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Ashgabat TM

Ashgabat is the capital city of Turkmenistan, a country located in Central Asia. Here are some interesting facts about Ashgabat:

City of White Marble: Ashgabat is often referred to as the "City of White Marble" due to its striking architecture featuring numerous buildings covered in white marble. The use of marble is a deliberate aesthetic choice by the government to create a visually impressive and cohesive urban landscape.

Guinness World Record Holder: Ashgabat holds the Guinness World Record for having the most buildings with white marble cladding in the world. The city's grandiose architecture and extravagant constructions, such as the Ministry of Health and the Presidential Palace, contribute to this record.

Monumental Statues: Ashgabat is home to numerous monumental statues that depict national heroes and symbols of Turkmen culture. One of the most prominent statues is the Monument of Neutrality, which features a towering golden statue of former President Saparmurat Niyazov rotating on top.

Natural Gas Abundance: Turkmenistan is known for its vast natural gas reserves, and Ashgabat is a significant beneficiary of this natural resource. The city is illuminated at night by the flames of the Darvaza Gas Crater, also known as the "Gates of Hell," which is located in the Karakum Desert not far from Ashgabat.

World-Class Architecture: Ashgabat boasts impressive modern architecture, showcasing a blend of traditional Turkmen motifs and contemporary design elements. The city's skyline features high-rise buildings, golden domes, and unique structures like the Independence Monument and the Alem Cultural and Entertainment Center.

The Arch of Neutrality: The Arch of Neutrality was a prominent landmark in Ashgabat, symbolizing Turkmenistan's policy of neutrality. It stood until 2018 when it was dismantled and replaced by a new tower, the "Ashgabat TV and Radio Center," which offers panoramic views of the city.

Akhal-Teke Horses: Ashgabat is known for its association with the Akhal-Teke horses, a breed renowned for its beauty, speed, and endurance. These horses have been an integral part of Turkmen culture for centuries, and you can witness their elegance at the Hippodrome in Ashgabat.

Carpet Museum: Ashgabat is home to the Turkmen Carpet Museum, which showcases a vast collection of exquisite handmade carpets. Turkmen carpets are renowned worldwide for their intricate designs, vibrant colors, and craftsmanship, and the museum provides a fascinating insight into this traditional art form.

Altyn Arashan valley KG

The gorge Altyn Arashan (with Kyrgyz language "golden source") - one of the most beautiful places of Kyrgyzstan. Its scenic beauty, a gem of the mountains is Ala Kel, and hot springs, known for their beneficial properties, have long conquered the hearts of the people who come to these places. Arashan mountain valley of the river is 10 kilometers east of the town of Kara-Kol.

Hot springs are also at a height of 2,600 meters above sea level. They are known for their healing properties. The sources are divided into two: radon and hydrogen sulfide. The first source, a large concentration of radon in water has beneficial effects on the human body: accelerate the healing process and resorption, in the nerve fibers of muscle and bone tissue, improves heart function and normalized. There are also sources of hydrogen sulfide, according to its useful properties, they are not inferior to radon. Hydrogen sulfide baths are useful in a variety of skin diseases, cardiovascular disorders, for the restoration and normalization of the nervous system, musculoskeletal system.

Ekurgenkel lake KG

Ekurgenkel is a stunning lake located in the southern part of the Seok mountains on the eastern side of the Jetim Bel range. Its main source of water is the Sary Tor glacier, which ensures a constant supply of fresh, clean water. 

The lake is approximately 1.5 kilometers in length and 1 kilometer wide, with crystal clear waters that reflect the surrounding mountain peaks. The area around the lake is characterized by peaks that rise to altitudes of more than 4000 meters, creating a breathtaking landscape that is sure to awe visitors.

The water from Ekurgenkel flows out to form the river Ekurgen, which ultimately joins the Taragaï river. The lake's location in the heart of the mountains ensures that it is surrounded by natural beauty, making it an ideal spot for hiking, camping, horseback riding or simply enjoying the view. With its serene waters and magnificent scenery, Ekurgenkel is truly a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to the Seok mountains region and Ak-Shirak syrthe.

Archa-Tor pass KG

The Karakabak gorge, and the Asantukum gorge, are two stunningly beautiful valleys located in the Jeti Oguz district. These valleys are separated by a mountain pass called the Archa Tor pass (difficulty 1A), which offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountains.

