The history of Merw is amazing, but you probably need a guide to make it come alive. Even though it was expensive for a budget traveller, I totally recommend to hire Yevgenia as a guide. She's the former deputy director of the Mary museum, very passionate about Merw and other archeological finds and she speaks excellent english. She's mentioned in the lonely planet, but the phone numbers are wrong. The staff at motel Rahat were able to contact her.
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