Rest of the world

Jordan

  •  

Jordan without car rental

I have been thinking about visiting Jordan for some time already and we thought with my friend that we could take another shorter holiday in autumn. So we have decided to visit Jordan. We booked the tickets about 2 months before the trip, the first day after my return from holiday in Slovenia – ideal timing, good thing that I had again something to look forward to. There is a direct flight with Ryanair from Prague at decent prices, the flight is every Tuesday and Saturday, so we decided to go from Tuesday to Saturday. Ideal would be at least one week but as the end of the year is approaching, we didn´t have more holiday left (we have 26 days of holiday/year in our company).

Date: 8.10. – 12.10.2019

Itinerary

  1. Day – Departure from Prague to Amman
  2. Day – desert Wadi Rum
  3. Day – Petra
  4. Day – Petra, Wadi al Mujib, Dead sea
  5. Day – Amman, departure from Amman to Prague

General advice and preparation before travel

Because I do not have a driving license and my friend has but she is not used to driving, we had to find another solution. Many people rent a car, so unfortunately there is not many travelogues with inspiration, how to travel in Jordan without car rental but fortunately I found at least one, so I planned our trip mainly according to this travelogue (Czech) – http://posvetebezcestovky.cz/jordansko-bez-pujceni-auta/?fbclid=IwAR2qJ1b33iGqFAIStACEC2rVG20C2CpYuy0Guv9ckN7sDYmTxMRYL3FJ0jY

So maybe you will find useful to receive more advice and tips on how to travel in Jordan without renting a car. As always I will not focus on the description of individual places, history, etc. you can read it in any guide or on the Internet but I will mainly describe useful and practical information, including all links, so that you have less work with planning. And this time I will focus on our experiences as well so that you can see how it works in the Arab world and what to prepare for and what to beware of. Believe me, especially with Jordan, some hints and tips may be useful, it’s really a different culture. If someone goes to an Arab country for the first time, many things can suprise him.

Flight tickets

We bought flight tickets directly through Ryannair, for our date 8.10. – 12.10.2019 the price was 100 EUR (2600 CZK), we bought about 2 months in advance. We flew with cabin luggage of about 7 kg, and in order to be able to have a maximum 10 kg of luggage with us, we bought priority boarding, so the total tickets cost us 133 EUR (3,458 CZK / person).

If you plan more ahead, they can definitely be cheaper. Because we didn’t want to pay extra for choosing a seat, in both cases they didn’t give us the seats next to each other but on the way there we managed to change the seat and on the way back there were a few seats available, including the seat next to me.

Flight – from Prague 12:30, arrival to Amman 17:30

              from Amman 18:00 – arrival to Prague 21:05

Jordan pass (entrance fees and visa)

Don´t forget to arrange a Jordan Pass before the trip. Jordan pass includes both visas and admission fees to most monuments (we used Petra, Wadi Rum and the Amman Citadel and Roman Theater).

If you’re planning to visit Petra (which I guess everyone does), Jordan Pass is definitely worth it. The price is according to how many days you want to spend in Petra, 1 day 70 JOD, we chose 2 days for 75 JOD (+ about 2 JOD was the fee for buying online).

It is necessary to print out the Jordan pass because they put stamps then on it in individual places.

Visas can be arranged at the airport but Jordan pass not, so it is necessary to buy it before the trip and print it out, in addition, separate visas and separate admission fees would not really pay off.

Jordan pass can´t be unfortunately used for Wadi al Mujib.

Also, don’t forget to check that your passport is still valid for at least 6 months after returning from the country.

Jordan Pass link – https://www.jordanpass.jo

Private drivers

So it was necessary to find out how to get from Petra to Wadi Rum and back and then a journey from Petra back to Amman.

  • Petra – Wadi al Mujib – Dead sea – Amman

We were inspired by the travelogue Po světě bez cestovky and we also decided to use the services of Ayman to make the same trip from Petra to Amman with a visit of Wadi al Mujib and the Dead Sea. We wrote to Ayman right after booking the tickets to make sure he was still free. I wrote to him via messenger on Facebook and the communication went smoothly, he always responded very quickly within a few minutes. He wanted 120 JOD per car for this trip from Petra to Amman with a 2 hour stop in Wadi Mujib and a 2 hour stop at the Dead Sea (so for us 60 JOD / person, if you drive in more people, it will be even cheaper). I didn’t try to bargain here, the price seemed ok to me – I compared it with other web sites offering trips, I didn’t find the same route but when I compared it with a similar routes, I could see it is a good price. One taxi driver asked us how much we paid for this trip and he said that 120 JOD was a good price. Until the departure to Jordan, the communication with Ayman went well, only the day of the trip itself there were a few surprises and confusion in terms of organization and communication but let’s not jump ahead. At least there wasn´t lack of authentic and cultural experiences that we would definitely not experience when renting a car.

About 5 days before leaving, Ayman wrote me that we have to pay directly to Martina Ladová, who cooperates with him and organizes trips to Jordan with small groups of people (https://www.facebook.com/jordanspices/ ). I read about Martina on the blog Po světě bez cestovky so I was not afraid to pay in advance and everything went well. Ayman gave her my phone number, and Martina called me shortly and sent her account number. For the price of 120 JOD, we had to pay another 5,7 EUR (150 CZK) for the transfer from her Czech account to the Jordanian … Martina also sent me a receipt.

Zajímavosti z Jordánska (Interesting things in Jordan) – tips, information, offers for cheap travels (Martina Ladová) – https://www.facebook.com/jordanspices/

Ayman:

https://www.facebook.com/PETRACARMOON/ ,

https://www.facebook.com/nawras.abugazala 

WhatsApp +962 7 7833 7107

Price: Petra – Wadi al Mujib – Dead sea – Amman 120 JOD

  • Petra – Wadi Rum + Wadi Rum – Petra

We also needed transportation from Wadi Rum to Petra and from Petra to Wadi Rum. We had another contact from Facebook from the group Cestovatelska seznamka for the driver Mohammed from Aqaba, so we thought that we would rather split it, if something went wrong, so that we are not dependent on one person. Communication with Mohammed went smoothly as well, I tried another taxi driver at the same time to see what the prices would be. The third taxi driver I tried through the official website didn’t even bother to send an offer. We read from the travelogue that someone had arranged a trip from Petra to Wadi Rum for 30 JOD, which was a good luck because the normal price is 40 JOD. Mohammed and the other taxi driver offered me the price of 50 JOD, so I thought I had to negotiate. Then they reduced the priced to 45, I still insisted on a lower price referring to friends who had it for 30-35 JOD and they wrote that 40 JOD was final price and that they didn’t want to go lower anymore. So we chose Mohammed as we had positive references from Facebook and we hoped that it will go smoothly.

