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Turkmenistan

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Turkmenistan's Infamous 'Gates of Hell' May Finally Close

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While it’s technically possible to get to Turkmenistan, you’ll devote the better part of your waking days to figuring out how.

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You’ll need a certified letter of invitation from the host government, a difficult-to-get visa, and you’ll need to pay a registration fee and register with the State Migration Service, or SMS. The process ranks right up there with North Korea.

The capital, Ashgabat, is sometimes referred to as the “city of the dead.” Looking at it from the air, you might think you’re in Vegas — you’re not. You’re really, really not. The city and its neon grandeur act as a decoy, pulling your eyes from the country’s actual goings-on. But you are close to the “door to hell,” and if you’re looking for a fiery escape to the underworld, Turkmenistan just might be your place, oh intrepid one.

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