Monster Spiders! Glass Beaches! The Top Of The World! Check Out These Wild Eastern European / Central Asian Adventures!

Want To Go To The Top Of The World?

Well, you are looking at it!

How about taking a fun trip to a glass beach?

Or perhaps you just want to see a place known subtly as the “gates of hell!” If that’s the case, here are 3 unique places that I want to visit, so I know you must as well!


Welcome To Turkmenistan’s “Gates Of Hell!”

OK, you all know how much I love to travel – and the world is an amazing place, with new things to discover every day – like the country of Turkmenistan, and their “Gates Of Hell!”


AKA “Door To Hell”!

Amazing natural wonders often go by many names, and that is especially true in Turkmenistan.

Yes, there is a country called Turkmenistan, and I will happily tell you where it is, because that is where the “door to hell” exists!

As reported in Newser:

“A fiery pit has been burning in the middle of a Turkmenistan desert for more than four decades, and little has been done to get rid of it. The Darvaza gas crater, nicknamed the “Gates of Hell” or the “Door to Hell,” has been on fire since 1971, when scientists were looking for oil fields in the Karakum Desert, then part of the Soviet Union. The spot where they began drilling turned out to be a haven for natural gas—and the site collapsed under the weight of the drilling gear, Smithsonian magazine reports.”


The story goes on to report:

“Several craters were formed, the biggest of which is 230 feet wide and 65 feet deep, and it was full of methane gas that began killing local animals. So scientists decided to burn the gas away, a common practice when unwanted natural gas is sticking around. They thought it would be gone in a few weeks; now, more than 40 years later, it’s still burning, and experts aren’t sure how much gas remains.”

Still, it gives locals the chance to take cool pictures like this:


That’s right, adventure travelers can stay in tents and view the site – the internet is full of pictures of tourist silhouettes around the crater.

The internet is also full of THESE!


Monster Spiders!

Yes, the article points out that there are “huge and largely harmless spiders” that hang out nearby the crater….enjoy!


Welcome To Turkmenistan!

So, where exactly IS this place? Well, Turkmenistan is a country in Central Asia, bordered by Kazakhstan to the northwest, Uzbekistan to the north and east, Afghanistan to the southeast, Iran to the south and southwest, and the Caspian Sea to the west.

Check it out here:



And It’s The Marble Building Capital Of The World!

One more thing you can see in Turkmenistan – marble! Yes, they LOVE marble there – click here to see the rest of the story about this unique country, where they have an airport shaped like a Falcon:

While you are in the area, why not head to Russia’s Ussuri Bay:

Yes, it’s a beach that is actually glass! Here is where it’s located:

OK, it’s kind of tucked away in the corner of the world, but imagine watching long this!

Click here to see more pictures and to find out how this glass beach came to be:

And finally, why not take a train to the top of the world? Here’s where it is:

The terrific Travel Writer Paul Theroux did just that, and he wrote a great book about it as well:

He recounts a wild and fascinating trip, which is worth it because at some point you end up on the “roof of the world”:

I loved this book – it’s full of history, spectacle and misadventures – see about it here:

Tell me if you want to go to some of these amazing places!

Categories: Art, Books / Media, Exotic Travel, Memoirs, nature, Pop Culture, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir

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16 replies

  1. Very interesting and fun post John! Those spiders though!!!!!!!!!! I’m off to google some more pics 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. John, love that glass beach! Turkmenistan, wow…I would never have thought! Looks great. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Almost didn’t open this when I saw the words ‘monster spider’!! Haha Looks like some amazing places though, minus the spider

    Liked by 1 person

  4. These places are both extraordinary, John. Thanks for sharing about them. I am going to find out a bit more about them. I can do without the spiders thought [smile].

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love to travel, and if I can’t ever go somewhere, at least I can share it in case other can…I’m up for a trip across Asia at some point, so who know whether I’ll see those spiders in person or not! Thanks for the comment!


  5. I might give the giant spiders a miss, John. Harmless or not! 🙂
    Although I visited much of Soviet Central Asia at one time, I never got to Turkmenistan.
    And that glass beach on the Pacific coast is a long way from anywhere. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pete, thanks for the comment – yes, it would be a wild and lengthy trip to hit all three! Oh and I will be diving into your fiction effort next week when I have time, so expect to get a string of comments from me then!



  1. Indonesia’s Abandoned “Chicken Church!” Amazing Obscure Travel Thanks To “Atlas Obscura” Website! – johnrieber
  2. A Chicken Church! A “Hands On” Bridge! Tales Of Worldwide Wanderlust! – johnrieber
  3. Stretch Your Legs – With The World’s Longest Walk! Fourteen Thousand Miles So Let’s Get Moving! Here’s The Map! – johnrieber
  4. Will The “Gates Of Hell” Be Closed? Turkmenistan’s Legendary Inferno May Be Sealed! – johnrieber

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