In the midst of the arid sprawl of Turkmenistan's vast Karakum desert, the tiny village of Damla is a little haven of traditional Turkmenistani life. Among just 60 dwellings in the swirling sands, the local inhabitants go about their daily lives quietly and simply and a visit to Damla is a unique opportunity to see and experience a slice of their way of life.
Located to the east of the fiery crater at Darvaza and connected to other civilization by endless sandy dunes, Damla is secluded and cut off; indeed, many of the villagers trek miles to neighboring towns like Bekuri, on foot or carried on camels or horseback for supplies and services. However, it is precisely Damla's isolation that creates its charm; see and experience for yourself the marvel of the peace and tranquility of this preserved piece of true Turkmenistan.
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Damla’s larger neighbor, Bekuri, is a popular destination in the area for its traditions and industries. Here, you can see authentic Turkmenistani carpets woven before your eyes using original medieval techniques, unchanged for centuries.
Travel like a local and experience the life of a local horseman, proud of their stunning Akhal Teke horses, thought to be the purest breed in the world, or charter a ‘desert ship’ - the indigenous one-humped camels well-suited to the sandy terrain.
Journey west of Damla to discover Darvaza, the village that means ‘gate’ and the home of the ‘Door to Hell’. Gaze into the vast crater of fiery gases which have been burning for decades without respite.
Join the locals in Damla and share in their way of life. Learn their customs and experience their traditions through mealtimes, lively conversations and evenings of entertainment including traditional live music performances.
Spend a night in a traditional nomadic yurt and experience the unforgettable feeling of being both exposed to the elements and totally safe. The semi-portable tents might not have hotel-standard luxury, but they do provide a window to the starlit canopy on magical desert nights.
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