Turkmenistan is an... Interesting place. Getting a visa to get into the country is pretty difficult, in the end I had to hire a guide for my entire stay in the country. That made getting the visa a bit easier.
I crossed the border from Uzbekistan on foot, and I was on my own - there were a few other Turkish and Iranian truck drivers, but that was it. Certainly no other tourists. Getting out of Uzbekistan was just a question of filling in a form. Customs weren't even interested in my bag. I'd been told that there was a bit of a walk across no-mans land, but I hadn't expected a half hour hike! There was a huge queue of trucks sitting in no-mans land waiting to get into Turkmenistan. Not a great sign.
I got to the border control, and was told to wait outside. My guide hadn't arrived, and they weren't even going to look at my passport without the guide being there. So there I was - stuck in no-mans land. Of course thoughts such as 'what do I do if the guide doesn't appear?', but after about a half hour I waved into the immigration post to greet my guide. The next half hour was spent filling in forms and paying $12 to get those forms.
The highlight of my trip to Turkmenistan was the few hours I spent looking around Merv, an ancient 'Silk Road' city, that's now in ruins. But those ruins are impressive. I was amazed at the sheer size of the city - there must have been ten's of thousands of inhabitants at it's peak.
There's the ruin of one castle(?) that looks like a toast rack - the outside walls are shaped in a series of circular half column, one of the strangest buildings I've seen.
The saddest thing I saw was the ruins of the shrine of Jamal al-din. Up until 1948 there had been a beautiful gateway covered in tiles and depicting two dragons, but in 1948 there was a huge earthquake that killed over 100,000 people, destroyed many buildings and left the shrine just a pile of rubble.