As for the trip from Petra to Wadi Rum, we got information that there are so many taxis that there is no need to book in advance but Mohammed also offered us this a trip for 40 JOD, so we thought it would be a big coincidence , if we managed to negotiate less with someone else on the spot, so we thought that we would rather order it in advance, so that we don’t have to deal with it.

Mohammad Salimhttps://www.facebook.com/jordanseasontours/

WhatsApp +962 7 9549 8776

Taxi

In Amman you will find a taxi everywhere, so it is not a problem to find a taxi at any time. On the contrary, they offer you a ride themselves when you just walk down the street, they will honk the horn and will ask if you need a lift.

In Amman, a standard short distance costs 2 JOD. I recommend you always try to negotiate this price because of course they will try to overcharge you. It is needed to insist on your price and try to negotiate and when you see that there are enough taxis, feel free to try to say that you will go with someone else and you will see if the he will reduce the price then. Also, be careful to get back the right amount – when you pay, another common trick is to say that they don´t have change and they ask for a tip (“any tips?” is really their favorite question…). In that case, insist that you want to receive the coins and send them to the shop accross the street to exchange the money. We were learning here as well, for the first time we didn’t manage this situation well. Taxis have yellow colour in cities.

Taxi in Ammanu – short distance 2 JOD

Taxi from airport to  Amman – 21,5 JOD

Taxi in Wadi Musa – 5 JOD

Transport from airport to Amman

Taxi from airport to Amman

Airport taxis are white and have a fixed price of 21,5 JOD.

https://www.amman-airport.com/taxi.php

 

Bus from the airport

There is also a bus from the airport to Amman but in the evening the bus is going only every hour and still does not go completely to the center and you would still have to combine it with a taxi, so we did not want to wait for the bus and we decided to take a taxi.

http://sariyahexpress.com/en/content/airport-express

https://www.amman-airport.com/bus.php

 

Uber & Careem

Another option would be Uber application (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ubercab&hl=en) or Careem (similar to Uber, https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.careem.acma&hl=en ) but we didn’t want to deal with it and we took a taxi in front of the airport building.

Buses

It’s really bad with buses here, so most of the time we decided to book private drivers or take a taxi on the street for shorter routes.

Bus Amman – Petra

The only bus we decided to use was to travel from Amman to Petra (Wadi Musa). There is a Jett bus from Abdali office in Amman and it is definitely better to book in advance because people who wanted to buy the ticket on the spot were unlucky, the bus was completely full, after all it only runs once a day. A minibus was waiting for these tourists, so they used a minibus but I wouldn’t rely on that either because the capacity of the minibus is not very big. In addition, the Jett bus has really nice modern and clean buses, with air conditioning, USB and toilet.

Tickets can be bought only for the current and next month, so we waited for them to buy and we preferred to buy them as soon as they opened the online sale, so that we don´t risk that the tickets would be sold out later. After we bought these tickets online, we printed them out. I don’t know why but unlike the others, we didn’t see the QR code there, so to be sure we showed the ticket in Abdali office, where you could sit before the bus arrived, and fortunately they didn’t mind the missing QR code, they just put a stamp on the ticket.

The journey to Petra takes 4 hours, don’t be confused by the ticket where it says 6:30 – 9:30, the journey really takes 4 hours, there is a 20 minute break for the toilet, refreshments, or buying souvenirs. Along the way, they pick up the rest of the people at two stops in Amman but Abdali station is a short walk from the center, so it’s probably the easiest to get there, for us it was not far away from the hotel.

Price – 11 JOD

Jett bushttps://www.jett.com.jo/en

Boarding: Amman – Abdali officehttps://goo.gl/maps/M6TiomWFgWQLp9tD6 (https://mapy.cz/s/malocufozo)

Lenght of journey4 hours (with 20 minute break)

Minibuses

There are also minibuses in Jordan but their fundamental problem is that they are waiting to be filled. When it doesn’t fill up, it doesn’t go. So even though they told us in Wadi rum that a minibus is going there every day around 9:00 – 9:30, we didn’t want to take the risk because I don’t know what we would do if it didn’t fill up, there were no taxis, it was needed to arrange a taxi in advance. In addition, departure at 9:30 was quite late for us. In one travelogue, I read that a tourist was waiting in Aqaba 2.5 hours until the minimus was filled up. And since we were in Jordan only for 5 days, we wanted to see as much as possible and we definitely didn’t want to spend time waiting in the minibus with a few hours of praying for the minibus to fill up. In addition, the minibuses do not go on Friday, so we would not be able to use it for the transport from Petra on Friday morning anyway …

Traffic

Traffic is pretty crazy in Jordan, even if I had a driving license, I wouldn’t dare drive. Everyone smokes while driving, makes phone calls, types on their mobile phones, almost no one uses belts and they often do not use turn signals.

Often no stripes are painted on the highway. Officially, there are 3, so if the car is driving in the middle, he probably has to guess if it’s really in the middle so that those on the left and right fit there.

One rule applies here – the stronger goes … There are quite a lot of traffic jams in the center of Amman, so the rule applies especially there, otherwise you can’t get anywhere. Even crossing the road is quite a problem there, there is no chance of letting you go at the crossing, so you just have to jump to the road at some point and try to cross, only then they stop …

In the desert you can notice the traffic signs of caution camel. Fortunately, no one got in our way but we saw them quite often not far from the road. It is interesting that even in October, when it was still about 29-32 °C, almost no one uses air conditioning, even if they have it in the car. Probably this temperature no longer seems high to them compared to summer ….

