Film-maker and ‘dark tourist’ David Farrier visited Turkmenistan’s newly built capital, designed to cope with anything – as long as it’s preplanned
Wandering around Ashgabat, I had Land of Sunshine, the song by Faith No More, looping in my head. The capital city of Turkmenistan, is blisteringly dry and hot, dumped in the middle of the desert. It also holds the record for the highest density of buildings made from white marble, which bounce the sun right back in your face, blinding you.
I’d come to Turkmenistan to shoot a documentary series for Netflix called Dark Tourist about offbeat travel destinations. This also led me to Fukushima, Japan, for a spot of nuclear tourism; smalltown America, where I was tortured in an extreme haunted house attraction; and Medellín, Colombia, where I saw the sights with Popeye, a former hitman for Pablo Escobar.