The view from the Arch of Neutrality. Most of these buildings are forbidden to be photographed but sometimes you just have to break the rules (scroll down to read more) The blue-domed buildings are the Congressional Palace and the golden-domed building is the Presidential Palace
The Ministry of Health Building which is designed to look like a hooded snake as snakes are considered good fortune in Turkmenistan. Nevertheless the locals have another, more colloquial, name for it 'The Vagina'
The Russian Market or Russki Bazaar in downtown Ashgabat
The Ertugrul Gazi mosque in Ashgabat. Built by the Turkish, it was the only Mosque that we were permitted to photograph inside
The Ertugrul Gazi mosque in Ashgabat
The circus. The circus was introduced by the Soviets but was banned under Turkmenbashi rule as it was not a traditional Turkmen pastime. The current president is planning to re-open it, so we snuck in during the refurbishments
The façade of the Communist HQ in Ashgabat with a sculpture by NY-based artist Ernst Neizvestny
Central Asia's largest mosque, called either Mosque of Turkmenbashi's Soul or Spirit of Turkmenbashi Mosque
The Independence Monument. It's rounded nature is meant to conjure up images of yurts and emphasize the Turkmen people's nomadic nature
Out with the old and in with the new. This is the new president of Turkmenistan, our friend, Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedow
The Arch of Neutrality on top of which stands the golden statue of the first Turkmen president, Saparmurat Niyazov. The statue rotates 360 degrees every 24 hours following the sun so that during the day it is continually bathed in golden rays
The Earthquake Memorial. The bull holds the world atop its shoulders, and when it shifts the world trembles, like it did in Ashgabat in 1948 when a huge number of residents died
The Trade Center, otherwise known as Five Legs. It has fountains running down the side of it and a shopping mall and restaurants inside and was built to commemorate the fifth year of independence. At night it is cloaked in neon.
A marriage ceremony. The bride wears a traditional Turkmen outfit and won't be uncovered until that night
A festival we stumbled upon in one of the parks. Lots of women were dressed up and seated looking up onto a large portrait of the current president while a band played
The former Central library from Soviet times, this was one of our favourite buildings in Ashgabat. Designed by Ernst Neizvestny it is now a children's centre
One of the many monuments devoted to the dearly departed Turkmenbashi
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