Jeep tour in Wadi Rum

In various travelogues and websites, you can find contacts from travelers to drivers who offer jeep tours. I definitely do not recommend, both in one travelogue and from our experience as well, I noticed that probably every camp has its own person who does a jeep tour. When we were in contact with Eid (owner of the camp) before our holiday via WhatsApp, he informed us that if we take a jeep tour from him (or another activity like a camel ride), the ride to the camp will be for free, but if we don’t order any activity from him, then the lift to the camp will be to for 20 JOD, which is really a lot.

The price of his jeep tours was:

2 hrs. – 35 JOD (price for the whole car)

3 hrs. – 50 JOD (price for the whole car)

4 hrs. – 65 JOD (price for the whole car)

The price was not per person but for the whole car, so if someone goes in group of more people, then it’s a really decent price. So even if you find contacts for jeep tours somewhere, first check the conditions of your camp so that you don’t book a jeep tour elsewhere for a better price but then the total price would be higher due to transport to the campsite… Especially when I was necking the prices, they were similar, so it is better to arrange a jeep tour directly through the camp.

Eid offered us the longest 4 hours tour but it seems that it is possible to get even longer (https://www.wadirumtours.com/tour-prices/). 4 hours was enough, so I recommend at least 3-4 hours. 2 hours would be not enough.

Accommodation

We have arranged accommodation as always through Booking. If you do not insist on any luxury, hotels / hostels are very cheap, as well as food. You can find specific information about our accommodation and restaurants at individual trips sections.

We were quite surprised that towels were also available in the cheap Cliff hostel and campsite in Wadi Rum.

Bed linen – they have a strange style of bedding, they cover only the pillow and put the sheet on the bed, but they don´t use the quilt covers, so it is not washed after each guest… There is usually no sheet that you would put on yourself and then the blanket on that. So I had thin bed linen from home that were space saving or it was possible to solve it with a sleeping bag liners.

Weather

In mid-October it was about 29-32 °C. Still quite hot for me, I don’t like hot weather, so I would rather go later in November or December but we deliberately decided for October for two reasons – Wadi al Mujib is only open until the end of October and then closed from November to the end of March because there is a risk of flash floods. And secondly, in the winter it is quite cold in the desert and we didn’t want to be cold at night in the camp. That’s why we decided to go in October, it was still quite warm but it was quite ok, sometimes the breeze blew, so it was not tiring, some routes in Petra or Wadi rum led through the gorge in the shade, so it was ok. It was quite warm even at night, the average temperatures I found on Google (night 14 °C) didn’t really fit, I was afraid it would be rather cold, but it was definitely 21-23 ° C, maybe even more, so I even didn’t use pyjamas with long sleeve the and I slept in a T-shirt with short sleeves and panties.

SIM card

They have 3 operators, we bought a SIM card at the airport right at the exit. A package from Umniah worked best for a 5-day trip. The salesman at the stand inserted the SIM card into my phone himself, and although I have a menu in Czech, he set up data and calls via this local SIM without any problems (I have a dual SIM, so he set up this local SIM as the default for calls and data)

Ummiahhttps://www.umniah.com/en/

Orangehttps://www.orange.jo/en/Pages/default.aspx (It was not so cheap, 30 day SIM card was for 15 JOD – Internet 5GB, Local calls and SMS – unlimited, 10 free minutes abroad)

ZAINhttps://www.jo.zain.com/english/consumer/pages/default.aspx

Package from Umniah 4G / LTE service – 10 day SIM card

Price – 10.88 JOD

Internet 10 GB (because we received a voucher for a discount on a package with 60 GB in the exchange office, they recognized the voucher anyway and gave us 20 GB instead of 10 GB)

Social networks – 4 GB

Local call – 15 free minutes

International calls (including the Czech Republic) – 15 free minutes

Local SMS – 5

Other useful information

  • Communication

    Before the trip, we communicated with our drivers via messenger on Facebook.

    We communicated with hotels and campsites via WhatsApp

  • DROZD

    Furthermore, before the trip we registered in Czech website DROZD  (https://drozd.mzv.cz),

    Jordan is outside Europe, so we thought that it would be better to be registered just in case…

    The registration is done on their website and the provided information serves the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to provide rapid assistance to citizens in need and to effectively organize assistance in the event of natural disasters and social unrest. The system enables the sending of bulk e-mails and SMS to all registered persons who are in a respective foreign country, and thus provide them with important information or warn them in time of imminent danger.

  • Water

We bought the bottled water, the standard price in the shop was 0.5 JOD for 1.5 liters.

But when we read that the tap water is officially drinkable, we did not bother to clean the teeth with bottled water and we used tap water and we were fine. But bottled water is of course safer.

  • WC

In most places, paper is not allowed to be thrown into a toilet bowl, same as in Greece, but is thrown in the trash. It wasn’t written at some places, so I don’t know if it was allowed to be thrown into the toilet or it wasn’t just written there.

  • Zásuvky

E.g. in the Cliff hostel our mobile charger went into their socket but for example in a campsite in Wadi rum we had to use an adapter because it was the same type of socket as they have in the UK.

  • Clothing

In all places we visited, there was no need to be veiled (only in the mosque, of course, you get their robes). But even so, we tried not to walk significantly exposed (no necklines, short shorts, tank tops), we wore trousers below the knees and a T-shirt. But some tourists didn’t really care and we saw some girls in tank tops, shorts finishing under the ass and with large necklines… But having some respect for local customs, we didn’t choose such clothes. At the Dead Sea we were in a swimsuit on the beach.

  • Vaccination

There is no compulsory vaccination (only yellow fever vaccination is required of all travelers arriving in Jordan from endemic areas of the disease).

We did not address the recommended vaccinations…

http://www.ockovani.cz/jordansko/

Day 1

Arrival to Amman

We flew from Prague on Tuesday 7.12.2019 at 12:30 and we were supposed to arrive in Amman at 17:30 but we were about 30 minutes late (Queen Alia International Airporthttps://mapy.cz/s/hadocedezo )

Exchange office

The airport is easy for orientation. We found an exchange office right at the beginning before the visa check, so we decided to exchange the money right there, although it was not the most advantageous because the airport has the biggest fees for the exchange – we each exchanged 420 USD to JOD and for this amount we paid a fee for the exchange of 23.52 JOD (So about 12 JOD / person). So the exchange at the airport is not the most advantageous but we needed the money to pay for the taxi, so we needed to exchange something anyway, so we immediately exchanged everything so that we did not risk having trouble finding an open exchange office in the evening.

