Jordan Journals

Jordan - The Ultimate Overland Guide

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An April 2002 trip to Jordan by DrMaximus

Ajlun Castle Photo, Amman, Jordan More Photos
Quote: An overland trip from the north in Umm Qais, down the King's Highway to the south in Aqaba. Discover this amazing biblical land!

Jordan - The Ultimate Overland Guide

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Overview

King's Highway Photo, Jordan, Middle East
Quote:
1. View of the Golan Heights from the open air terrace at the Umm Qais hotel 2. Enjoying a personal guided tour around Jerash with a police man 3. View of the Promised Land from atop Mount Nebo 4. Extended detour to Mukawir where King Herod ordered John the Baptist to be beheaded 5. Christ's Baptism site along the River Jordan at Bethany 6. Petra... what more can I say? 7. Floating like a cork on the Dead Sea 8. Sleeping under the stars in Wadi RumQuick Tips: As with the rest of the region, know that prices are highly inflated in Jordan as well. Be prepared to haggle and slice off up to 80% of the asking price. You wi...Read More

Umm Qais Hotel

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Hotel

Umm Qais Hotel Photo, Jordan, Middle East
Quote:
Our driver brought us directly to this hotel which was also listed on my guidebook, so we decided that it would probably be a great choice. And it certainly was. The Umm Qais hotel is a very clean and well-maintained hotel with 21 rooms. Twelve of these are doubles with en-suite facilities (JD16), and four without. There are also four triples and one quadruple dormitory (JD6) all with shared facilities. The en-suite facilities are basic but clean and very usable. A double room with en-suite facilities costs JD7.500. Breakfast is JD3, but I would advise against it. It’s far better skipping the stale bread and awful watery sugar spread for a cheaper and more delectable breakfast at the café next door. ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 7, 2002

Magens Point Resort

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Hotel | "Amman - Grand Palace Hotel"

Quote:
A three star hotel with beautiful furnishings and an excellent American breakfast buffet spread (free with room or JD4,000). The hotel is located about 30 minutes by taxi from the airport and is rather centrally located. Room rates were JD45/55/65 for single/double/triple rooms, respectively. Unfortunately, service is hardly of three star quality. The management is sour and unyielding, and full of internal conflicts. As I arrived at about 2am and did not need a bed since we were to leave early the next morning after breakfast, my travel companions asked if I could share the room without asking for an extra third bed. The evening receptionist said that it was absolutely alright and that we did no...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 7, 2002

Magens Point Resort
6200 Magens Bay Road
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands 00802
(340) 777-6000

Massanutten Resort: Eagle Trace

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Hotel | "Aqaba - Al Shula Hotel"

Massanutten Resort: Eagle Trace Photo, McGaheysville, Virginia
Quote:
Located on Ragadan Street, most rooms at the Al-Shula enjoy an unparalleled panorama of the Red Sea coast in the direction of the Israeli sea resort of Eilat. We first decided on this hotel because it was listed on both our guide books. If we had not later walked the city and found far better deals, the Al-Shula could have been a great deal at JD28 for a triple room with breakfast included. We learnt that the guide books were outdated, even my Lonely Planet "Istanbul to Cairo". Things change, new buildings rise and prices fall according to the political climate. The tourist dollar is an entity that fluctuates immensely in this region. Our room was fairly clean, though not exceptionally well furn...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 7, 2002

Massanutten Resort: Eagle Trace
Route 644
McGaheysville, Virginia
(540) 289-9441

Al Zaitouna Hotel

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Hotel | "Aqaba - Al Zaitouna Hotel"

Al Zaitouna Hotel Photo, Aqaba, Jordan
Quote:
The Al-Zaitouna Hotel was a very expensive looking hotel, and at first we hesitated going in to enquire about the room rates. Later, we were to learn not to judge a hotel by its exterior, because in the Middle East, opulence does not necessarily come at a price. It boasts marble flooring, huge greeting halls, skylight ceiling, a full breakfast buffet spread and even two internal glass bullet lifts that offer a spectacular, if not limited, view of the lobby and fountain in the breakfast restaurant. The hotel has two wings, and though much fancier and definitely more spacious, the new wing has rooms that have wide windows which unfortunately afford no appreciable views. The old wing, as I was told, has ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 7, 2002

