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Touring the Five Stans

Touring the Five Stans

Old Apr 29, 19, 10:01 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: PVD, BOS
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Touring the Five Stans

Background:

Continuing toward my goal of visiting each country, this trip began as the continuation of my recent RTW trip in January. I had a return BOS-HKG-KTM ticket to use, so I decided to take the opportunity to see Central Asia. Initially, the plan was to fly to KTM (with a tedious 12hr stop in HKG), overnight there, then fly onward to Baku the following morning on TK via the new IST airport. The original plan had a rather long transit at HKG and a 1AM arrival into Baku, but I was content with it as the TK award ticket was very reasonably priced. The plans were set, or so I thought.

Original Routing


In the weeks leading up to the trip, hostilities between Pakistan and India flared up once again, leading to the ongoing closure of Pakistani airspace. As a result, the intended Kathmandu - Istanbul flight (TK727) began to suffer very poor on-time performance, generally landing at IST 2-6 hours late. I'd booked a 4hr layover at IST, so I decided to stick with my original plan. Then two weeks later, ET302 crashed and the 737 MAX was subsequently grounded. As a result, TK cancelled my chosen IST-GYD flight and rebooked me on a much later flight arriving at 5AM. Not wanting to endure this revised schedule, I looked for other options.

I ultimately settled on the routing below, discarding my HKG-KTM segment entirely and instead routing via Beijing, where QR had plenty of award availability to GYD. I would have preferred not transiting Beijing, but the other choices were MNL and BKK. The main benefit of the new routing was that I would now arrive in Baku at 11:30 AM on 18 April instead of 5:00AM on 19 April (after a 3hr red eye on a 737). This would give me a lot more time in Baku and a proper night's rest in a real bed. So I ticketed the itinerary and the trip was finalized.

Final Routing


BOS-HKG (CX J ticket)
HKG-PEK (CX Y ticket)
PEK-DOH-GYD (QR J award)
GYD-ASB (LH Y ticket)
ASB-ALA (T5 J ticket)
ALA-FRU-ALA (KC Y ticket)
ALA-DYU (KC Y ticket)
DYU-TAS (HY Y ticket)
TAS-PEK (CZ J ticket)
PEK-HKG-BOS (CX J ticket)


Stats:
  • Countries Visited: 9
  • Miles Flown: 28,000
  • Classes of Service: Economy, Business and First
  • New Airlines Flown: 5
  • New Countries Visited: 6
  • Updated Country Count: 60

In this report:
Cathay Pacific First Class: Boston - Hong Kong
Cathay Dragon Economy Class: Hong Kong - Beijing
Grand Hyatt Beijing
Qatar Airways Business Class: Beijing - Doha
Qatar Airways Business Class: Doha - Baku
Four Seasons Hotel Baku
Baku, Azerbaijan (Day 1)
Baku, Azerbaijan (Day 2)
Lufthansa Economy Class: Baku - Ashgabat
Yyldyz Hotel
Ashgabat and Darvaza, Turkmenistan (Day 1)
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan (Day 2)
Turkmenistan Airlines Business Class: Ashgabat - Almaty
Hotel Mercure Almaty City Center
Almaty, Kazakhstan
Air Astana Economy Class: Almaty - Bishkek
Hyatt Regency Bishkek
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan (Part One)
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan (Part Two)
Air Astana Economy Class: Bishkek - Almaty
Hotel Mercure Almaty City Center
Air Astana Economy Class: Almaty - Dushanbe
Dushanbe, Tajikistan
Hyatt Regency Dushanbe
Uzbekistan Airways Economy Class: Dushanbe - Tashkent
Uzbekistan Railways Afrosiyob: Tashkent - Samarkand
Samarkand, Uzbekistan (Part One)
Samarkand, Uzbekistan (Part Two)
Uzbekistan Railways Afrosiyob: Samarkand - Tashkent
Hyatt Regency Tashkent
Tashkent, Uzbekistan
China Southern Business Class: Tashkent - Beijing
Cathay Dragon Business Class: Beijing - Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific Business Class: Hong Kong - Boston


Previous Trip Reports:
10 Countries in 9 Days (CX, KE, QR, TG, KL, BI)
Former SSRs: the Baltics, Belarus and Back
Bangladesh, Burma and Beijing the Long Way (with stops in Laos, Singapore and Tokyo)

A Passage to India with stops in Qatar, Sri Lanka and Scandinavia (AA, QR, UL in J)
An Engagement to Remember: BOS to ZQN (with a few stops along the way)