We exchanged USD for local JOD because I read in various sources that the USD rate is the most advantageous.

Behind the visa and passport control, we saw another 2 exchange offices.

After we exchanged money, we went through a visa check, which lasted just a while, the queue was not long. It is divided into a queue for Jordanians and a queue for other nationalities. There weren’t many Jordanians on our plane but as we went first to the toilet and exchanged money then, so there were only a few people in our queue, we waited for about 2 minutes. Then there was a passport control, where there was also no particularly long queue, we were waiting for about 10 minutes.

SIM karta

At the exchange office, we received a voucher for a discount on the local SIM from the operator Umniah. I definitely wanted to buy a local SIM because I didn’t want to rely on wifi if we needed to communicate with our drivers somewhere along the way or with a camp in Wadi rum, etc.

The stands with all 3 Jordanian operators (Orange, Zain and Umniah), where you can buy a SIM card, are at the end at the exit. We compared all 3 and for us, when we were supposesd to stay 5 days, Umniah was definitely the most advantageous, even though we didn’t take the offer for which we had a discount voucher. Umniah had a 10 day package for about 10.88 JOD, where there was 10 GB of data (which they increased even to 20 GB thanks to that discount voucher), 5 GB for social networks, 15 minutes of free minutes in Jordan and 15 free minutes to the Czech Republic (EU).

I think that Orange had the cheapest package for 15 JOD but definately worse conditions.

Mostly they did not have handouts with individual packages, so you need to ask and say how many days you are staying and they will show the most advantageous package for you. The package for 10.88 JOD was enough for both of us, I put a SIM card to my phone and I always ran a Hotspot on my mobile phone so that my friend can use the data this way via my SIM card.

Journey from the airport to Amman

After we bought a SIM card, we went out to catch a taxi that will take us to Amman, about 30 minutes away. White taxis were just at the exit and there were plenty of them. Drivers were standing outside at their stand, where they even had a price list.

The price to Amman was 21.5 JOD.

We told the first driver where we wanted to go and he asked us about the hotel. We said we needed to go to the Cliff Hostel in the center of Amman and that it is located opposite the Hashem restaurant. We heard everyone knows this restaurant but here it didn’t seem they know it. The drivers started discuss each other who will take us to Amman and about a 4th driver said he will take us to Amman. The others didn’t seem to know where to go. I asked the driver about the price so that he would not deny the price list at the stand and he immediately rounded it to 22 JOD and he was saing he will not move zigzag and prolong the ride on purpose to make he price higher and that we will go directly to Amman to our hotel.

When we got into the taxi, the taxi driver’s first question was if we were smoking. At the same time, we both replied that no and my friend added that she was an asthmatic. He didn’t care, and he lighted up the cigarette immediately. Like most taxi drivers, he didn’t use turn signals, belts, made phone calls, and was typing something on his cell phone. Then he wanted to verify the hotel again and wanted their number to call there, so we gave it to him. Everyone is doing it here, they always call where they should drive you, whether it is a hotel, a campsite or another driver. When he stopped at the hotel, my friend gave him 30 JODs, and he returned only 5 JODs, saying that he doesn´t have remaining 3.5 JODs as he has only banknotes of high value and showed a stack of banknotes, and began asking if we would give him a tip. Well, 3.5 JOD is not a small amount and I would insist on returning this amount or I might have remembered the travelogue and send it to exchange the money into a shop but my friend gave him this tip in amount of 3,5 JOD. So I decided to take it to my hands next time.

Cliff hostel

The entrance to the Cliff Hostel was in a small street and it was necessary to go up on the stairs to the second floor. The room was modest but clean, even towels were available. There was no wardrobe, only 2 hangers, but it is enough for 1 night, unpacking was not planned anyway, in addition we got a 3-bed room, so we used one bed as storage space.

Here, as in most hotels, there was a different style of bedding compared to the Czech Republic – they only cover a pillow and put a sheet. But they don´t cover the blanket, and there is no other sheet that one would put on you. Fortunately, I knew it from the travelogues in advance, and when I mentioned it to my mother, she packed me a thin sheet that didn’t take up more space than a bath towel. And I was really happy for that because it was just so hot everywhere that I only slept in panties under the sheets and I didn’t use a blanket.

The showers and toilets were in the hallway and they were clean. When it’s not a week’s stay, so we did care about it and we didn´t mind to not have our own bathroom, our main priority was to be mainly in the center and near the bus stop.

The view from the window was a bit shocking, to a small street, where there was garbage on the lower roofs, just typical Amman, they don’t worry much about garbage and the mess is everywhere.

It was possible to buy water directly at the reception, for the same price as in the shop (0.5 JOD for 1.5 l). A shared fridge was available at reception.

It was possible to arrange some trips at the reception but we didn´t check it out because we already had everything arranged.

There is also the possibility of breakfast for 2 JOD but we got up early, so we would not be able to manage it. But if you have time, so I recommend it, this breakwast seemed to be the best from all places we have seen.

Dinner at Hashem Restaurant

After we checked in, we went to Hashem restaurant for dinner. I knew from a travelogue that it was a well-known restaurant with good food. The menu is the same for everyone and they do not even have the menu. They brought us hummus, baba ganoush, falafel, Arabic bread, french fries and vegetables. All this for 6 JOD for both, so only 3 JOD (approx. 3,8 EUR, 100 CZK) per person. And the food was really great and even though it didn’t seem like it, it was such a big portion that we couldn’t eat everything.

Hashem restaurant – 6 JOD/2 persons – https://goo.gl/maps/RFeyGSAMxrctYaBU9

Day 2

Wadi Rum

The next day we had the Wadi Rum desert planned, so we had to do a 4-hour bus ride to Petra and then another 1.5 hours by car to Wadi Rum.

Taxi from Cliff Hostel to Abdali office

In the morning we were supposed to take the Jett bus from Amman to Petra at 6:30. The ticket printed from the e-mail stated that we should be there by 6:00. So we preferred to leave the hotel at 5:40 to have enough time.