Al Zaitouna Hotel
Hahmammat Street
Aqaba, Jordan

Aqaba - Dweik 2

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Hotel

Dweik 2 Photo, Jordan, Middle East
Quote:
Located on Hammamat Street two doors away from the Al-Zaitouna, the Dweik Hotel 2 is a spanking new hotel. When I was there, they were still busy polishing the marble flooring, gardening the hotel exterior and bringing in luxurious sofa sets for the lobby. All rooms come with air-conditioning, satellite TV, telephone, refrigerator and full en-suite facilities. The furnishings are visibly not as top-notch as those at the Al-Zaitouna, but the hotel has very competitive rates ranging from JD16,000 to JD26,000 breakfast included. The management at the Dweik 2 is far warmer and much more amiable than that two doors away, and they try their best to accommodate all guest requests, including my request ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 7, 2002

Kinstom Manor at Foxwood

Hotel | "Aqaba - Al Jaber Hotel"

Quote:
At the very end of Ragadan Street lies this backpacker quality hotel where guests can enjoy a night of cheap restful sleep. The rates are variable but hover around JD10,000 or much less for a space on the roof. There is a TV, hot water and air-conditioning in every room. The open air roof affords a 360 degrees view of the entire city as well as of the Gulf over to Eilat. I wasn’t terribly impressed by the furnishings, but if you are on a shoe-string, the Al Jaber would make a nice choice. The bakery next door is perhaps the best attraction as it boasts of no less than a hundred different types of Middle Eastern and local sweets. Thought that a baklava is just layers and layers of crumbling pastr...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 7, 2002

Kinstom Manor at Foxwood

Westminster, South Carolina
(864) 467-9533

Massanutten Resort: Eagle Trace

Hotel | "Dead Sea Guest House"

Massanutten Resort: Eagle Trace Photo, McGaheysville, Virginia
Quote:
The cheapest accommodation at the Dead Sea is the government run Dead Sea Resort, and it’s anyway not the cheapest place any backpacker would have in mind. If you are on a tight budget you probably won’t even stay a night. We paid JD38 for a triple room, with en suite facilities (that don’t always work – no water), breakfast, a view of the sea and air-conditioning. You could pay JD44 for a suite which sleeps up to six people, but those are further away from the sea and have no views. The triple is actually a chalet with a separate double room and a fairly large hall where the third person sleeps on a comfortable couch-turned-double bed. If you stay here, your only dinner option would be at thei...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 18, 2002

Massanutten Resort: Eagle Trace
Route 644
McGaheysville, Virginia
(540) 289-9441

Le Meridien Amman

Hotel | "Le Meridien"

Quote:
I recently had a short but exciting business stay over at Le Meridien in Amman. It was a short drive from the airport - I recall it to be about 25 minutes. The corporate travel agent had arranged a room for the two of us and it came up to only about US$120. The breakfast spread was simply amazing and the opulence of the lobby was beyond imagination. My previous trip to Jordan had been on a shoe string - but with a much fatter wallet today I am tasting the other side of what Amman has to offer. For business travellers, the newly opened Royal Convention Centre would be a very convenient site to host your meetings. We had use of it for a day and the reception was extremely well-catered for. ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 16, 2004

Le Meridien Amman
Queen Noor Street, Shmeisani
Amman, Jordan 11195
+962 (6) 569 6511

Restaurant Prince Photo, Jordan, Middle East
Quote:
From the roundabout in the city centre, it’s a 200m walk to the left. Specialities are the yoghurt fruit cocktail (JD0,500) and the fantastic chicken shwarma, served with fresh salad, mayonnaise, crispy fries, in a warm pita (JD0,350). The boss, Khalid Shuhah, is reachable at 027260168 or 079595044. The food is so delectable and the menu so diverse, and full of local flavour, that a stopover at Irbid is incomplete without a meal at the Prince.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 7, 2002

Quote:
For a great place from where to escape the scorching heat, head straight for Mr Cool which is located at the northern end of Hahmammat Street next to the roundabout on the main road. They also serve sandwiches, shwarma and burgers. Best of all is the cappuccino (JD0,700), which is surprisingly authentic though it rests on a base of Nescafe. The fresh mango juice (JD0,600) is a cool relief from the heat, if not a tad too sweet.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 7, 2002

