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AUGUST 14TH 2017

Off to Work for The 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games.


international, events

We spoke with our lovely team member Nara who grew up in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan where the games are being hosted.

As you may or may not know, Off to Work are delighted to be working in partnership with the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games to provide over 200 hospitality staff. No matter how many fact sheets and internet articles you read, the thought of travelling to a new country is always a little bit daunting.

By an amazing  coincidence, we discovered that one of our lovely platinum hostesses, Nara, was born and raised in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan and of course, we had to speak to her and find out exactly what life is like in the white city!  


My best memory of growing up in Turkmenistan is the beautiful scenery and feeling extremely safe. You might be surprised to know that Ashgabat is a completely white city and “Ashgabat” literally means city of love.  Local Turkmen people take great pride in greeting guests warmly and making them feel welcome. The local languages are Turkmen, Russian and Turkish, but some people do speak English too.

There are lots of great things  for tourists to experience, no matter how long or short the stay. A local dish you must try if you get the chance is called Plow and this is a delicious combination of rice, meat, carrot and onion. Restaurants in Ashgabat also make outstanding manty, somsa and doner kebabs!

You should also visit the Ashgabat National Museum of History which is really interesting and free to enter. There are also lots of parks, shopping malls, rooftop restaurants and hotel bars with swimming pools. Taxis are really cheap and as Ashgabat is fairly small, you can get anywhere in around 10-15 minutes. You may have read that Turkmenistan nightlife shuts down around 11-pm which true, however, I think that some Ashgabat restaurants and bars will remain open later during the Olympics to cater for our international guests.


My very favourite thing about Ashgabat is the friendly people and the affordable prices! People live a very healthy lifestyle too, which is great. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can drive around 30 minutes outside of the city and visit villages in the mountains to enjoy some very traditional food.”

Nara’s top tips are:

  • Download Hotspot VPN BEFORE you arrive in Turkmenistan to access your social media as the internet in Ashgabat is a lot slower than in the UK.
  • Bring cash with you, as you won’t always be able to use your UK credit or debit cards.
  • Autumn time is still very hot, so don’t worry about bringing warm clothes.
  • There is delicious, cheap food all around Ashgabat so make sure you try it out!

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