The Abdali Office station was 3 km away from the Cliff Hostel (https://mapy.cz/s/javokepoza), and we certainly didn’t want to walk in the dark with our backpacks so early in the morning, especially when a taxi on this route costs only 2 JOD (1 JOD / person), so at least I had it foun this information in a travelogue and the receptionist confirmed that as well.

The receptionist said that there is no need to order a taxi in advance, that we can get it on the street without any problems. And, just in case, he wrote for us on a paper „the Abdali office“ in both Latin and Arabic letters, in case the taxi driver didn’t speak English.

Well, at the moment we came out from the hotel, the streets were empty but fortunately one taxi was standing right in front of our hostel. So I told the taxi driver that we needed to take to Abdali office to take Jett bus and if he would take us there for 2 JOD. He said it costs 3 JOD. Knowledgeable from the day before, I thought we had to manage it better now. So I said that I wouldn’t give him 3 because I had information from the receptionist from the hostel that this ride costs only 2 JOD and if he will take us there for this price and was ok with that.

We got in the car and after about 500 meters he suddenly stopped and I heard he is asking „Abdali office“? So I said yes and at that moment I realized that he was not talking to me but to 3 Lithuanians standing on the other side of the road looking for some taxi. I have never been good at math but when I counted 3 and 3 together, I realized that we don’t have enough space in the car. Me, my friend and the driver = 3 + 3 Lithuanians = 6 and the car is for 5 persons… how does he want to cram us in there? He said that two of them should sit in the front but somehow they didn’t want to do it this way and 2 Lithuanians started squeezing back towards us. So my friend was sitting on the right, I was in the middle, another Lithuanian was squeezed next to me and the third one was sitting on one thigh and she was totally twisted. Good thing it was just a short ride. And even though we all had only hand luggage, of course the trunk could not be closed and we drove with the trunk open which was opening every two seconds… Well, we were safe, ours were at the bottom, so there was no danger of them falling out. When we arrived at the Abdali office after a while, we paid 2 JODs and the Lithuanians paid 3 JODs, so the taxi driver also got what he wanted and actually instead of the original 3 JODs he wanted to get from us, he earned 5 JODs.

There was a stand in front of the Abdali office and it was open already so early in the mening so it was possible to buy some breakfast and drink. We didn’t buy anything because we had supplies from home and we also bought some pastries in the evening at the bakery at the entrance to the Cliff Hostel.

Abdali office

Abdali’s office was still closed but after a while they opened and we all sat inside as there where the seats. After a while, employees selling the tickets came, they beeped their arrival at the attendance terminal, and sat down at the computers. Well, the working conditions were interesting, a video camera was pointing at each of them. I did not fully understand whether what we have printed from the email was already a ticket or we have to present the printed paper to receive the ticket. So I showed the paper and she just gave me a stamp on it.

A few people wanted to buy a ticket on the spot but they were unlucky, the Jett bus was completely sold out. So it’s definitely good to buy tickets online, enough time in advance as it is difficult to estimate when they will sell out the last ticket…

Fortunately, the driver from the minibus was picking other people at that time but I wouldn’t rely on that either, the minibus is not big to take many people…

Travelling by bus from Amman to Petra

We went to the bus just before 6:30. The backpacks had to be put down in the trunk.

It was a nice modern bus with air conditioning, toilet and USB. It was officially forbidden to eat and drink on the bus but we dared to break this rule because I probably wouldn’t be able to stay in the hot weather for 4 hours without drinking water.

Along the way, we picked up a few more passengers at the next two stops in Amman. The journey to Petra takes 4 hours. Don’t be confused that the ticket says 3 hours (6:30- 9:30). It confused us quite a lot because they wrote 4 hours in a travelogue, so we thought that there may have been a traffic jam. I was checking it with Mohammed before the trip and he confirmed as well that it should be 3 hours so we asked him to wait at the Jett bus stop at Petra at 9:30. After a while, we realized that it would really be 4 hours, so we wrote to him that we would not be there until 10:30, fortunately it was not a problem. The journey passed quickly as we looked out of the window, again we could see the mess around the highway, the garbage and plastics everywhere.

There was a 20 minute break along the way. There was a souvenir shop, refreshments and toilets.

Travel by taxi from Petra to Wadi Rum

When we arrived in Petra (the town of Wadi Musa), we went to the entrance of the parking to look for Mohammad. Before leaving, he asked us for a photo, so we sent him our selfie so that he could easily recognize us. I knew what he looked like from Facebook but I wasn’t sure if I would recognize him because it seems to me that all Arabs look very similar, so I focused on his green metallic car, because I thought that no one will have this colour. Mistake. I don’t know if it’s the standard color for long-distance taxis but it was definitely a fairly common color, so I waved by mistake at the other two drivers. Other taxi drivers immediately came to us and offered us a ride. When we said that we already had the driver booked and we were waiting for him, they asked for his name and that they would call him… When Mohammed didn’t show up for about another 5 minutes, even though I wrote him that we had arrived, I decided to call him to inform him we were already waiting there. He told me that his brother would take us instead of him and he told me his name and that he would be with us shortly. Well, I thought, how do we know it’s really him, so we don’t get in someone else’s car. Within a minute, he was with us and said that he was Mohammed’s brother and that he would take us to Wadi Rum. Damn it, what if someone heard us talking about him and someone was trying again to make a deal and I was wondering if I had not repeated to my friend directly in English what Mohammed had told me on the phone… Fortunately, his brother showed us a mobile phone with our selfie. It was visible he had fun seeing our distrust if we are getting into the car of the right taxi driver.

The driver was nice, within the possibilities of his English, we talked a bit with him and he also offered us a biscuit. It was about an hour and a half to Wadi Rum. Like the first taxi driver from the airport, this one asked us for the number of the campsite owner so that he could call him and agree on exactly where and when to wait for us in the Wadi rum village in the parking lot (https://goo.gl/maps/uheCLiagKWJ9yry66 ). This was great, we didn’t have to deal with it ourselves and write or call the owner of the camp, who did not have a good English. Before arriving to Wadi rum village, we stopped at Wadi Rum visitor center, where it is necessary to show Jordan pass. They also had jeep tours there, so in the worst case, a jeep tour could be ordered here as well, but it’s best to arrange it through the camp owner.