RTW in J: Cairo, Papua New Guinea, East Timor, Bali and Nepal

Last edited by swingaling; May 2, 19 at 2:28 pm
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Old Apr 29, 19, 10:32 am
  #2  
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Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: PVD, BOS
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Cathay Pacific First Class: Boston - Hong Kong

Cathay Pacific
First Class
CX Business Class Ticket (with upgrade award)
CX811: BOS-HKG (Boston to Hong Kong)
16 April 2019
Boeing 777-300ER (Four Class Configuration)
B-KQU
Seat 2A

Departure: 1:50AM
Arrival: 5:10AM+1


In the days leading up to the flight, I found that the first class cabin on my flight was entirely empty and it was possible to upgrade the ticket with miles. Though objectively a relatively poor value for miles, I'd never flown CX first and I wanted to try it at least once. Especially since there's no way I'd ever buy an F ticket outright. Given the entirely empty cabin, there was a good chance that I'd have the entire F cabin to myself. So I took the plunge and issued the upgrade.

I got to the airport and was through security and in the BA lounge fairly quickly. The flight boarded after a short delay. The inbound plane had been delayed because of a medical diversion to ANC. I was aware of this several hours prior to departure and was a bit concerned about my connection to PEK. Ultimately, there was no need for concern. My flight departed BOS only 30 minutes late and still arrived in HKG on time.

Once on board, I settled into seat 2A and the cabin crew quickly made the rounds introducing themselves. The ISM also apologized for the late departure due to the diversion to ANC on the inbound flight.

Seat 2A


My instincts proved correct and I ended up having the entire F cabin to myself. From the time I boarded, I never saw another passenger for the entire flight. And since I deplaned first, I never saw any other passengers until I was in the terminal building. It felt almost like I was flying alone on a private plane. Having two lavatories entirely to myself was also quite nice, if a bit unnecessary.

Empty F Cabin


Seat 2A


Menu


Menu


Menu


Menu


Menu


Since I don't drink alcohol and I detest caviar (from past experience), I skipped those offerings. I had a relatively quick dinner, which was delicious. The steak was the best I've had on a plane. Cooked perfectly to medium.

Cathay Delight


Salad


Steak


Perfectly Cooked Medium


Fruit


Chocolates



After the meal, I asked the FA to make seat 1A into a bed so I could get some sleep. It's really nice having a separate seat for a bed... The bed was by far the most comfortable I've had flying. I've flown long haul international F previously, and the CX bed, while dated, is the most comfortable I've flown. Far better than F* on AA's 77W and superior to both KE A380 and SQ 77W F hard products. The only negative was the seat is not the most supportive when in seat mode, though the copious pillows help with that.

I had a very good 6-8 hour sleep and then I was up for the rest of the flight.

Mid-flight Burger


Shortly before landing, I had a quick breakfast. The food was excellent. The eggs were freshly scrambled and delicious. Far better than the typical airplane egg.

Breakfast


Yogurt


Eggs, Freshly Scrambled



Before long, we were at HKG and it was time to leave. The flight was nearly 15 hours, but ended far too soon.
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Old Apr 29, 19, 10:50 am
  #3  
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Cathay Dragon Economy Class: Hong Kong - Beijing

Cathay Dragon
Economy Class
CX Economy Class Ticket
KA900: HKG-PEK (Hong Kong to Beijing)
17 April 2019
Airbus A330-300 (Three Class Configuration)
B-HYG
Seat 25C

Departure: 7:30AM
Arrival: 10:50AM


My transit at HKG was short this time, but we landed directly next to a nearly deserted transit security checkpoint, so I was through security and airside within 10 minutes of landing. I made a beeline for the Pier F lounge to caffeinate and have a shower. I was so quick that I arrived before the lounge opened at 5:30 AM and had to wait around for 10 minutes for the lounge to open.

After a quick shower, I had some coffee and decided to check out the Pier F dining room.

Pier F Menu


The host station was unmanned and I had to wait 5 minutes to be seated. I ordered a quick bite to eat and waited for nearly 15 minutes but neither the food nor my espresso ever came. Service has really gone downhill since Sodexho took over running the lounge. Since I had to catch my flight, I left and hoofed it to gate 7, which was a bus gate. In the roughly 20 times I've flown through HKG, this was my first bus gate.

Boarding was slowly, with the bus making three trips to the plane. I was on the first bus and settled in for the 3hr flight to Beijing. The plane was old, but the interior was fine and relatively comfortable for the short flight.

