Turkmenbashi

Turkmenbashi, formerly known as Krasnovodsk, is in Balkan Province, Turkmenistan.

Understand

In 1717, Russian Prince Alexander Bekovich-Cherkassky landed and established a secret fortified settlement on this location, where the dry bed of a former mouth of the Amu-Darya River once emptied into the Caspian Sea. His intent was to march an army up this dry riverbed and conquer the Khanate of Khiva. The expedition failed, and the Russians abandoned the settlement for over 150 years.

In 1869, the Russians made a second and latest attempt. They named their fort Krasnovodsk (Красноводск), which is the Russian version of the original name, Kyzyl-Su (Red Water). Krasnovodsk was Imperial Russia's base of operations against Khiva and Bukhara, and the nomadic Turkmen tribes. It fell to the Red Army in February, 1920.

In 1993 Krasnovodsk was renamed "Turkmenbashi" Many would assume that the city was renamed on behalf of Niyazov's self-proclaimed title "Turkmenbashi" meaning "The leader of Turkmens" yet the rationale behind renaming is to denote that Turkmenbashi is the place from where Turkmens spring. Turkmen meaning the Turkmen and bashi - the start, spring.

Get in

By plane

Turkmenbashi is connected by Turkmenistan Airlines flights to Ashgabat, capital of Turkmenistan.

By train

Turkmenbashi is the western extent of the Trans-Caspian Railway. Turkmendemiryollari (Turkmenistan Zeleznice) runs trains from Ashgabat to Turkmenbashi. Train 606 leaves Ashgabat at 8:10PM daily, arriving at Turkmenbashi next morning at 9:15AM. Train 24 leaves Ashgabat at 8:40PM every second day, arriving at Turkmenbashi next morning at 6:55AM.

By car

From Kazakhstan

It is a two hours' drive from Zhanaozen to the Turkmenistan border and another 40 minutes drive from the border on a dirt road to the city of Karabogas (formerly Bekdash) (approx. US$ 50 per car). From Karabogas there is a good road to Turkmenbashi with fine views on the Caspian Sea. About 60 km south of Karabogas the road crosses a bridge over the channel connecting the Caspian Sea with the inland gulf.

within Turkmenistan

Turkmenbashi is about 560 km from Ashgabat.

By boat

There are boats across the Caspian Sea to Baku, Azerbaijan. The journey takes 12 to 18 hours and a seat costs about 50 US$. There are several boats weekly, but there is no fixed timetable. Consider that ships might be delayed and that your visa could expire in this time. Bring along you own food and water. See warnng on the Turkmenistan page!

Get around

The local bus station is at Balkan köcesi, about 500 meters west of the Museum of Regional History. Taxi drives within the town cost about 3000 M and 5000 M to Awaza (10 km north of Turkmenbashi).

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Eat

Budget

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Mid-range

Splurge

Connect

Turkenistan Airlines office, Rylov köcesi, near Hotel Hazar, phone 75474 or 75804.

Go next

By plane

Turkmenbashi is connected by Turkmenistan Airlines flights to Ashgabat, capital of Turkmenistan. The airport is 8 km out of town. Flights to Ashgabat and Dashoguz cost US$ 11 to 12.

By train

Turkmenbashi is the western extent of the Trans-Caspian Railway. Turkmendemiryollari (Turkmenistan Zeleznice) runs trains from Turkmenbashi to Ashgabat. Train 605 leaves Turkmenbashi at 4:05PM daily, arriving in Ashgabat next morning at 5:50AM. Train 23 leaves Turkmenbashi at 7:30PM every second day, arriving in Ashgabat next morning at 5:20AM. A seat (second class, kupe) costs US$ 1.20. Rail service information has phone 99462.

By car

To Khazakhstan

Go north from Turkmenbashi to Karabogas on a good road with fine views on the Caspian Sea. The last part is a 40 minutes drive from the border on a dirt road to the city of Karabogas (formerly Bekdash). From the Turkmenistan border it is a two hours' drive to Zhanaozen in Kazakhstan.

within Turkmenistan

Turkmenbashi is about 560 km from Ashgabat.

By bus

Shared taxis to Ashgabat and Balkanabat leave in front of the railway station, Atamurat Noyazov köcesi. The trip to Ashgabat takes 6 hours and costs about US$ 8 per seat or US$ 25 for the whole car.

Shared taxis go north to the Kazakhstan border. They stop at Zhanaozen (Novy Uzen). The trip takes 7 hours and costs approx. US$ 40 per car.

By boat

There are boats across the Caspian Sea to Baku, Azerbaijan. The journey takes 12 to 18 hours and a seat costs about 50 US$. There are several boats daily, but there is no fixed timetable. Consider that ships might be delayed and that your visa could expire in this time. Bring along your own food and water.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, January 03, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.