Jeep tour Wadi Rum

In various travelogues and websites, you can find contacts from travellers to drivers who offer jeep tours. I definitely do not recommend, both in one travelogue and from our experience as well, I noticed that probably every camp has its own person who does a jeep tour. When we were in contact with Eid (owner of the camp) before our holiday, he informed us that if we take a jeep tour from him (or another activity like a camel ride), the ride to the camp will be for free but if we don’t order any activity from him, then the lift to the camp will be to for 20 JOD, which is a really a lot.

The price of his jeep tours was:

2 hours – 35 JOD (price for the whole car)

3 hours – 50 JOD (price for the whole car)

4 hours – 65 JOD (price for the whole car)

The price was not per person but for the whole car, so if someone goes in group of more people, then it’s a really decent price. So even if you find contacts for jeep tours somewhere, first check the conditions of your camp so that you don’t book a jeep tour elsewhere for a better price but then the total price would be higher due to transport to the campsite… So definitely it is better to book the jeep tour via the camp.

When we arrived at the parking in Wadi rum village, Eid, the owner of the Joy of Life Wadi Rum campsite, and the jeep driver, who was supposed to take us for a jeep ride in the desert, were already waiting there for us. From home we already knew the prices of jeep tours from Eid, we just didn’t know if they would add someone to us, if at that time someone would come too or if we would be alone. In the end we were alone and we were happy for that because there was place for 6 people on the body of the jeep and we were glad that we don’t have to squeeze with anyone and we have a great view while driving. Fortunately, our jeep had a fabric roof, so the sun didn’t shine on us.

We already had information before leaving to Jordan that they can arrange lunch, so we asked for lunch because we haven´t eaten yet. The driver put our bags on the back seats inside the car. We drove a few meters to the local very dubious-looking restaurant and our driver Hussein bought lunch for take away.

As for Wadi Rum Village, it cannot be said that it is just a picturesque village, judge yourself.

Then he took us to the first stop – Lawrence’s spring where we could eat our lunch in the shelter. It was a typical Arabic meal – chicken with spicy rice and a piece of fried potatoes, then yogurt and a can of Coca Cola. Although the restaurant looked a bit repulsive from the outside, we survived the lunch in good health and even enjoyed it. It was such a large portion we were not able to eat it all. Lunch cost 7.5 JOD / person.

After exploring this site, we set off on a journey through the desert. It was several stops, when we always got off the jeep and went to see the place.

The next stop was a sand dune where some movies were made (in Wadi rum were made mores such as Transformers, Martian, Red Planet, etc.). It didn’t seem but this dune was quite a big hill. Once we climbed up we could enjoy a beautiful view from there. One guy went down from there on a snowboard.

The next stop was a beautiful Khazali canyon which was about 150 meters long – we could walk through the gorge and then we continued on.

Then we went to a small bridge where most people scrambled up to take pictures. An impressive photo but I don’t need to have everything, so we only took a picture of the rock formation from below.

The next stop was the big bridge which was really breathtaking. Again, we were happy with looking from below and we sat for a moment and watched the others climbing up.

The last stop was a larger gorge where Hussein dropped us off and said he would go around the gorge and would wait for us at the end. This gorge was also beautiful. The 4 hours passed very fast and it was a wonderful trip.

You don’t have to take water supplies, the price of the trip already included water which was on the body of the jeep in a cooling bag, so the water was even cold. There was padding on the seats and my friend managed to lose one of them during the fast ride, luckily I noticed it has fallen down and shouted for Hussein to stop. Fortunately, he heard me and we were only coming back a short distance.

Camp Joy of life Wadi Rum

Then we went to the camp Joy of life Wadi rum. Really beautiful camp, I can really recommend this one. We made the reservation through Booking. This camp has a really great rating. It was really cheap, it cost only 13 JOD for both of us, including dinner and breakfast (i.e. about 8,3 EUR/person, 217 CZK / person with dinner and breakfast).

The owner Eid was already waiting for us at the camp, and in addition to us, there were just a Spanish couple sitting on the carpet by the fireplace. The tents are really nice, we had a double bed tent and everything was really clean. The blankets were not covered again but they looked clean. But it was really warm, so I slept again just under my sheet from home. We got a padlock with a key to lock the tent but in the end we slept with the door open and it was really nice, not too hot. There was electricity in the camp so there was a light and a socket in the tent, so it was not a problem to charge the mobile phone (there was just a need to use an adapter, there was the same socket as in the UK). The toilets and showers were really nice, new and clean, really comparable to a 3 star hotel.

There was no signal in the camp, so if you need to arrange with the driver when to wait for you in the village, then you need to arrange it in advance. We didn’t have to deal with it, they agreed on it themselves again, we just told Eid that we wanted to leave Wadi Rum village at 8:30.

After we explored the camp and we took some photos, we went to sit by the fire. After a while another couple arrived (Italian and Russian) and then one more couple (Brazilian with a Swiss). So apart from us, only 3 couples, so it was a nice atmosphere, we were sitting by the fire and we were talking together. Eid also told us some information about life in the desert.

Then we got soup in a cup, it was a thick soup with mixed vegetables. Then we went for dinner. Dinner was baked in the sand in the ground, in a hole about two meters deep where there were coals and on them a huge pot with chicken and vegetables (potatoes, zucchini, carrots, onions, tomatoes) and a large pot with spicy rice. We were told it always takes two hours to bake everything, including the chicken. We were standng around a pile of sand and watched them dig up the sand and pull out a pot of vegetables, meat and rice.

Then we sat to the table. The food was very good. There were also fresh vegetables and Arabic bread. There was also water and then we got also dessert, about 5 kinds of sweet as baklava and similar, sugar syrup-filled desserts, very similar to Greek desserts. I like these very much, so I enjoyed the dessert, everyone had around 3-4 pieces. Then they played Arabic music and taught us their dances. Then we went to sit by the fire again.

