Turkmenabat is the center of Eastern Turkmenistan and second largest city in the country with about 270,000 inhabitants. It was called Charjou (four canals), until 1999 when it was renamed Turkmenabat (created by Turkmen). The city is a convenient place for a stopover on the long travels to the Kugitang Nature Reserve, Mary/Merv or Dashogus and on the way to Bukhara/Uzbekistan.
Turkmenistan Airways operate 4 daily flights from Ashgabat (US$12). The airport is 2 km east of the city center.
Turkmenistan Railways run trains to Turkmenabat from Ashgabat (2 trains per day, 16 hours, US$2.50), Mary/Merv (3 trains per day leaving Mary at 22:00, 01:20, 03:30, 7 hours, US$1) and Turkmenbashi (1 train per day, 23 hours, US$2.50). The railway station is in the city center.
By bus or taxi
Take a taxi from Bukhara to the border (US$8) at Farab or a shared taxi to Uzbek Olot (Qarakul) and then a taxi to the border. From the border it is about 45 km to Turkmenabat. A taxi should cost about US$5 and a seat in a shared taxi less than US$1.
Marshrutki arrive at the bus station, 9 km south of town, near Dunya Bazaar, or at the railway station in the town center.
- Lebap Regional Museum, Shaidakov köcesi 35. M-Sa 09:00-13:00, 14:00-18:00. It has an ethnographic section with a yurt and a diorama of a silversmith workshop. US$0.20.
- Russian Orthodox Church, Magtymguly sayoli.
- Amul' Settlement (10 km from the city center). In the 10th century, the settlement was a fortress surrounded by a wide moat filled with water and with gates on all four side, safeguarded by warriors day and night.
- Allamberdar Mausoleum. The mausoleum of Allamberdar (Almutasir) dates from the 11th century. It is the largest of the early buildings in Northern Khurasan.
- Astana-baba Mausoleum. The mausoleum dates back to the 11th and 12th centuries. The complex includes the mausoleums of Zed-Ali and Zuveid-Ali. According to the legend the ruler of medieval Khurasan had a beautiful daughter, who died soon after her wedding. The mourning father asked the best masters from Merv and Samarkand to built a beautiful mausoleum, but the mausoleum collapsed immediately after it had been built. A short time later, the father had a dream. An old man advised him to built the mausoleum from clay and with water brought from Mecca. Soon the mausoleum was completed and after his death the father was buried next to his daughter.
- Zelyoni Bazaar (Green Bazaar). Lively bazaar with lots of vegetable stalls, household goods, textiles, hats. There's a restaurant there serving basic lunch and chai very cheaply.
- Dunya Bazaar (8 km south of the city center).
- Restaurant Lebap, Puskin köcesi, ☏ . 09:00-23:00. US$2.
- Restaurant Vostok, Shaidakov köcesi. US$1.
- Restaurant Traktir, Arsarybaba köcesi 14, ☏ . 11:00-23:00. US$2.
- Hotel Amu Darja, Nijazov köcesi 14 (opposite the railway station), ☏ . US$15-60.
- Hotel Chardjou, Shaidakov köcesi (in the city center). US$15-30.
- Hotel Lebapgurlushyk, Magtymguly sayoli 51A, ☏ , . US$6 per person.
- Hotel Turkmenabat, Magtymguy sayoli, ☏ . Check-out: 12. Good standard hotel with good bathroom. Very clean. Very helpful reception staff speaking English. US$44 per double room.
- Repetek Nature Reserve (70 km south west of Turkmenabat). was founded in 1927 for the preservation and study of fauna and flora in the Western Kara Kum desert. It covers an area of 34.600 ha and was declared International Biospherical Reserve in 1979. The reserve contains a herbarium with 100 plants growing in the reserve and 1000 plants from other regions of Turkmenistan. The herbarium is a gift of the National Museum of Herbarium of the USA. The reserve has a small Nature Museum with stuffed animals, birds and reptiles.
- Dayahattin Kervansaray (170 km north of Turkmenabat on the road to Dashogus). The best preserved medieval kervansaray in Turkmenistan. It dates from the 11th century and was abandoned in the 16th century. It is square in plan, the walls being more than 50 meters long. Some parts keep text fragments with the names of the caliphs Abubakr, Omar and Ali.
- Amu Darya Nature Reserve Museum, Seydi (one hour's drive north of Turkmenabat). 10:00-12:00, 15:00-17:00. Exhibits stuffed animals, as the rare Bukhara deer or the goitred gazelle (jieran). 3000 manat.