Y Cabin


View from the remote stand


The meal was served shortly after takeoff and it was pretty tasty. No complaints.

Meal


We landed at PEK on time and I was through immigration quickly. I got some Yuan from the exchange booth (the ATM wouldn't work for me) and headed to the Airport Express. I still had a Yikatong card, so I reloaded it and boarded the train to the city. I'd made this journey before, so it was quite easy now.
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Old Apr 29, 19, 11:02 am
  #4  
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Grand Hyatt Beijing

Grand Hyatt Beijing

I made it to the hotel by noon and was able to check-in immediately. My layover in Beijing was only 15 hours, but it was more than enough time to leave the airport and get some rest. I dropped off my bag and took a short walk around Wangfujing. After a while, I went to a Sichuan restaurant in Oriental Plaza for an early supper.

Room


Room


Room


Room


View


View


Dinner was quite good, if a bit spicier than I'd intended. After dinner, I retired to my room and slept for about 6 hours, getting up around 10:00PM for my next flight.

Pea Greens


Laziji
Far spicier than normal - note the fried fresh chilies



I checked out of the hotel by 11:00PM and asked the bellman to order a taxi to the airport for me. I'd typically use DiDi, but there was quite a long queue for rides. The taxi ride to the airport was fast and uneventful.
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Old Apr 29, 19, 11:17 am
  #5  
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Qatar Airways Business Class: Beijing - Doha

Qatar Airways
Business Class
AA Business Class Award Ticket
QR895: PEK-DOH (Beijing to Doha)
18 April 2019
Boeing 777-300ER (Two Class Configuration)
A7-BEL
Seat 3K

Departure: 1:50AM
Arrival: 5:55AM


Check-in took a bit longer than usual, as the agents were confused about what the entry requirements for Azerbaijan were for me. The language barrier didn't help, I suspect. Regardless, I got my boarding passes and made it to Terminal 3E after a short while. I went to the Air China First Class Lounge, which was anything but. I had a quick snack of beef noodle soup and then headed to the boarding gate nearby.

Decent Beef Noodle Soup


A7-BEL


As expected, my flight was on a QSuite equipped plane. The plane boarded early, but was delayed when a passenger poked himself in the eye. This necessitated medical consultations about whether he was fit to fly....

Eventually, we pushed back and were on out way. Unfortunately, there was a long line of departures ahead of us, so it took quite a while to actually get airborne. On the bright side, QR provided pajamas on this flight. They're nowhere near as nice as the pajamas CX provide in F, but appreciated nonetheless.

Seat 3K


Menu


Menu


Menu


Menu


Salad


Sandwich


Dessert


After the quick meal service, I slept for 5-6 hours. I elected to skip breakfast to maximize sleep, but we were treated to excellent views of Doha on arrival. Overall, it was a great flight as always.

Doha Final Approach


Doha Final Approach


Doha Final Approach
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Old Apr 29, 19, 11:31 am
  #6  
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Qatar Airways Business Class: Doha - Baku

Qatar Airways
Business Class
AA Business Class Award Ticket
QR351: DOH-GYD (Doha to Baku)
18 April 2019
Airbus A320 (Two Class Configuration)
A7-LAD
Seat 2D

Departure: 7:30AM
Arrival: 11:20AM


We landed at a remote stand in Doha and the bus driver took a bad route, putting us in a long line at the offload point. We actually ended up at the terminal after economy pax from our own flight, despite leaving the plane well before them.

As I had a short connection in Doha, I headed for the Business Class transfer security checkpoint. I was through within 5-10 minutes max, despite the slow transfer to the terminal. I then made my way to my gate at the far end of the terminal, using the APM to speed things along. I was at the gate with plenty of time to spare, as DOH is a very efficient airport.

Boarding took a while, as they were unable to secure a business class bus for our flight. They asked if I minded, and of course I told them it made no difference at all. So we took the economy class bus to the plane, getting stuck behind a slow moving baggage tram along the way.

Once aboard, everything went smoothly. We took off roughly on time and arrived on time at GYD.

A7-LAD


J Cabin


Empty Seat
As an OWE, QR had blocked the seat next to me. Very much appreciated.


Menu


Menu


Breakfast
As usual, the Indian meal was delicious


Immigration and customs were very quick. I retrieved some cash from an ATM and easily ordered a taxi to my hotel. The taxi to the hotel took roughly 30 minutes and the whole process was quite painless.

