Victory is sweet. You must hike up to here to get the best view.
Hey beautiful people, this blog entry is a follow up to the one I posted last week (“Ten questions you should ask before visiting Jordan”). If you are thinking of visiting Jordan or want to go somewhere you never been before, then keep reading. I recommend reading both posts to get the full picture and please feel free to share any thoughts at the end.
This city belonged to the Nabatean people where lots of trading occurred between Arabia and Africa dating back to 300BC. Petra is enamoured with jaw dropping ancient architecture of mausoleums; no wonder UNESCO registered it as a world heritage archeological site. Entry fee is 50 JOD and the trek takes approximately 5-7hrs return. I would also recommend starting your walk early morning or late in the afternoon for sunset lovers. Below are few hacks you need to get ahead of the game.
- Get the Jordan Pass for 70 JOD (bit.ly/jordanpass) which includes visa entry fee, Petra entrance and other tourist attractions entrance fee.
- Avoid pirate looking young men who claim to be tour guides, they will cheat you.
- Take plenty of food and water as there isn’t much on the way.
- Your ticket allows you a horse ride for approximately one kilometre. Don’t let anyone charge you extra for that. However they will ask for a tip, so carry around 1 JOD to give them.
Wadi Rum (desert)
Bedouins are the inhabitants of the Jordanian desert as well as the nomads of the country. They mainly live in tents and wear traditional robe with a head scarf/turban. It is also good to know that Wadi Rum is the location for famous Hollywood movies such as Lawrence of Arabia and The Martian… (Actually true that some parts of the desert look like the moon)
Among tourists, this place is famous for camping in the desert and taking a jeep tour around to see the rock formations and sculptures. One of my favourite things to do is riding a camel at sunset or sunrise, sit on a sand dune while you get that gorgeous sun glow and then having dinner or breakfast afterwards…. bloody magical. (I’m screaming take me back)
I found this city to be really pretty with surroundings of mountains, blue waters of the Red Sea, beaches and history. Aqaba is a hub for all kinds of water sports and exploring the coral reef which is really stunning. (And let the Adrenaline junkies, scuba divers and snorkelers say Amen)
If you flew in through Aqaba (free visa entry), you can base yourself here as you visit Petra, Mount Nebo, the deserts etc.
Guess what? The Dead Sea is actually a river that is shared between Jordan and Israel. Its waters are extremely saline which keeps you afloat. While speaking to a local, they said it is 9.6 times saltier than the ocean…. isn’t that crazy? If that is not enough fun, you can (actually must) indulge your skin in the Dead Sea mud because it will leave your skin feeling as smooth as a baby’s bottom.
- It is called the Dead Sea because the water is too salty for any life to exist.
- The shore surrounding the Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth. It lies at 1,378ft (420m) beneath sea level. (Ref: Britannica)
- DO NOT get the water in your eyes because you will cry like a baby.
- There are not many hotels around the Dead Sea as far as I know and most of the hotels are 4-5 star. Therefore prepare to spend, it will be worth it though.
- Rent a car or take a private taxi there as there is nothing much on the way. It is approximately 1hr from Amman.
I actually didn’t know what to expect in Amman (capital city of Jordan). But I was pleasantly welcomed to modern high rise buildings with a combination of ancient amphitheatres, mosques and rock formations.
The best part about this city however was the food….oh my goodness Jordanians have got the best food ever. I basically spent my time eating and walking up and down the hill. A few examples of the local foods include:
- Mezze is a common style of eating in the middle East. It mainly consists of small plates with dips, salads and appetizers. I love the flavouring they use and my favourite was the eggplant dips… mamamia, I’m dreaming already.
- Mansaf being the national food, (mix of rice, lamb and rehydrated yoghurt) unites most of the people of Jordan. Interestingly enough its roots are from Bedouin people who are the nomads of Jordan.
- Zarb is a traditional dish that consists of lamb or chicken, with a choice of herbs and vegetables; they get buried in an oven with hot coals beneath the desert sands. When it’s ready, the meat just falls off the bone and melts in your mouth….. yummm. (I met some locals in little Petra who treated me to this delicacy).
- If you have a sweet tooth then you will enjoy the Baklava or anything with dripping syrup. They use paper-thin phyllo pastry, sugar syrup, nuts and dried fruit to make it. (Ref: visitjordan.com/food)
Overall Jordan was a total surprise for me. Please take note that these were my favourite things to do and it’s obviously from personal experience.
Plan somethings but also leave free time to discover other activities or places you might find. You will have an unforgettable experience.
Live your colourful adventure!