continuing to Bukhara in Uzbekistan.
Traffic drives on the right. Conditions can be dangerous. The main
road in Turkmenistan runs along the route of the Trans-Caspian Railway
(see above). There is also a road that runs north from Ashgabat to
Tashauz and Kunya-Urgench before crossing into Uzbekistan. This road
crosses 500km (311 miles) of the Kara-Kum desert. Bus : Cheap
services are available within all the major towns. Modern and
comfortable long-distance buses also operate to Dashgouz, Mary,
Turkmenabashi and Turkmenabat from Ashgabat. Taxi : Taxis and
chauffeur-driven cars for hire can be found in all major towns. Many
are unlicensed and travellers are advised to agree the fare in
advance. As many of the street names have changed since independence,
it is also advisable to ascertain both the old and the new street
names when asking directions. Car hire : Self-drive hire is
available from a few large hotels. Traffic regulations :
Drinking and driving is strictly forbidden. Documentation : An
International Driving Permit, or national licence with authorised
translation, is required.