By Jeremy Khalil on February 3, 2016
Jordan might not be exploding with numerous tourism objects and attractions compared to the other Middle Eastern tourism heavyweights like United Arab Emirates or Egypt. However, what Jordan has that the rest of the world doesn’t have such as Petra, Wadi Rum, Ma’in and the Dead Sea are ultimately compelling and strongly worthy in attracting travellers from near and far to visit the kingdom. So here are Gaya Travel’s picks to on why you should go to Jordan once in your lifetime.
Tip: If you are not holders of USD, EUR or GBP currencies, try exchanging your money to Jordanian Dinar (simply called JD) at your home country if possible – the exchange rate might be more favourable at home. Otherwise, bring hard currency such as USD, Euro or GBP. Be sure to only exchange the amount that you think you are comfortable in using entirely or most of your JD – if you are left with too much of it, exchanging it back to your currency other than USD, EUR or GBP might be frustratingly unfavourable. When we first exhanged our RM to JD, it was RM6 to JD1. After returning, when we exchanged our JD back to RM, the money changer only take RM4 for JD1. (As of the time this article is posted)
1 ) Jerash
Jerash, or Gerasa in Latin, is the best preserved imperial Greco-Roman site in the east. People say that it was established by Alexander the Great, but findings of archaeology indicates that the area had been settled even longer, around 6,000 years ago. At its height, it was believed that 25,000 people resided in the city, which was the second half of 1 century A.D.
Tip: Take the opportunity to capture the quintessential panoramic images of the surrounding Amman city from Amman Citadel’s various points-travellers will be able to appreciate more of Amman’s incredibly hilly terrain from there, especially the view of the ancient majestic Roman amphitheatre down below that contrast with the surrounding modern buildings. Travellers can notice from here that the houses in east Amman are mostly built in sandstone, while those in west Amman are limestone
2) Amman & Amman Citadel
Take the opportunity to capture the quintessential panoramic images of the surrounding Amman city from Amman Citadel’s various points – travellers will be able to appreciate more of Amman’s incredibly hilly terrain from there, especially the view of the ancient majestic Roman amphitheatre down below that contrasts with the surrounding modern buildings. Travellers can notice from here that the houses in east Amman are mostly in sandstone, while those in west Amman are limestone.
3) Dead Sea
Visiting the Dead Sea is a must, since it is only 70 kilometres from Amman. The Dead Sea attracts travellers from near and far who come to soak in its waters due to its health properties. “The Dead Sea products are also good for people with asthma,” said our guide Mohammed Al A’weimir. It is indeed refreshing to experience floating on the Dead Sea without worrying about sinking – travellers could even easily read a newspaper or book while floating.
Tip:For travellers to enjoy floating on the Dead Sea, travellers need to be reminded that it is best not to shave because it will definitely sting – it goes the same for nicks and wounds. Trust us: parts of your body that are covered by thin layer of skin will definitely feel the sting, but once you rinse the water off, your skin is bound to feel smooth. For better effect, slather your skin with the Dead Sea mud that contains nutrients that help to rejuvenate the skin. Keep lying on your back when floating so that your face will not be in too much contact with the water. Remember not to let the Dead Sea water come in contact with your eyes because it will definitely feel like burning.
4) Evason Ma’in Hot Springs and Six Senses Spa
This luxurious and inspiringly understated property is located 300 metres below sea level, thus temperature at the resort tends to be higher in Ma’in, warranting travellers and guests to sufficiently consume water to avoid dehydration. Since the resort is located in a valley, guests are bound to appreciate the resort’s dramatic landscape and vistas.
The jewel in the crown for Jordan’s tourism and renowned as one of the new immensely popular seven wonders of the world, Petra lies in a town called Wadi Musa (Moses Valley), where the Prophet Moses is known to have struck his staff onto a rock and the water flowed thereon. We were told by our guide that the water still flows to this day for regular use by the surrounding settlements. We encourage travellers visiting Petra to stay at the atmospheric Moevenpick Resort Petra since the property is the closest to Petra’s entrance compared to the other lodgings. To get there from Amman, the journey to Petra using the desert highway takes three hours and a half.
Tips to cover Petra:
6) Wadi Rum
To experience Wadi Rum’s glory, travellers should at least explore the area on a four-wheel drive and have lunch in a Bedouin tent, including checking out the ancient petroglyphs at Khaz’ali Canyon, which are ancient etchings on cave walls that is believed to have been around since the time of the Thamuds. If possible, travellers should at least stay overnight in Wadi Rum at one of the camps such as Rahayeb Desert Camp to truly appreciate the desert’s remarkable beauty, Bedouin lifestyle and the glittering stars at night – as the matter of fact, Wadi Rum is the best place in Jordan to see the night sky.
The Jordanian government opens Aqabah to large scale international investments and confer the area’s status as Aqabah Special Economic Zone (ASEZA) with the intention to develop Aqabah further into Jordan’s international logistical hub that particularly serves the Middle East, African and European regions since it has nine sea ports, eight logistic centres and international airports, including strong network of highways. Eligible businesses can also enjoy tax exemption for setting up shop in ASEZA.
Tip: Be sure to dine at the famous restaurant Floka, which serves marine-based gastronomy, particularly fresh fish, which tastes heavenly.
Travellers who are interested to contact the travel agents in Jordan are welcome to refer to http://international.visitjordan.com/VisitorToolbar/TourOperators/JordanTourOperators.aspx
Gaya Travel Magazine extends our heartfelt gratitude to Jordan Tourism Board for making our trip to Jordan a reality.