Jordan may not be on the travel bucket-list for many but through this post I hope to be able to change your mind.
Prior to planning this trip I knew almost nothing about Jordan except about “Petra” which was crowned one of the new 7 wonders of the world. A question that also flew through my mind was whether it was actually safe. A land bordered by 2 conflict zones, Syria and Iraq it can be extremely daunting to many especially with how the media has portrayed the entire situation. That being said with my “gung-ho” attitude I booked my flight to Jordan via Dubai.
We flew into Amman which is the capital city of Jordan. Knowing I had a few hundred kilometres between me and the sites I did some prior research on driving in Jordan and after speaking to some friends I decided to take the challenge. This proved to be one of the best decisions of the trip if you are fine with a left hand drive and also driving on the right hand side of the road. We come from Malaysia man! The land where driving at times can be unforgiving.
The capital city of Amman is a real gritty city with lots of character . As I drove through the city I could almost imagine myself as I was driving through Baghdad minus the military presence. From the buildings to the faces of the people, they all looked like they had a story to tell.
Tip : Buy a Jordan Pass (70JD) that allows you access to all the main sites around Jordan
Amman Citadel : For a full view of the city of Amman
Roman Theater : Situated in the heart of Amman
Hashem : Local feed for lunch. Think of it as your local “mamak”After we filled our bellies we left Amman and drove 200Kms down south to the city of Petra aka “Rose City” via Route 15 *This is not the scenic route but it is the fastest. Only advice here is to be extra careful due to immense amount of trailers on the highway. The entire drive took just under 3 hours.
The city of Petra is a historical and archaeological city known for its famous architecture which is carved into the rock face. Petra got its nickname “Rose City” from the colours of the rock. We started our day early to beat the morning tourist crowd.
Tip : During winter the site opens at 7am so be sure to be up early to avoid the bus loads of tourist that flock to see this miraculous site.
Siq : Entrance to the sites
Al Khazneh / The Treasury is the most elaborate structure in the city of Petra
Tip : Take a short 15 minute hike on the left of the site for a breathtaking view of the treasury from above. The local “bedouins” would try to convince you that you are only able to hike up with a local guide! Save the 15-20JD and play follow the leader.
Local Bedouin Hustler
The city of Petra extends over 60 square kilometres with plenty to see however with just a 1 day pass here is the top 3.
- The Treasury
- Royal Tomb
- The Monastery
“Mike” The Donkey
If you choose to hike up the Monastery be prepared for an hours hike with over 800 steps to cover. With limited time we paid a total of 45JD for a return trip for 2 donkeys. We definitely got conned but hey the saying goes “willing buyer, willing seller”. It was amazing how these beautiful creatures manoeuvred their way up the narrow stairways avoiding people as they go. Apparently these donkeys start training 2 days after they are born.
Al Deir aka The Monastery
Tip : When you reach the Monastery reward yourself with a cuppa of black tea and admire the beauty this site has to offer
Next up : Wadi Rum…..
-To be continued-