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Tindall likened the empty metropolis to a 'strange mix' between Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, and Las Vegas.He then drove north to explore the rugged landscape.It was hoped that the fire would use all the fuel within days, but the gas is still burning today Summing up his trip to Turkmenistan, Tindall said: 'Turkmenistan is one of the most isolated places in Central Asia.
Only an arresting, daunting place like this could be home to the Gates of Hell.' Soviet geologists were drilling at the site in 1971 and tapped into a cavern filled with natural gas.They walk lonely in the desolate streets, laughing in the shadow of mountains.'Outside the city, the world is different; the desert is unforgiving.Tour Essentials Accommodation: Mix of hotels, basic lodges and camping Included Meals: Daily breakfast (B), plus lunches (L) and dinners (D) as shown in the itinerary.Group Size: Maximum of 12Start Point: Ashgabat End Point: Ashgabat Transport: 4WD, minibus, domestic flights Countries: Turkmenistan Tour Itinerary Notes While our intention is to adhere to the day-by-day itinerary as printed below, a degree of flexibility is built in.On the edge of the Silk Road and with a rich history stretching back millennia, Turkmenistan is a landof which few have knowledge.Dominated by forbidding desert and once the abode of fierce tribesmen renowned for their slave trading, the country today is characterised by sharp contrasts, from the futuristic building projects of the capital to remote communities living among the sands.The flames generate a golden glow which can be seen for miles around Derweze, a village with a population of about 350. In April 2010 the country's president, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, visited the site and ordered that the hole should be closed but this is yet to happen.Summing up his trip to Turkmenistan, Tindall, who runs travel company Remote Lands, said: 'Turkmenistan is one of the most isolated places in central Asia – known for draconian dictators and the driest desert in the world. 'Monuments and buildings rise high in the skyline, brutalist and imposing. 'But here, too, are people who live and suffer just like anyone else.Overnight stops may vary from those suggested and on occasions alternative accommodation, of a similar standard to that named below, will be used.Tour Guide Our guides are a key strength, chosen for their knowledge of and passion for the areas in which they work.