Week eight of my mad 52 countries in 52 weeks experience took me to the Center Jap gem of Jordan, the most affordable flight out of Budapest. Now really don’t get me mistaken, I appreciate European metropolitan areas, but immediately after two months straight of church buildings, castles and outdated cities I was SO enthusiastic to be heading someplace totally different to the to start with portion of my significant excursion.
Jordan jumped on to my bucket record a couple of yrs back following viewing photographs of the beautiful Petra ruins on Instagram, but mainly because it is notoriously pricey to get to, and nonetheless not straightforward on the wallet when you are there, I hadn’t managed to make it there just nevertheless. But now just after shelling out a 7 days exploring all the country has to give, I can say with certainty that it is absolutely really worth the income!
Here are five reasons why you need to have to go to Jordan and wherever you ought to go, plus a guide on how to get about as soon as you’re there.
1. The individuals
Jordanians have been some of the most welcoming individuals I’ve ever met. Soon after enduring the craziness of souks in Morocco and bazaars in Istanbul, where by gals are pulled into shops and yelled at (“Spice Girls! Woman Gaga! *Insert other western celeb here*!), I was totally ready for the very same in Jordan. Turns out that was avoidable!
When shopkeepers nonetheless vye for your enterprise, I identified that procuring in Jordan was significantly a lot more pleasurable than undertaking the exact same in both of those Morocco and Turkey. I wasn’t touched once, most shopkeepers say a polite ‘hello’, may display you a couple of specialities and then go away you to browse for a although, and when there were people today who stared, specifically in downtown Amman, I by no means felt like I was remaining qualified or pressured.
The taxi motorists I experienced ended up all so friendly (like a woman driver who picked us up from the airport, a pleasurable shock to start off our vacation!), waiters had been constantly far more than joyful to assist translate menus, and there was a team of school girls at Ajloun Castle who have been all desperate for selfies with us just simply because we looked unique, and they then sang delighted birthday to my close friend! Stunning people, attractive moments.
2. The historical ruins of Jordan
Apart from the persons and the meals, the clear following motive to take a look at Jordan is due to the fact of the unbelievable historical ruins it is household to.
The apparent chief of the pack in terms of Jordan’s should-sees is the magical ancient city of Petra, a person of the New Miracles of the Globe. The city is far more than 2000 a long time aged, was rediscovered in 1812 by a Swiss explorer disguised as an Arab scholar, and now sees just about a million travellers pay a visit to each 12 months.
The most effectively-acknowledged component of Petra is Al-Khazneh, the Treasury, which featured in 1989’s Indiana Jones and the Very last Crusade and is now just one of the most important tourist sights in the whole Middle East location. It is truly considered to be a king’s mausoleum from the very first century, and you can see bullet holes on the facade from tribesmen attacking the building hundreds of a long time ago on the lookout for (and failing to find) treasure.
An additional worthwhile internet site to see in Petra is the Monastery, while the trek is not for the faint-hearted. You will will need to climb 800 uneven actions to arrive at the Monastery which can be hard in the summertime heat (I went in August, would not suggest), but you are going to be rewarded with near up views of this superb 3rd century BC tomb. It’s a comparable model to the Treasury but it’s even even bigger, measuring 50m wide and 45m higher.
And for some quite distinct but also tremendous amazing ruins, it’s worthy of heading just north of Amman to the Roman ruins of Jerash. These ruins are some of the most effective-preserved ruins I have at any time seen, and there’s a colonnaded principal avenue which is still acquired the unique stones so you can see where the chariots utilised to ride over them.
3. The food items
My tummy is rumbling just wondering about Jordanian cuisine. Neighborhood dishes are rather identical to other nations in the area, with big mezze platters, hearty meat dishes, limitless falafel and sugar-soaked desserts as staples on cafe menus.