Eid was really very hospitable and we could see how much he cared that his guests were as satisfied as possible. When we went to the bed, we could take as many bottles of water as we needed, and Eid told us that if we needed more water at night, that it wasn’t a problem and he showed where the cook slept and that we might wake him up to ask him for more water. It was a very nice evening, the Wadi Rum desert was really one of the greatest experiences of the whole holiday.

In the morning we had breakfast at 7:30. Breakfast was buffet style (tomatoes, cucumbers, hard-boiled eggs, processed cheese, Arabic bread, humus, etc. and coffee, tea and water). The others stayed because they didn´t had the jeep tour yet as they arrived in the evening to Wadi rum. After breakfast at 8:00, Hussein was waiting for us to take us to the Wadi rum village. The camp is about 10 km away from the village so we actually had another smaller 30 minute tour 🙂 Along the way, we could see that our camp was really well located, in the morning there was still a shade. But in other camps the sun was beating down from the morning. We also liked that our campsite was really further in the desert and we had no other campsites nearby but along the way we saw that some campsites were quite close each other, for example 3 campsites around one rock… So we chose the campsite really well, I can definitely recommend it. Everything went smoothly here.

Jett bus:

Price 11 JODhttps://www.jett.com.jo/en

Boarding – Amman – Abdali office https://goo.gl/maps/M6TiomWFgWQLp9tD6 (https://mapy.cz/s/malocufozo)

Lenght of journey – 4 hours (with 20 minute break)

Camp Joy of Life Wadi Rumhttps://www.booking.com/hotel/jo/beduin-nabatean-camp.cs.html?aid=304142;label=gen173nr-1FCAEoggI46AdIM1gEaDqIAQGYAQW4ARfIARXYAQHoAQH4AQuIAgGoAgO4AqLkmO0FwAIB;dist=0&frindrecv=1&group_adults=2&sb_price_type=total&type=total&

Map – https://goo.gl/maps/Uf798kGqr5aKBLCVA

Contact – Eid –    +962 0776235279

Camp price – 13 JOD/2 bed tent/ night

Jeep tour price– 65 JOD/4 hours

Lunch price – 7,5 JOD/ person

 

Useful information

  • Towels available
  • Socket as in the UK, adapter needed for charging mobile phone
  • Absence of a mobile signal
  • Water bottles available as needed (included in the price of accommodation), during the jeep tour also water included in the price

Day 3

Petra

Taxi from Wadi Rum to Petra

In Wadi Rum village, Mohammad was supposed to wait for us at 8:30 with his green car. As I was getting out of the jeep, I saw that he was already waiting for us there. Hussein wanted to call him again to talk to him and when I was going to Mohammed, he wanted to make sure that he was our driver and he was asking if he should call him. But I saw a lot of Mohammad’s photos on Facebook and this time I recognized him without problem.

We got in the car and we saw another Arab talking to Mohammed. A young girl was standing next to him. We thought he would like to earn extra money and get another deal? And after a while, the young German got in the car. She was going to Amman, so we thought she would go with us to Petra. But she got out in a while, she wanted to get off the highway leading from Aqaba and said that she would try to hitchhike… I wonder how long she waited there because the bus really didn’t go there and since she probably wanted to save some money, it would probably not help much to go with a Jordan because I expect that he would definitely want to get some money and earn as much as possible. So it would be better for her to go with a tourist. Well, not many cars drove there, so I would really like to know how long it took her to get to Amman.

Before arriving to Petra, Mohammed stopped at a view point with an absolutely breathtaking view. We took a few photos there including a selfie with Mohammed.

Mohammed even had free wifi in the car. Mohammed bought water for us. We didn’t pay for it extra, it seems that it is included in the price of taxi and a jeep tour in the desert.

Check-in at the hotel in Wadi Musa (Mussa Spring hotel) was only from 14:00 but before leaving the Czech Republic we agreed with them that we can keep our things with them so that we do not have to walk in Petra with our bags. I rearranged the clothes from my backpack into 2 plastic bags and we filled my backpack with 8 liters of water for both of us. We expected it would be possible to buy water in Petra but we didn’t want to take the risk because everyone wrote in travelogues that it was good to take supplies of water. Water could be bought there but half a liter cost 0.5 JOD, in Amman the price was 0.5 JOD per 1.5 liters. And it was quite warm, so in a moment the backpack was much lighter. My friend only took a small backpack and we shared my backpack with water and took turns carrying it.

The journey from Wadi rum to Petra (Wadi Musa) cost 40 JOD (so 20 JOD / person). But because the trip to the hotel was actually a detour because it was on the outskirts of the town, we decided to give Mohammed voluntarily an extra 5 JOD which was the normal price for a taxi in Wadi Musa. I don’t know if he would ask himself to give him the 5 JODs but we gave them to him voluntarily because we were satisfied with him. We would pay this amount anyway if he dropped us off at the hotel and we would took another taxi. It was 4 km from Petra to our hotel.

Mohammed asked us what time we would finish the visit of Petra and if we want his brother to take us back to the hotel for 5 JOD. So we arranged a taxi for 19:00 to go again with his brother. Petra closes at 19:00 in summer.

Admission fee is included in the price of the Jordan pass. It was necessary to show the Jordan pass at the ticket office, they put a stamp there and gave us a ticket, which we showed nearby at the turnstiles.

Petra is a beautiful rock town that is really impossible to walk in one day. Some people write in travelogues that one day is enough but it is not enough definitely, you don’t have a chance to go through it all even in two days. If someone wants to see only the main route through the Siq gorge, the Treasury and walk around the theater to the tombs and a little further to the remains of the temples, then of course one day is enough. But for someone who likes hiking, I would recommend two days at least. We left the entrance on the first day at 11:10 and ended exactly at 19:00 when Petra closes. Unfortunately, we did not make it to the Monastery, we preferred the viewpoint of the Treasury (Al-Khazneh).

As soon as you enter Petra, they will start bothering you and offering you a way on a donkey, camel or in a horse-drawn carriage. Everyone claims that it’s for free that it’s included in the ticket price, some will point out that you only pay a tip at the end but otherwise the ride is of course for free… so don’t swallow the hook. In addition, it would certainly not be very comfortable to take photos from the saddle or from the carriage, and the photos from the gorge are definitely worth it. At the beginning, you walk through the Siq gorge, which is about 2 kilometers long and is really beautiful.

