Palestinian Authority Stories and Tips

A Bit Dead Like the Near by Sea!

Jericho is a little Palestinian enclave within the Israeli West Bank, a checkpoint and military presence seperate it from the outside world although free travel between there and other Palestinian destinations (Ramallah, Bethlehem and parts of Jerusalem) is available by mini bus. Israeli citizens are banned from entering the area, although some obviously ignore this and there is little in the way of checks (unlike coming from the West Bank to regular Israel).

I ended up taking a minibus from a town, I'm unsure of the name of as a local guy wouldn't let me hitchhike and encouraged me to catch a mini bus... not the cheapest of transport considering the small distances. Although I wasn't expecting Jericho to be a particular religious place in good condition, I thought I'd check it out - I was expecting to arrive there and the sightseeing opportunities to be obvious. The town was small, people were getting on with their day to day jobs or hanging out in cafes and the town only seemed to consist of a few tiny streets and then some rougher looking apartment blocks.

Considering I had a rather heavy backpack on and was to stay a few kilometres away at the Kibbutz Bet Ha Arava, I had a quick walk around and then began walking on the road out passed the checkpoint and to Kibbuz Bet Ha Arava. Something which is definitely understated is the beauty of the surrounding region, an arid desert landscape with some hills and The Dead Sea which looks a bit like Sinai, only a wonderous valley seperating Israel and Jordan.

Later on, I discovered that I had missed just about all the important things and it was a negative aspect of carrying no guidebook. The majority of the sights are in a circle 6km out of Jericho which is a pretty relaxed place. If you end up staying the night there are some kind of resorts, camp sites and even a hostel on the road heading back towards the main Jerusalem - Amman road and the checkpoint. There may also be one or two in the centre although I don't recall seeing anything. Unless you desperately want to stay there to support the Palestinian economy, it might be an idea to stay in Jerusalem or Ein gedi and just go there on a day trip.

Not only the lowest city in the world at 258m below sea level, it is also possibly one of the oldest and the second most important city after Jerusalem in the history of Israel. Despite all of its history though, I found a bit of a disappointment, the one thing that does stand out is the bright oasis which is why the town is there in the first place!

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