Aqaba - Captain's Restaurant

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Restaurant

Captain Restaurant Photo, Jordan, Middle East
Quote:
All my dinners at Aqaba were truly satisfying, but dinner at Captain’s was a true luxury. Guests are cordially invited to rest on a bed of cushions while cold drinks and excellent dishes are served on a low table. The restaurant is partially open-air and you can choose to sit beneath a canopy of cloth printed with local motifs. The lighting is orange and dim. The Captain should be very proud of its wide selection of food, ranging from Oriental delicacies, steaks and BBQ to local food and grilled fresh seafood. Although catered mostly to tourists, the prices are more than reasonable, and the portions satisfying. We had two whole grilled fish (JD5,500 each), salad dips (JD0,600), kafta (JD3,000) and che...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 7, 2002

Aqaba - Al Shami

Restaurant

Al Shami Photo, Jordan, Middle East
Quote:
On Ragadan Street, close to the Al-Shula Hotel and the Wadi Rum Desert Service, is another great dinner choice. We met fellow Italian backpackers who had had dinner there for three consecutive evenings, returning each time for the best kafta in all of Aqaba. They also have daily set specials that run out by early evening. Reservations are possible and recommended. The prices are very reasonable, the food heavenly and the service prompt and responsive. The only problem you will face is which dish to not have since every one seems just as delicious! Dinner for three will not go over JD12,000.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 7, 2002

Qusayr Amra

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Attraction

Qusayr Amra Photo, Jordan, Middle East
Quote:
Qusayr Amra has been inscribed upon the World Heritage list of the convention concerning the protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage. Inscription on this List confirms the exceptional universal value of a cultural or natural site, which deserves the protection for the benefit of humanities. Built in the early 8th century, this hunting pavilion in the steppe was for time to time used as a temporary lodging for members of the ruling Umayyad family. The most outstanding features are the reception hall and the baths, both richly decorated with figurative murals which reflect the secular art of that time. Our excursion to Qusayr Amra – 30 kilometres south east of Amman and a good 45-70 minu...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 18, 2002

Bethany

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Attraction

Bethany Photo, Jordan, Middle East
Quote:
Bethany is a very short 10 minutes drive north from the Dead Sea Resort at Suweimeh. On our way down south to Wadi Mujib, we made a small detour to visit this site which was so famous in its old days for being the site where John the Baptist lived and worked, and where he baptized Jesus in this section of the River Jordan. It is indeed what the Middle East is all about, with local vegetation so distinctive of what it should be like in this region. The site has now been converted into a big touristy place with modern parks and even an open air amphitheatre, but if you want to really go back in time, it’s a good idea to spend 30-50 minutes walking about the huge site. But remember that the River Jordan,...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 18, 2002

Dead Sea

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Attraction

Dead Sea Photo, Jordan, Middle East
Quote:
The Dead Sea is also perhaps one of the highlights of my Middle Eastern odyssey. I had seen numerous pictures of people floating effortlessly in the water, holding up newspapers or a latest copy of the National Geographic. And I can tell you, with first hand experience, that it’s true! The Dead Sea water is amazing, it’s almost magical. All you have to do is walk maybe 12 steps into the water from the edge of the sand, and you will invariably float up… even if you wished the contrary. There is no way you can keep your feet on the sand because the water is so saturated with sodium that it is actually very dense. Even when you touch its surface with your finger, you can see "oily films" forming circles ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 18, 2002

Kerak Castle

Attraction

Kerak Castle Photo, Jordan, Middle East
Quote:
Between Tafila and the break off from the King’s Highway towards Wadi Mujib, is the castle of Kerak. It’s actually in a fairly large town with several restaurants and even a tourist bureau. By the time I got there I had already had my full diet of castles and monuments, so even though we gave ourselves 90 minutes to tour the area, I was out and ready to go in half that time. The castle grounds is huge, and you can even climb up to its highest point (pretty precarious at times) to enjoy a spectacular bird eye’s view of the surroundings. But the castle itself is also worth much exploration, although I would advise against doing it on your own. It can get very dark and a little bit too eerie to be alone....Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 18, 2002

Mukawir

Attraction

Mukawir Photo, Jordan, Middle East
Quote:
Mukawir was one of the places where I told myself I had to go to. It is the infamous site where John the Baptist was imprisoned and later beheaded by orders of King Herod. In the Bible, it is said that Herod had enjoyed so much a dance performance put up by some woman, that in front of all his guests he promised her anything he wanted. She asked for John’s head, and even though the King and John were best of friends, he had to keep his word made in front of his guests, and had John beheaded. Leave at least 2 hours to explore this area – here I was not fortunate enough as my travel companions were not interested in the history of this place and would never imagine giving me two hours to explore it. It’...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 18, 2002

