Although now partly overgrown due to lack of care, the botanical garden of Ashgabat is still worth seeing. Due to the climatic situation, after decades of systematic construction during the Soviet era, the garden had a collection of plants from the deserts and semi-desert regions that was unique in the entire Soviet area. The greenhouses have now partially collapsed and can no longer be entered. The botanical garden can be reached on foot in around 25 minutes from the city center.
According to watchtutorials, the old zoo near downtown Ashgabat was one of the saddest places of its kind in the world. For example, the lion lived in a concrete enclosure that was hardly bigger than he was the bars on the lion until it growled. In three other concrete enclosures each lived about four spiny animals in cut tractor tires. The eagle enclosures were too small to allow the animals to unfold their wings and the bear enclosure was too small to allow the individual bear to stretch out. The only wolf used an old washbasin in the middle of the room as a source of water and a trip hazard. The duck pond was cleaned too seldom. However, the pond was so overcrowded that the green water was largely hidden between the manure-soiled duck bodies. In the summer, the crushing impression was intensified by the smell of feces, putrid water and used meat. After all, after the death of the last penguin, no new residents from Arctic or Antarctic regions were allowed into the algae-covered basins. Since then, only fish and frogs have swam between the algae, but their carcasses have not been removed from the surface. After all, after the death of the last penguin, no new residents from Arctic or Antarctic regions were allowed into the algae-covered basins. Since then, only fish and frogs have swam between the algae, but their carcasses have not been removed from the surface. After all, after the death of the last penguin, no new residents from Arctic or Antarctic regions were allowed into the algae-covered basins. Since then, only fish and frogs have swam between the algae, but their carcasses have not been removed from the surface.
Accordingly, the opening of the new zoo was a significant step forward for its residents. Although the living conditions here by no means correspond to those in modern western zoos, the animals have significantly more space for movement. The zoo mainly houses animals from the drying rooms. Due to its location near the new hippodrome about 45km west in the city center (journey time: around 45 minutes), individual visitors have so far been very rare. The young trees do not provide sufficient shade for the relatively long paths between the enclosures, so that visiting the zoo in summer can be very tiring. Deviating from the signs, the restaurant is not open regularly, so it makes sense to bring your own food and, above all, water supplies. The zoo can only be reached irregularly by buses, if at all. The easiest way to get to the zoo is by taxi (a time should be agreed with the driver to pick it up and the negotiated price for the round trip should only be paid when you return to Ashgabat). In principle, however, the visit is recommended as it can also be visited with a residence permit issued only for the capital (e.g. for employees of international airlines staying in Ashgabat or certain business travelers). Therefore, the journey to the zoo gives visitors a comparatively uncomplicated opportunity to gain an insight into life outside the capital.
About 20 minutes(by car) outside of Ashgabat is the starting point for the two health trails that the country’s first president had built in the mountains. In fact, many of these are stairs rather than paths. After a bit of climbing, the view over the city is correspondingly attractive. The stairs on the left when you arrive from the city lead to a helicopter landing pad. President Niyazov used this when he greeted the MPs at the top after their march into the mountains, after accompanying them from the helicopter beforehand. In contrast to Niyazov, President Berdimuhamedow also uses the stairs himself. The tradition of annual ascent by MPs, school children, students and employees of various state-owned companies and companies was retained. Outside of such festive events, however, the stairs are largely deserted. Only the lawns in the entrance area have developed into well-frequented barbecue sites for numerous Turkmens.
When planning ascent, your physical condition should be taken into account under all circumstances. In addition, it makes sense to look for a sensible way in advance (e.g. via Google Earth or Google Maps). Because the staircase declared as a path actually presents itself as a completely confusing network of different stairs and paths. Paths branch off again and again, which sometimes end in frustrating dead ends after steep ascents into the mountains. Although the facility is lit up all the time, it is not difficult to get lost here. There are neither signposts nor supply options. The paths are only connected to the public transport network at their starting point. Return transport from all other locations must be arranged individually. Due to the confusing number of ends of stairs, it is not always easy to meet a driver here. It is therefore advisable to start the hike at any end of the stairs and to choose the main entrance as the end point.
Another option is to start the hike at the valley station of the guide cable car. This can also be easily reached by car in around 20 minutes (from downtown Ashgabat) and is familiar to most of Ashgabat’s taxi drivers. If the train works, the mountain station offers excellent views both over the city itself and towards the nearby Iranian border. The trip with the cable car takes about 10 minutes each way.