Turkmenistan - TransportationTurkmenistan - Transportation
The only two major western carriers flying to Ashgabat are Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa Airlines. Turkmenistan Airlines has flights to Abu Dhabi, Almaty, Amritsar, Ankara, Bangkok, Beijing, Birmingham and London, Frankfurt, Istanbul, Minsk, Moscow, New Delhi, Paris and St. Petersburg. Russian S7 Airlines flies from Moscow to Ashgabat. Fly Dubai flies between Dubai and Ashgabat. Within the country, it is possible to fly to Balkanabat, Dashoguz, Mary, Turkmenabat, and Turkmenbashy. Road conditions in Turkmenistan make driving difficult and dangerous. Most roads outside of major cities are narrow, riddled with potholes, are unlit at night, and do not have proper road signs. Driving at night on these roads should be avoided. City roads are better in comparison but may be hazardous due to potholes, uncovered manholes, poor lighting, and pedestrian traffic. Pedestrians frequently cross against traffic and create dangerous conditions as do sudden stops by cars in the right lane as they pick up and discharge passengers. Traffic accidents involving serious injury to drivers, passengers, and pedestrians are common.
In general, visitors should use caution when driving in Turkmenistan. Drivers pay little attention to lanes and other road markings, with weaving and sudden lane changes (usually without use of a turn signal) a common occurrence. Drivers will often encounter cars going the wrong way on one-way streets or divided highways. Cars also frequently make left-turns from the right lane and vice versa. Pedestrians regularly walk or stand in the middle of busy streets during the day and night, often without paying attention to oncoming traffic. Roadside assistance does not exist in Turkmenistan, where vast stretches of highway are often unmarked.
The U.S. Embassy in Ashgabat has received reports that police stationed at checkpoints arbitrarily pull over and fine motorists. Because of the lack of reliable local transportation, visitors and new arrivals may find it convenient to hire a local driver. These drivers are usually relatively inexpensive. Arrangements can be made at most hotels. Taxis are also available in Ashgabat and are inexpensive.
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