The local hospitality flows correct as a result of to the dining places, where they provide gigantic foods that you almost certainly won’t be capable to consume all of devoid of falling into a food stuff coma. If small plates are an selection, it’s best to get a pair of people to avoid over-ordering, or if you’re travelling in a team then go really hard and purchase as much as you want, sit all-around for a few of hrs to devour it, then tuck into some syrupy goodness like knafeh to wrap up a delicious food.
Whilst Jordan is an high-priced country over-all, if you’re on a finances you could unquestionably stay off pita, falafel and hummus if you have to (like I did!). I’d recommend examining out Hashem in Downtown Amman, a person of the most-loved and most economical falafel eateries in city.
4. The natural landscapes
Jordan isn’t just wonderful thanks to people, its landscapes and all-natural phenomena are ideal up there with the ruins on the finest points to see in this country.
Wadi Rum desert appears to be like another planet, so a great deal so that it’s been a filming place for The Martian, a Transformers motion picture and Star Wars amongst other people. It’s residence to vast dunes of red sand, large jagged rocks and bedouin tribes who run beautiful camps for travellers to working experience a evening in the desert.
If you have obtained the will need for pace then you must e-book a place on a 4WD safari, where by you will hit the dunes challenging and rapid sitting down in the back of a 4WD jeep, or decide for a sunrise camel trip to see the desert in a far more calming natural environment. Note that camels need to only at any time have just one man or woman, passengers ought to not be in excess of 90kgs, and make sure you report any mistreatment of the animals to the supplier or community authorities.
Keen to get damp? Jordan’s a single of the countries that borders the Useless Sea, a salty lake (indeed, the identify is bewildering) exactly where the shore is the least expensive point of dry land on earth, at 432m below sea degree. The Lifeless Sea’s salinity is 33.7% (in contrast to the ocean’s salinity of 3.5%) which suggests human bodies pretty much simply cannot sink and just sit at the prime of the water. It’s a mad feeling, you have to have to check out it oneself to believe that it!
For a further underwater experience the place you can truly go underwater, head to Aqaba and dive in the Pink Sea. The Red Sea is property to vibrant corals, whale sharks, turtles and a lot of extra sea close friends, as very well as some outstanding wreck dives.
5. The basic safety
Jordan is in fact known as a single of the most secure international locations in the Center East, and the 40th most secure country in the entire world in accordance to SafeAround.com.
Borders with Syria and Iraq are especially perilous, but the relaxation of the place is observed as a bit of a risk-free haven in an place that’s usually known globally for its instability. If you are keen to get a flavor of the Middle East but you are nervous about the political and basic safety difficulties that unfortunately taint several other nations in this location, Jordan is a actually excellent selection for you and in my private working experience was fully protected even for woman travellers*.
*A disclaimer on solo female protection: When I individually had no issues at all as a lady travelling in Jordan, it is important to take note that there have been circumstances of harassment of solo feminine travellers at some tourist sites like Petra. Most attention you receive from locals (and if you appear various, you will acquire attention) is absolutely harmless and not meant maliciously, but if you do obtain by yourself currently being touched, grabbed or adopted, it is best to prevent contact, say or yell ‘leave me alone’ and get to an place with police and/or other travelers.
How to get all around Jordan
The very best way to investigate Jordan is by jumping on a little team tour. Not only will you get a manual thoroughly clued up on neighborhood heritage, culture, things to do and must-sees, you’ll also get the protection and security of your trip being pre-organised, you will not have to offer with hard language limitations, and you will be hanging out with a prepared-designed team of journey buddies.
If a tour is not your matter, the other possibilities are to employ the service of a automobile or seek the services of a private driver, as public transport in Jordan is exceptionally confined. Car retain the services of starts off at about £40 for each working day but you will need to understand neighborhood traffic guidelines and be geared up to deal with the language barrier, and personal motorists will set you back again at the very least £70 for each day.
Tempted? E-book flights to Jordan and see all of our Jordan journey tours.
If you want to follow more of my adventures you can see my previous vacation guides for Paris, San Sebastian and Sofia or on Instagram to see what I’m up to now!