Mount Nebo

Attraction

Inside the shrine Photo, Jordan, Middle East
Quote:
Another major biblical site, Mount Nebo is where Moses was shown the Promised Land into which he would never enter. It was also here where the prophet is said to have rested his deep sleep. Today Mount Nebo is a huge tourist area, where at the peak stands the newly upgraded and enlarged Shrine. Numerous icons and huge pieces of mosaic art still remain and are exhibited within the Shrine. But Mount Nebo is most well known for the icon erected on its slopes, designed and sculpted by a Florentine, representing Moses lifting up a serpent with his rod. It is said to also be representative of the scripture verse which says to the effect “just as the serpent was lifted up in the desert, so will the Son of Ma...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 18, 2002

Shobak Castle

Attraction

Shobak Castle Photo, Jordan, Middle East
Quote:
Shobak… yet another castle worth visiting, It is extremely easy to get here, being just a short leisurely drive north of Petra. Lying mostly in ruins, what charmed me are the numerous stone arches and tunnels that structures the castle. And as it sits on very high elevation, the view from Shobak is incredible. Down at the armoury, stone weapons are still on casual display, even canon balls of stone.

You definitely need a torch here, and you must go on to the next entry to read why!

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 18, 2002

Shobak - Really Secret Tunnel

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Attraction

Secret Tunnel! Photo, Jordan, Middle East
Quote:
I made the greatest discovery at the Shobak Castle, a discovery so exciting and fresh that even my local guide had not seen in all his years of work in and around Jordan. While looking for interesting photography angles, I stumbled upon a very well-hidden corridor which led to a flight of stairs. It’s very easy to dismiss this corridor as just another of the numerous empty passages that led to no where, but if you find the right one – this one! – you will be more than amply rewarded… IF you have with you your torch light! I did not, so I ran back to my car to get it. Walk down the stairs – don’t go alone – it’s really very eerie inside and completely pitch dark. I can promise you that the excit...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 18, 2002

Wadi al-Mujib

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Attraction

Wadi Mujib Photo, Jordan, Middle East
Quote:
From Mukawir, we drove to Madaba along the Wadi al-Mujib scenic highway. It is a considerable detour considering the King’s highway actually leads to Madaba in less than a quarter of the time. Having already had my fill of the rugged Jordanian desert vista, I wasn’t extremely anxious about seeing the Wadi al-Mujib, but a companion had really wanted to see it, the site listed amongst one of the top must-sees in the guidebook. So we went. It took about twenty minutes to get from Mukawir to the start of the gorge, and almost eighty to get east along it then back north towards Madaba. It was a hazy day, like always, and although I admit that it was a pretty sight, it was not quite as gorgeous (no cheap pu...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 20, 2002

Madaba - The Madaba Map

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Attraction

Madaba Photo, Jordan, Middle East
Quote:
This splendid mosaic map is housed in the Greek Orthodox Church of St George, which was built in 1896 over the remains of a Byzantine Church. The map was made to cover the floor of the Byzantine Church, and dates to around 560 AD. Only part of the map has been preserved – it originally measured 15.7x5.6m and was made from more than two million stone tesserae. The mosaic shows a clear map of the Holy Land, extending from the Phoenician cities of Type and Sidon in the north to Egypt in the South, and from the Mediterranean Sea in the west to the desert in the east. Despite the limited space, the mosaic-makers clearly tried to position sites accurately, and many of the features can be easily identified -...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 20, 2002

Umm Qais & her Museum

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Attraction | "Umm Qais & her Museum"

Umm Qais Museum Photo, Jordan, Middle East
Quote:
The northern-most city in the country, Umm Qais is the site of the ancient Graeco-Roman town of Gadara, one of the cities of the Decapolis, and also, according to the Bible, the place where Jesus exorcised the devil from two men into a herd of pigs (Matthew 8:28-34). This city affords great views over the Golan Heights and the Sea of Galilee to the north. Umm Qais Museum Umm Qais is such a small city that every site worth visiting is within comfortable walking distance. I had just an evening and morning in this small place (before heading back south), so I visited just the Museum in the morning. It contains numerous artifacts and mosaics from the area, and is open from 8am to 5pm and t...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 7, 2002

