5 Websites Blocked in Turkmenistan

I was recently backpacking in Turkmenistan, where I visited Ashgabat, Mary, Merv, Darvaza, Dashogus and Konye-Urgench amongst some other cool sites. It is by far the strictest country I have been in in terms of website banning. I was shocked by how many websites have been blocked by the government there. Although since depression kicked in, I haven’t blogged or relied on social media as much as I did a few years ago.

5 Websites Blocked in Turkmenistan

That said, I was offline for almost 6 days here and this gave me an excuse to stop updating my Instagram feed as I simply couldn’t access it. Of course with a VPN you could gain access easily, but having a new laptop now, my VPN was lost when my previous laptop broke.

Facebook was completely blocked here. This wasn’t too bad as I took the Don’t Stop Living Facebook page offline and cut back on using it in the wake of severe depression, but there is a possibility I will backdate my posts on Facebook.

I couldn’t access Facebook

Two years ago, in 2016, I was travelling (not backpacking! As I had no backpack!) in Senegal and The Gambia. It was a crazy adventure and I used mostly Twitter for it, with the hashtag #MSMLostLuggage . This time, in Turkmenistan, I was unable to use Twitter sadly as it was blocked.

Secret Senegal: I'm Off to Dakar Without A Backpack #MSMLostLuggage

Unlike my Secret Senegal Tour, I couldn’t get on Twitter #MSMLostLuggage

3.Bingo Sites
Although it is a majority Muslim state, Turkmenistan does have gambling. However many of the online gambling sites are simply blocked. This means locals will find it difficult to earn online via bingo sites deals and doing football bets. There are lots of local markets for bartering though – sheep, goats and camels can be bought and sold!

No betting in Turkmenistan but you can barter for sheep, goats and camels.

Sadly the world’s most popular video streaming website is also blocked in Turkmenistan. However, making videos is fine and I have now uploaded lots of videos from Turkmenistan onto my YouTube channel. I have some great vidoes of two of the UNESCO sites in the country, as well as the Darvaza Gas Crater, we camped beside it.

I YouTubed Turkmenistan

And the fifth website on my list that was blocked happens to be Instagram. No hashtagging and uploading selfies from the Palace of Turkmenbashi or the Darvaza Crater. Ah well, I will just have to backdate my photos if I ever want to show them on my Instagram feed.

Backpacking in Turkmenistan

Darvaza Gas Crater

Finally, the Turkmenistan visa is a difficult one to get, go through an agent like I did, use Silk Road Explore to secure that visa.

Here are the details for booking a tour to Turkmenistan:
International Agent – Silk Road Explore
28 Minbulakskiy Lane, 720042,
Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic
+996 550 914 408

Local Agent – Owadan Tourism
207 Oguzkhan Street Office 335
744027 Ashgabat
Telephone – +993 12957673, +993 12957681
info@owadan.net (for agents and operators)
sales@owadan.net (for backpackers and independent travellers)

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4 thoughts on “5 Websites Blocked in Turkmenistan

  • I have a friend who is a tour guide in the “Stan”-countries, but even he was denied a visa for Turkmenistan in 2018 so he could not join do his job there on one particular tour. Luckily you can visit Kazakhstan, kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan without a visa. The tricky countries are the one that starts with a “T”

  • Hi Peter Thanks for the comment. Yes there are a few tough ones for sure in the Stans. Pakistan has just been made easier but Podjistan is not welcoming tourists any longer. Safe travels. Jonny

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