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Cost of short tour

Seattle
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Cost of short tour

I've received quotes from two of the Turkmen travel agencies most often mentioned on this forum for the following trip:

Day 1. Arrive Ashgabat airport - transfer to inexpensive hotel - drive around the City - visit the History museum - drive around again at night

Day 2. Visit the Carpet Museum - drive to the Darwaza gas crater - camp overnight

Day 3. Drive on to Konye-Urgench and drive to the various sights - transfer to Uzbekistan border post

Both quoted a cost of just under USD 800. Both include meals only at the gas crater and no guide, only a driver.

That seems a little steep to me as I was able to get a 4WD with driver only for USD 100 per day in Mongolia just months ago. Admittedly there is a deadhead back to Ashgabst for the driver, but still. I've looked into the idea of flying in to Astrakan, Russia instead and taking the train from there to Nukus (#323 or #334 - USD 110); then jumping across the border to Konye-Urgench. It's doable but the train ride is overnight - takes about 42 hours because of the long delays at two borders. I'd appreciate any comments.

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Edmonton, Canada
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1. Re: Cost of short tour

The cost sounds a little steep but it's been 3 years since we were there and it's hard to know what an inexpensive hotel is. I don't think you can compare to Mongolia cost.

Your driver will most likely speak English as ours did and will also act as your guide at Darvaza.

I'm not sure I understand your comments on using the train. Turkmenistan has no cross border passenger trains unless something has changed very recently.

Seattle
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2. Re: Cost of short tour

That is a different way of getting to Nukus and then Konye-Urgench. I am assuming that they will grant transit visas to Uzbek travel agencies for a day trip to Konye-Urgench. No I wouldn't be able to go anywhere else in Turkmenistan.

The bids from the TM travel agencies said the drivers would not speak English and may not speak Russian.

Edmonton, Canada
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3. Re: Cost of short tour

If you aren't getting an English speaking driver I sure wouldn't do it.

A transit visa to Turkmenistan means entering Turkmenistan from country A and exiting to country B. Literally meaning....in transit....crossing Turkmenistan to get to another country. You can not obtain a transit visa if you intend to go directly back to the country you entered from.

Advantour based in Uzbekistan arranged our trip. I would contact them to see what they can arrange, they're an excellent tour company for many of the old silk road countries.

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4. Re: Cost of short tour

Seems a bit expensive - I paid $1200 for a 5 day tour with a pick up from the Iranian border and a drop off at Uzbekistan, with an English-speaking guide and mid-range hotels (but meals only at the gas crater).

Thailand
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5. Re: Cost of short tour

I think that is too much, in July last year we paid £855 for two people on the following itinerary with everything listed included in the price.

Letter of invitation and tourist visa support (took 10 days to obtain visa)

Day 1: Pick up from port and transfer to 3* hotel in Turkmenbashy (inc breakfast)

Day 2: Transfer to train station, night train to Ashgabat

Day 3: Pick up from train station, early morning drive around the city to take in a few sights, 1 night in basic hotel (no meals)

Day 4: Pick up from Hotel and drive to Darvaza, Driver was also guide who prepared BBQ evening meal and breakfast (we had to buy the food ourselve but he took us to a nice supermarket in route), we also stopped of at a small village and 2 other craters on route, all camping gear provided, amazing experience.

Day 5: Driver took us to Koyne Urgench, we had to pay extra for entrance to the sights but the driver also gave us info. Then onward transfer to border crossing to uzbekistan.

Hope that helps.

Regards

Anna

The Hague, The...
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6. Re: Cost of short tour

Hi, which tourcompany did you use?

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7. Re: Cost of short tour

Hi Anna,

Could you tell me what is the name of the company where you got this travel plan?

Thanks a lot!

Albury, Australia
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8. Re: Cost of short tour

Hi Anna, could you please share with us who you did these tours with???

9. Re: Cost of short tour

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