Jordan’s journey highlights: Wadi Rum & Petra

Deep within the deserts of southern Jordan, lie two unbelievable sights: the mysterious historic metropolis of Petra, and the boundless Wadi Rum. You may spend in the future and one evening in every place and see the highlights, or, you might spend days exploring each crevice. I’m Tristan, an NYU scholar, avid backpacker and journey geek who spent every week doing simply that just lately…

Petra, referred to as the “Crimson Rock” or “Rose Metropolis” was the capital of the traditional Nabatean individuals. The Nabateans had been a cave-dwelling tribe that managed a part of the Silk Street commerce routes an extended very long time in the past and far of their historical past remains to be debated.

To get into Petra, stroll by means of Al-Siq, an extended canyon hall carved by the river way back. Discover the stratification of the rock, the canyon’s layers are superbly marbled.
Via the clearing, the Treasury, Petra’s most iconic construction, begins to seem. (When you haven’t seen the third Indiana Jones film “The Final Campaign”, you must watch it earlier than going! Simply don’t get any concepts; it isn’t potential to enter the Sanctuary.)


is a large park, with dozens of web sites and trails scattered off of the primary previous metropolis boulevard. All the trails are walkable, and most issues are inside a 45-minute radius. Nonetheless, among the actually far websites inside the park (Tomb of Aaron, and so forth.) can take as much as 6 hours to get to on foot.

When you solely have 1 day in Petra (there are 1, 2, or Three-day passes), I extremely counsel taking a donkey/mule or camel to expedite the journey, and searching on the map beforehand to be sure to’ll have time to see what you need.

Undecided which path to take? The most effective factor to see (after the Treasury, which you’ll be able to’t miss) is the Monastery, which even bigger. To get there, stroll or take a donkey up the slim winding path. The various historic tombs and amphitheater are usually alongside the best way to the Monastery, so in case you arrive early within the day with a plan, it’s potential to see all the main websites at a relaxed tempo.
For a panoramic view, head as much as the highest of the mountain which overlooks the Treasury. Most individuals don’t come up right here, however it’s an ideal photo-op.


Cut price onerous, the guides could inform you it’s 20JD to trip the donkey up the hill to see the Sanctuary– it’s not, you are able to do it for five, it’s solely a ten or twenty-minute trip. Longer treks are about 10-20JD, for actual, and will take an hour or longer.
To trip the horses again to the doorway after an extended day mountaineering, it’s 2JD — the horse trip is definitely included within the ticket, however it’s customary to tip the horsemen. You don’t have to tip so much, so focus on the tip earlier than driving, and don’t allow them to con you into tipping outrageous quantities.
On the finish of every path, there are unbelievable viewpoints and bedouin-tent-style cafes. Additional up from the Monastery, there’s a view over Petra’s mountain into Israel. I sat up right here with some mates and frolicked with the Bedouins for some time.


I hope you want your espresso black and your tea additional candy!

“Petra at Evening” is an extra exercise provided on the park; round eight or 9, three days every week, there’s a conventional Bedouin music present and the Treasury is lit up. I went to Petra by evening final yr, and it was unbelievable. Al-Siq is stuffed with luminaria main as much as the magnificent Treasury, the place we had been served tea and listened to oud and flute music.
This yr, it was horrible– they just lately added coloured lights, making the Treasury neon inexperienced, then purple, then blue, it’s actually unlucky. I wouldn’t advocate it anymore. Nonetheless a pleasant expertise however fairly tacky.
When you have a number of time, try ‘Little Petra’, extra ruins which are a bit of farther away from the remainder of the park. Little Petra is free to enter and near the Bedouin village. The Bedouin listed here are nothing just like the slightly-obnoxious businessmen of Petra, and can you present you nothing however hospitality.
(Political correctness isn’t actually a factor for the shopkeepers right here, so don’t be offended if individuals loudly name to you by your nationality, or at the very least, what they assume your nationality is.)


Wadi Rum

Additional into Jordan is the well-known Wadi Rum, a extremely nice tenting spot. Not your typical tenting although– Bedouin-style tenting. Scattered all through the desert are Bedouin tents of various luxurious. Final yr, I stayed in a standard fabric tent and slept on the bottom.
This yr, we stayed in a a lot nicer place, the “tents” even had showers in them; so don’t really feel thrown off by the concept of ‘tenting’, it’s not likely tenting except you need it to be! The most costly locations are primarily Four-star inns; non-public king-sized beds inside futuristic dome-shaped buildings, some even have massive skylights on the ceiling so you possibly can stargaze out of your mattress!
Decrease to mid-level Bedouin tents, about $10/evening.

Wadi Rum is understood for its rock bridges and red-orange sand. Jeep or camel excursions take vacationers on excursions day-after-day, to discover the expansive desert. Aside from the attractive panorama, there are additionally Nabatean ruins and carvings, Normal T.E. Lawrence’s previous lean-to, and different small websites.


The archeological websites are attention-grabbing however nothing in comparison with Petra. My recommendation is simply to benefit from the jeep trip, hike up the most important rock you will discover, and soak all of it in. It doesn’t get significantly better than this; the wind in your hair and the recent desert solar beating down when you cruise across the sandy trails. (When you haven’t seen the film, Lawrence of Arabia, add that one to your listing too.)

After a day trekking round, your Bedouin hosts will put together some type of feast; there are a couple of attention-grabbing Bedouin cooking strategies, a few of which contain cooking meals underground. It’s all the time a giant manufacturing! Bedouin hospitality is unparalleled.

After dinner, drink some extra candy Bedouin tea and calm down underneath the celebs. I extremely advocate planning your journey across the moon cycle– the most effective day clearly is the New Moon– my first journey to Wadi Rum, I noticed extra stars than I’d ever seen in my life. Completely insane. Final weekend, sadly, the moon was about 80% full so we may hardly see any stars.
Nonetheless don’t understand how to do that ‘astral pictures’ factor however you get the concept– a number of stars!
It’s enjoyable to hang around with your pals in Petra and Wadi Rum, but in addition completely doable as a solo traveler. Both method, be sure to take a while to speak to the Bedouin and ask them about their lives; the Bedouin lifestyle is fascinating and the tradition is wealthy.


A Bedouin man displaying me his rababa, a standard bowed instrument


Jordan: Know earlier than you go


When is the most effective time to go to Jordan?

Additionally, I extremely advocate going late February-April or October-November when it’s not too scorching however not too chilly both! It’s freezing in January, and boiling within the Summer season.


How protected is it to journey in Jordan?

Don’t fear– Jordan is totally protected, most likely safer than America.


Be taught the language: Primary Arabic (Jordanian Levantine dialect)

Whats up (Peace): Salam
Good Morning: Sabbah el-khreer
Good Night: Messeh el-khreer
How are you?: Kayf ha-lek?
What’s your identify?: Shu Ismek ?
My identify is: Ismi..
I’m misplaced: Ana die-e-aw
The place is the…?: Wayn el…
Rest room: hammam
Bus station: mahata el autobeese
I would like: Bidi
What is that this?: Shu hathe?
How a lot?: Adesh hathe?
Sure (formal): nam
Yeah: aye-wa
No: leh
Sorry: asif
Please/Excuse me: lao samaht
Thanks: shukran


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