One of the highlights of the Archa Tor pass is the stunning view of the Head of Sugar peak, which stands at an altitude of 4189 meters. From the pass, you can also enjoy breathtaking views of the Chatyr Tor peaks.

The pass is open to visitors from mid-June till mid-October and offers nice camping sites on both sides. If you're planning to hike through the pass, it's important to be well-prepared for the trip, as the terrain can be challenging.

Arabel Suu syrt KG

Arabel Suu means "river of the sharped back" and it's also the spring of the Naryn river. But some water of this high plateau flow also in the Issyk Kul bassin. 

The Arabel Valley is an ancient peneplain elevated to over 4000 meters above sea level during the Alpine orogeny. This valley is home to numerous glaciers, marked by moraine arcs indicating their past extent. Due to glacial retreat since the Little Ice Age and accelerated melting over the past 40 years due to climate change, numerous glacial lakes have formed within the Arabel Suu Valley, with more anticipated in the near future. Notably, the valley features a unique glacier type known as the Grigoryev Ice Cap. This ice cap blankets the mountain like a cap and extends through several valleys. Ice core samples taken from the Grigoryev Ice Cap revealed that around 8000 years ago, during a warmer climate, the Arabel Suu Valley likely had no glaciers at all.

The geological structure of the Arabel Suu Valley encompasses layers of deposits from the Neogene to the present day, preserving an archive of the evolution of landscape and climate over millions of years. The valley's uplift occurred during the Oligocene period without significant tectonic deformations, a rare phenomenon for the Eurasian relief. Today, the Arabel Suu Valley serves as a popular tourist destination, offering a representative mountain landscape. 

This high plateau is not only a magical place for hikers in summer, but also for skiers in winter and spring. The plateau is surrounded by the Teskei and Soek ranges and part of the Geopark Teskei's inventory.

Minaret of Jam AF

The Minaret of Jam is an ancient Islamic monument located in the western province of Ghor in Afghanistan. It is a tall, tapered brick tower that stands approximately 65 meters (213 feet) high and is adorned with intricate brickwork and ornamental Kufic inscriptions.

The Minaret of Jam was built in 1194 by the great Ghurid sultan Ghiyas-od-din (1153-1203) during the Ghurid Empire, which was one of the most powerful Islamic empires of the time. The purpose of the minaret is not entirely clear, its emplacement probably marks the site of the ancient city of Firuzkuh, believed to have been the summer capital of the Ghurid dynasty, have served as a part of a complex of buildings that included a mosque and a madrasa (Islamic school). In the vicinity, Hebrew inscriptions from the 11th and 12th centuries have been found on the hill of Kushkak, as well as the remains of forts and towers from the Ghurid colonies.

The Minaret of Jam is considered to be one of the finest examples of Islamic architecture from the Ghurid period and is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Despite its historical significance, the minaret has faced numerous challenges, including natural disasters such as earthquakes and flooding, as well as political unrest and conflict in Afghanistan.

In recent years, efforts have been made to preserve and protect the Minaret of Jam, including through the establishment of a management plan and the development of visitor facilities. 

Khujand International Airport TJ

Khudjand International Airport  is an airport serving Khujand, the second-largest city in Tajikistan. It is located out of the city, in the nearby town of Chkalovsk. The airport resides at an elevation of 442 m above mean sea level. 

Airlines and destinations:

  • Aeroflot operated by Donavia: Rostov-on-Donu
  • Asian Express Airline: Mineralnye Vody, Nizhniy Novgorod, Volgograd
  • China Southern Airlines: Ürümqi
  • NordStar: Krasnoyarsk, St Petersburg
  • Orenair: Orenburg
  • S7 Airlines: Chelyabinsk, Moscow-Domodedovo, Novosibirsk
  • Somon Air: Almaty, Dushanbe, Kazan, Krasnodar, Krasnoyarsk-Yemelyanovo, Moscow-Domodedovo, Novosibirsk, Orenburg,Sochi, St Petersburg, Yekaterinburg
  • Tajik Air: Moscow-Domodedovo, Novosibirsk, Surgut
  • Turkish Airlines Istanbul-Atatürk
  • Ural Airlines Kaluga, Kazan, Krasnoyarsk-Yemelyanovo, Perm, Samara, Ufa, Yekaterinburg
  • UTair Aviation: Nizhnevartovsk, Surgut, Tyumen

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