Arrival in GYD


GYD Terminal
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Old Apr 29, 19, 11:39 am
  #7  
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Four Seasons Hotel Baku

Four Seasons Hotel Baku

I typically don't stay at FS hotels, but I had a free night certificate from Hotels.com to burn, so this seemed a perfect opportunity. The location of the hotel was the primary reason I chose it, as it's located in the Baku old town. There are other options, but they're typically not as convenient. I typically stay in a Hyatt when possible, but I opted for the FS here due to the superior location.

I arrived at the hotel by 12:30PM and was able to check-in early. As expected, the hotel itself was quite nice. Not surprising, as it's generally regarded as the best hotel in town. The room was quite nice and the service was great. No issues whatsoever.

Enormous Orchids


Room


Room


Room


Room


Room


Room


Room


View


View



After settling in, I decided to go for a stroll around the Baku old city area. It wasn't too chilly out, but it was very windy.
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Old Apr 29, 19, 11:55 am
  #8  
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Baku, Azerbaijan (Day 1)

Baku, Azerbaijan (Day 1)

I took a walk through the old city and visited some of the highlights along the way. It was bitterly windy, so I didn't last too long but I got a decent sense of the old city. It was fairly quiet and clean. Felt totally safe. It felt entirely European, but wasn't nearly as interesting as some other old towns in Europe I've visited.

My visit happened to occur roughly 10 days prior to the annual Formula One race, so the grandstands and race barriers were already in place.

Baku Old City


Baku Old City


Baku Old City


Baku Old City


Four Seasons Hotel


Baku Old City


Baku Old City


Baku Old City


Baku Old City


Baku Old City


Baku Old City


Maiden Tower


Cat Hunting its Prey


Maiden Tower


View from Maiden Tower


View from Maiden Tower


View from Maiden Tower


Maiden Tower


Baku Old City


Maiden Tower


Maiden Tower


F1 Barriers


Baku Old City


It was pretty cool to walk sections of what would become the F1 street circuit in a little over a week.

Baku Old City


Baku Old City


Baku Old City


Baku Old City


Baku Old City



I was getting pretty hungry at this point, so I headed back to the hotel restaurant to grab a light lunch. The lunch was quite reasonably priced and very tasty.


Lentil Soup


Chicken Schnitzel with Tomato Herb Salad



After lunch, I was pretty worn out from the travel, so I retreated to my room to rest. Later that evening, I ordered room service for dinner, which was also quite good.

Choban salad


Burger


Fruit Salad
Bit of a letdown


Night Views from the Room



I went to bed a bit early, as the following day promised to be quite a long one.
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Old Apr 29, 19, 12:28 pm
  #9  
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Baku, Azerbaijan (Day 2)

Baku, Azerbaijan (Day 2)

I woke up early and had breakfast at the hotel buffet. It was quite good.

Breakfast


I met my guide at 9AM and we set off immediately. We had numerous stops planned for the day, followed by my onward flight to Ashgabat. First stop was mud volcanoes outside the city. The guide drove us there in his car, then we switched to a Lada taxi for the offroad section. It was quite bumpy, but cool to ride in an old Lada.

Lada


Lada


Mud Volcanoes


Mud Volcanoes


Mud Volcanoes


Mud Volcanoes


Mud Volcanoes


Mud Volcanoes with Lada


Mud Volcanoes


Mud Volcanoes


Next up was a museum at Gobustan National Park followed by a visit to the park to see the cave drawings.

Gobustan


Gobustan


Gobustan


Gobustan


Gobustan


Gobustan


Gobustan


Gobustan


Gobustan


Gobustan


Gobustan


Gobustan


Gobustan


Gobustan


Gobustan


Gobustan
My tour guide, who looked quite a lot like my brother in law.


Gobustan


Then back to the city.

Baku Port


Bibiheyat Mosque


Bibiheyat Mosque


Parliament Building


Flame Towers


Flame Towers


View from Highland Park


View from Highland Park


Highland Park


Highland Park


Heydar Aliyev Centre


Heydar Aliyev Centre


Aborted Trump Building


Heydar Aliyev Centre


Unfortunately, the mosque was closed because of an incoming government delegation, so we couldn't get any closer.

Heydar Mosque


Heydar Mosque


Next up was this flame that's been burning for over 50 years when a sheep herder tossed a cigarette and lit the hill on fire accidentally. It's become a bit of a tourist attraction, but really nothing special compared to the Darvaza crater in Turkmenistan.