Pella

Attraction

Pella Ruins Photo, Jordan, Middle East
Quote:
The ancient city of Pella is close to the village of Al Mashari’a. I would never imagine walking up the steep and endlessly winding road to arrive at the site. Far better is to catch a minibus from Irbid to Al Mashari’s from the west bus station. From Amman, take a minibus for Suwalha and change for Al Mashari’a. It is also possible to catch a series of minibuses up the valley from South Shuneh or down from North Shuneh. The site has been inhabited since 5000BC, and Pella was one of the cities of the Decapolis. Jerusalem’s Christians fled here from persecution by the Roman army in 2AD. I personally would not recommend Pella, not especially after having visited the long list of other archaeologic...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 7, 2002

Ajlun Castle

Attraction

Ajlun Castle Photo, Amman, Jordan
Quote:
About 20 km northwest of Jerash, the main attraction at Ajlun is the Qala’at ar-Rabad, a hilltop fort of Islamic military architecture. Standing on a hill 2km to the west of the town, one enjoys fantastic views of the Jordan Valley to the west. Catch a service taxi to the top for 50 fils, or a taxi for 500 fils one way. The Ajlun fort is open from 8am to 7pm (9am to 4pm in winter) and admission is JD1. The surrounding areas are covered with endless neat rows of pine trees and olive groves. If driving, stopovers are readily available as the path that leads to the fort is wide and shady. While not exceedingly huge, the fort is definitely worth a visit for the fascinating views that it affords. The...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 7, 2002

Ajlun Castle

Amman, Jordan

Roman Ruins at Jerash (Gerasa)

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Attraction | "Jerash Ruins"

Roman Ruins at Jerash (Gerasa) Photo, Jerash, Jordan
Quote:
Jerash, about 50km north of the capital, is perhaps the second most visited attraction in all of Jordan, rivalled only by Petra to the far south. The city’s main ruins were rediscovered in the early 1800’s but excavations did not begin until a hundred years later. When you enter, be sure to drop by at the visitors’ centre to pick up a copy of the Jordan Tourism Board’s "Jerash", a free site guide with a good detailed map. The first, most obvious relic is the triumphal arch which towers above you. Immediately behind the arch is the hippodrome which once seated up to 15,000 spectators. Cross the gate and immediately to the left is the ruined Temple of Zeus. Most unusual is the oval-shaped forum w...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 7, 2002

Roman Ruins at Jerash (Gerasa)

Jerash, Jordan

Jerusalem Bazaar Photo, Jordan, Middle East
Quote:
Masters of oriental souvenirs, coral, jewelery and silverware, the Jerusalem Bazaar is sure to satisfy any shopper’s most exotic desire! Run by an amiable father (Mahmoud Abdeen) and son team, all guests are offered sugar with mint tea (that’s how sweet it always is in this part of the world), then the bargaining process begins. The selection here is incredibly wide, and the prices reasonable. But be firm with what you are willing to pay for something you eye, and do not allow your ideas to be swayed nor compromised. Obviously, greater discounts are to be had when you purchase more. For example, for two spectacular heavy silver necklaces and a matching ring, the opening price separately was JD65 – I e...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 7, 2002

Aqaba - Wadi Rum Desert Service

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Attraction

Quote:
My best times in Jordan were all spent in Wadi Rum, and the services were provided by the Wadi Rum Desert Service run by Hasan Qutaish and Sons. Negotiable rates were JD30,000 each for a group of three, slightly less for larger groups. Our trip to the desert kicked off at 11am in the morning, and we returned the next day at about midday. Lunch, dinner and breakfast was provided, as well as lodging in a tent with comfortable bedding and adequate covers to keep warm. This is the most comprehensive package available, taking guests to all the major sites, including the Seven Pillars and Lawrence’s Well. Depending on the guide you get, he will also take you to special surprise sites. Mine (Abdullah and Sou...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 7, 2002

Irbid

Story/Tip

Quote:
Irbid is the country’s second largest city and we drove through it from the south on the way to Umm Qais, which is perhaps the most northern city next to the Syrian border. It has little, if anything, to offer the tourist in search of archaeological treasures, so it would serve only as a stopover meal point. Our driver stopped for some yoghurt fruit drink but we ended up having dinner at his friend’s kebab joint which serves fantastic shwarma, which is grilled meat sliced from a spit and sandwiched amongst salad and crispy fries in a traditional Middle Eastern pita bread. It is also known as ‘doner kebab’. To get to Syria from Irbid, grab a service taxi which travels all the way to Damascus, or ...Read More