Yanar Dag


Yanar Dag


Yanar Dag


Final stop was the fire temple, which was built for traders from India.

Persian Fire Temple


Persian Fire Temple


Persian Fire Temple


Persian Fire Temple


Persian Fire Temple


Persian Fire Temple


Persian Fire Temple


Persian Fire Temple


Persian Fire Temple


Persian Fire Temple


Persian Fire Temple


Persian Fire Temple


Persian Fire Temple


Before ending the tour, we stopped at a local restaurant for lunch. Tasty and cheap, if you don't mind cigarette smoke.

Lunch


After this, we headed to the airport.
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Old Apr 29, 19, 12:36 pm
  #10  
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Lufthansa Economy Class: Baku - Ashgabat

Lufthansa
Economy Class
LH Economy Class Ticket
LH612: GYD-ASB (Baku to Ashgabat)
19 April 2019
Airbus A321 (Two Class Configuration)
D-AIDM
Seat 6D

Departure: 9:10PM
Arrival: 11:35PM


I arrived at the airport several hours early, as the tour was finished. So I hung around at the landside lounge until my flight check-in opened. It was nothing special, but was quiet and comfortable. After check-in, I went through immigration and security. Both were painless. I still had some time to kill so I grabbed some dinner before the flight.

View from Lounge
The landside lounge was directly next to the apron, so the views were quite good.


Dinner


The flight boarded roughly on time, though only a dozen passengers boarded at Baku. The majority of passengers had started in Frankfurt.

Snack


The service was fine and the flight arrived in Ashgabat on time. That's when the fun began.

I made it to the visa counter fairly quickly and was second in line. When it was my turn, the officer worked on my visa for a few minutes and then told me to stand to the side and wait. Over the course of the next hour, he then proceeded to process the 35 people in line behind me. Once everyone else was gone, he made a dozen phone calls and then finally processed my visa. The process took well over 90 minutes and was extremely annoying. Of course, he spoke almost no English and provided no explanation.

What I think happened was this. I applied for a Letter of Invitation in January using my then-current passport. It was approved. In February I realized I'd run out of space in my passport, so I applied for a new one. Once the new passport arrived, I sent a copy to my tour operator and he had a new LOI issued for my new passport number. Everything should have been fine.

When I arrived at ASB, I suspect the old passport number was still in their systems and they had to go through a lot of bureaucratic nonsense to rectify the issue. It was a huge hassle and had I known this would happen, I would've waited to apply for the LOI once my new passport had been issued. When they registered me with the police, the internal travel document still reflected my old passport number.

Eventually, I made it through immigration and was greeted by my tour guide and driver. Then we were off to the hotel for the night so I could finally get some rest.

Last edited by swingaling; Apr 29, 19 at 12:43 pm
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Old Apr 29, 19, 12:58 pm
  #11  
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Yyldyz Hotel

Yyldyz Hotel

I opted to stay in the Yyldyz Hotel, translated as Star Hotel. It was pretty nice, if a bit strange. The hotel building is shaped a bit like a sex toy. I assume that wasn't intentional...

Yyldyz Hotel Building
A photo during the day time


The check-in process was quick and they didn't bother taking a credit card imprint. That was fine, as their prices for incidentals were ridiculous. The hotel was quite nice and the facilities were in good shape.

Lobby
Birds of a feather...


Lobby


Lobby


Lobby Shop


Newspaper


Room


Room


Room


Room


Room


Room


Room


Room


Room


Room


Room


Room Service Menu


View from Room


View from Room


View from Hotel Restaurant Balcony


View from Hotel Restaurant Balcony


View from Hotel Restaurant Balcony


View from Hotel Restaurant Balcony


View from Hotel Restaurant Balcony


View from Hotel Restaurant Balcony


I went to sleep right away and slept pretty well. It was a pretty good hotel and the room price was reasonable, I suppose.
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Old Apr 29, 19, 2:13 pm
  #12  
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Ashgabat and Darvaza, Turkmenistan (Day 1)

Ashgabat and Darvaza, Turkmenistan (Day 1)


Not too many guests staying in the hotel. The breakfast was decent. The highlight was a made to order eggs station.

Breakfast Restaurant


Breakfast Restaurant


Breakfast


Breakfast



I had breakfast and then we headed out for a day of sightseeing. We'd initially planned to go to the cable car, but it was very foggy. So instead we went to a very large bazaar outside the city.