Amman - The Capital City

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Story/Tip

Quote:
It’s perhaps strange that my 12 days visit to Jordan included only one night in it’s capital. The flight from Rome arrived in Amman at slightly past 1am at Queen Alia International Airport. Be reminded that if you were to arrive without a valid visa, you will have to purchase one prior to clearing customs. There are about five functional immigration booths, but be sure to join either one of the two that issues visas. These are located at the far end, and you are sure to notice the bright pink notices screaming "Visas". A tourist visa will set you back JD10. Only accepted form of payment is cash in Dinars. There are two foreign exchange booths available just where you join the queue, but the rat...Read More
Quote:
A lovely port city at the southern most tip of Jordan, and the country’s only point of access to the Red Sea. I had come here with little expectations, so was absolutely delighted that so many of my dreams were realized here! First off, Aqaba is not quite as cluttered nor messy as Amman was. Most streets here are amazingly clean and well-tarred, and a high proportion of the buildings are comparatively new. Yet, with modernity in place, the city is still soaked in thick Middle Eastern charm. Friendly locals dressed in the common gaberdine still look over their shoulders and smile at tourists; numerous shee-sha water pipe cafes line the streets and come evening they fill up with countless bearded men r...Read More
Quote:
Jordan is really a huge country which boasts of countless biblically and historically rich sites. To visit them all on one’s own within a short one week’s stay is impossible, and exposes one to the frustration of relyin on the local transport network. We did absolutely the right thing by hiring a driver for three days and two nights. Within a span of these few days, we covered every major site and countless other side trips, and were also able to make detours to view Wadi’s and amazing landforms that are unreachable by public transport. Here is the route we took: Day One Petra – Wadi Musa – Shobak Castle – Dana Nature Reserve – Tafila – Kerak Castle – Suweimeh – Dead Sea Resort (Overnight) ...Read More
Egyptian Embassy Consular Service Photo, Jordan, Middle East
Quote:
For travellers heading on to Egypt from Jordan, it is very advisable to obtain visas from Aqaba instead of upon docking at Nuweiba, which is a very filthy and disorganised port of entry into Egypt. The new Egyptian Embassy is located within walking distance from Hahmammat Street, about 20 minutes north of the city by foot. The exact location is difficult to describe in words, but is clearly marked out on updated city maps and guidebooks. In the morning between 9am and noon is the best time to be at the consular services, as I was told. My visa application was processed and approved immediately as there was nobody else at all on that morning. Tourism was at one of its lowest levels in years due t...Read More
Glass boat excursion Photo, Jordan, Middle East
Quote:
Another touristy thing to do along the beach: you can catch one of these boat rides in the evening when the view is supposedly most spectacular and romantic (although it does not get any romantic at all out at sea). The "hour long" ride takes you over various coral fields and your captain will be more than happy to remove a wooden plank from under your feet to reveal a fibre glass boat bottom. How interesting… duh. Mine also took us to view a sunken war galleon and a lighthouse. Double wow. One difficulty you are destined to meet: "You not know that one hour in sea here is 45 minutes?" No, of course I don’t. Be firm and refuse to pay the full fare previously agreed on if they throw you this scam – pay...Read More

Aqaba-Nuweiba border crossing

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Story/Tip

Quote:
There are two crossings available – on the fast craft (65 minutes) and on the slow ferry (up to 200 minutes). The former costs USD15 while the latter about USD10. The departure point is NOT at the Aqaba Port but at the Passenger terminal further south. There are local buses that go down south as far as the Passenger Terminal and the Royal Diving Centre, but I would recommend taking a taxi (JD1,500). The taxi ride from downtown takes about 15 minutes, depending on traffic. The fast craft leaves Aqaba at between midday and 1pm. You should arrive at least 90 minutes prior to the departure to secure tickets. The Terminal does have huge signs indicating where to purchase your fasts craft tickets fr...Read More
Quote:
Just south of Amman, the famous "City of Mosaics" is home to one of the world’s largest collections of mosaics, many of them still in situ, and most at least 1,400 years old. Star among the mosaics is the magnificent map of ancient Palestine, a wonderfully vivid depiction of the 6th-century Holy Land, with many towns, rivers and seas clearly identifiable. Others depict a rampant profusion of flowers and plants, birds and fish, animals and exotic beasts, as well as scenes from mythology and everyday pursuits of hunting, fishing and farming. The best way to discover the beauty and artistry of the Madaba mosaics is on foot. Madaba today is a bustling market town and the mosaics sites are in a relat...Read More