Wedding Palace


Ashgabat


The bazaar was quite large. There were over 40 large buildings housing vendors of all sorts of goods. I didn't get too many good photos, as most people did not want their photos taken. There were over a thousand vendors in the complex in total.

Altyn Asyr Bazar


Altyn Asyr Bazar


Altyn Asyr Bazar


Altyn Asyr Bazar


Altyn Asyr Bazar


Altyn Asyr Bazar


Altyn Asyr Bazar


Altyn Asyr Bazar


Altyn Asyr Bazar


Altyn Asyr Bazar


Altyn Asyr Bazar


Altyn Asyr Bazar


Altyn Asyr Bazar


Altyn Asyr Bazar


Altyn Asyr Bazar


Altyn Asyr Bazar


Altyn Asyr Bazar


Altyn Asyr Bazar


Altyn Asyr Bazar


Altyn Asyr Bazar


Altyn Asyr Bazar


Altyn Asyr Bazar


Altyn Asyr Bazar


Altyn Asyr Bazar


Altyn Asyr Bazar


Altyn Asyr Bazar


Altyn Asyr Bazar


After the bazaar, we went back to the city to see the Russian Market. We only walked through briefly. Outside, I was taking a photo of the building and a man happened to be in the shot. He followed us and told me to delete the photo. I did, but then promptly recovered it from the recently deleted folder... See below.

Russian Market


Russian Market


Russian Market


Russian Market


Russian Market
Note the Secret Police


Lenin Statue


Lenin Statue


Lenin Statue


Ashgabat


Ashgabat


Ashgabat


Ak şäher Aşgabat


Saparmurat Turkmenbashi Theatre


Ashgabat


We then headed to a newly built mall for some lunch, which was cheap and quite good.

Berkarar Mall


Berkarar Mall


Lunch


Ashgabat


By this time, it was mid afternoon and we started off toward the Darvaza gas crater. On the way we made a few stops, so it took us roughly 3.5 hours to get there. The roads were not in great condition, so it was quite bumpy for most of the way.

Village


Village


Village


Village


Village


Roadside Cafe


First stop near Darvaza was a water crater. It was incredibly muddy, as the weather had been very rainy for the past few weeks. Note how green the desert is. It was also fairly cold. Due to the mud, the crater was not terribly safe. There were spots where the ground has collapsed and there was evidence that the ground would continue to subside. There were some large fissures forming around the rim of the crater.

Water Crater


Water Crater


Water Crater


Water Crater


Much as the previous crater, it wasn't safe enough to go close to the rim to see over the edge. Unfortunately, a small cat had fallen into the crater. It was unhurt, walking around but had been stuck down there for at least three days. Really heartbreaking. Even if one were inclined to help the poor guy, going down into the crater would be incredibly dangerous.

Mud Crater


Mud Crater
Cat stranded at the bottom is visible in full res version.


Mud Crater


Finally we made it to the gas crater. Notice how green everything is. They'd been having an abnormal amount of rain and everything was green as a result.

Darvaza


Darvaza


Darvaza


Darvaza


Darvaza


It started to rain quite hard, so we retreated to the car and had some dinner.

Dinner


Dinner


Dinner


The weather cleared and we were able to see the crater as night fell. We stayed until 8PM and then headed back to the city. We could have stayed longer, but I was pretty tired and wanted to get to the hotel at a reasonable hour. We made good time and showed up at the hotel at 11PM. Luckily, I was able to sleep most of the ride back.

Darvaza


Darvaza


Darvaza


Darvaza


Darvaza


Wedding Palace

Last edited by swingaling; Apr 29, 19 at 2:21 pm
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Old Apr 29, 19, 7:48 pm
  #13  
757
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: St. Paul, MN
Programs: Delta GM, IHG Gold, HH Silver
Posts: 392
Great photos and report so far! I had a friend that was in the peace corps in Azerbaijan for 2 years, and I've been interested in seeing photos of Baku. Looking forward to the rest of your report!
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Old Apr 29, 19, 10:05 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: YEG
Programs: Table scraps from Aeroplan and AmEx Plat
Posts: 385
Laziji is one of my top 5 favourite dishes. Those are red chilies, though. While trying to order it in Sichuan once I got something very similar, with green fresh ones. Just as spicy (and numbing - "ma la") as laziji, but slightly more saucy/moist.
bambinomartino is online now  
Old Apr 30, 19, 12:04 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: TSV, Australia
Posts: 2,380
Great TR so far. I'm looking forward to the rest.

Those food prices in the hotel are insane! How much was the hotel and food in other places?
camsean is offline  

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