At the end of the gorge, a view of the Treasury (Al-Khazneh) opens up. We took some photos and continued on.

It was lunch time, so we decided to go to the only restaurant Basin. On the way we explored the buildings around and then we headed to the restaurant. I knew from Trip Advisor that it would not be cheap, everyone wrote how overpriced it was but no one wrote the price there. It was a buffet-style lunch where you can have as much as you want, the main course and then fruit and dessert, all for 17 JOD (approx. 22 EUR, 570 CZK). Well, I only had cookies with me and a decent hike ahead of me, so I wanted to eat well and so I decided to take this overpriced lunch. It was good but it doesn’t correspond to the price. Well, it is the only restaurant in Petra, so they can afford it. There were several types of meat to choose from (beef, chicken wings, fish), pasta, rice with chicken, baked potatoes, etc. Concerning fruit there were only apples, oranges and bananas and then some mousse and puddings and a cake. Apart from this restaurant, there are only small snack bars in Petra, where you can buy a drink, some fruit and I saw sandwiches in the menu…

After the lunch, we went to the toilet next to the restaurant – the worst toilets I have seen in Jordan. Really dirty…. I went first, locked the door and I could see that I could not close the door easily. The handle was not there, only a knob about 1 cm in diameter, which had to be pulled to open the door. It didn’t work. I started tearing the edge of the door with my fingers, it didn’t help either. So I said in English that I couldn’t get out and the lady in front of the door had to almost kick the door, it really couldn’t be opened easily. I was really relieved, the idea of ​​being stuck there and looking at the dirty toilet instead of the beautiful views in Petra was not very tempting.

We decided to go to the famous view point to see the Treasury from above. I knew from the travelogue that the guides offer a shortcut via a path up in the rocks and you get there in about 15 minutes but it is the steep path on the rocks. Having 8 kg of water on our back it was a scary idea for us, so we didn’t even think about this option and in fact no one offered us this option. When we were looking there curiously from below where the path might lead, I really had no idea and I would be really interested to know it. There were stairs but they ended soon and then there was a big ascent on the scree with stones, so I don’t know where the tourist guides are going up to reach the view point.

We definitely didn’t regret chosing a long way to this viewpoint, it was a beautiful hike up on the stairs with beautiful views, which you would miss if you climbed the rocks through the shorcut.

The hike was not difficult, it was nice stairs and we were lucky, at this time after lunch this path was in the shade. We were going up with a slow walk and taking photos 1 hour 10 minutes (counted from the beginning of the stairs down) (https://mapy.cz/s/cotaducubo).

It could definitely be done faster, but we didn’t rush, we wanted to enjoy the beautiful views of Petra. Along the way we met a few tourists but fortunately no crowds, fortunately not every tourist goes here. On the other hand, crowds could be seen from above on the main road. The route was ok, it was impossible to get lost, the path was leading up the stairs.

Up there was a crossroad to the view point of the Roman Theater (the viewpoint was just a few steps from the sign) and the second path led to the viewpoint of the Treasury. There we turned slightly wrong and the path was a little bit steep, so it is better to turn down a bit in front of an abandoned house, there is an arrow but it is difficult to see it. But even our path was quite fine. After a while we reached the view point. There is a place for refreshments and in order to enjoy the view of the Treasury, you need to buy a drink (or pay the amount if you do not want to buy anything). It was possible to buy water, tea, juice, etc., all for 2-3 JOD (juice 3 JOD, water, tea 2 JOD). Everything was stacked in a cooler bag with ice, so it was chilled. There was ice in the cooler bag and we saw a cat standing on the bag and drinking water straight from the bag… „great hygiene“…

We took some photos right from here from the shelter but for the best photos you have to go a bit down on a dubious platform of boards with carpets. The view from there was really breathtaking and it is definitely worth making this hike to this view point. We sat for a while, took photos and set off on the way down.

We went through the tombs below and then we took some more photos at the Treasury. There were almost no people around 18:00 in the evening. So if you want a photo of the Treasury without crowds of people, you need to get up and go to the Treasury around 6:30 in the morning (we personally have not tried it) or like this in the evening around six o´clock.

Then we headed back through the Siq gorge. It was getting dark and they were already preparing candles for Petra by Night around the path. We missed the Petra by night, the Spanish people from the camp said it was nice but not worth the for the money (17 JOD, not included in the Jordan Pass price). It takes place every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 20:30 to 22:30 (http://visitpetra.jo/DetailsPage/VisitPetra/EntertainmentsDetailsEn.aspx?PID=4). They just walk with the crowd to the Siq gorge on the path with candles, they sit at the Treasury and play music for a while and the Treasury is beautifully lit and then they go back again. We were already quite tired, so we weren’t tempted by the idea that as soon as we got to the beginning, we would go back through the Siq gorge again in a moment and then back to the entrance. We arrived at the entrance just at 19:00 and after a while brother Mohammed arrived to take us to the outskirt of the town to the hotel (5 JOD).

Mussa Spring Hotel

We chose a cheap hotel at the end of Wadi Musa (Mussa Spring Hotel) and it was the worst accommodation. The room was really tiny, there were no towels. Room was really small, even the cheaper Cliff hostel in Amman had a much bigger room. In addition, there was probably the only toilet / shower for the whole hotel – some rooms had their own bathroom and once I went to the upper floors, I did not find any toilets / showers. It wasn´t clean at all, the board was completely broken because obviously it didn’t even fit on the toilet bowl, etc.

We no longer wanted to look for a restaurant in the center, in addition, we agreed on a taxi at 19:00, so we decided to have dinner directly at the hotel where it was possible to order dinner for 7 JOD. I really do not recommend to eat in this hotel, it was the worst food. Ordinary chicken with a scoop of white unflavored rice + yogurt, so it was bland and very dietary and quite a small portion.

Jett bus terminal station Petrahttps://mapy.cz/s/depecefege

Journey Wadi Rum – Petra – 40 JOD (+5 JOD in Wadi Musa from hotel to Petra)

Petra webhttp://visitpetra.jo 

Petra – our routehttps://mapy.cz/s/mosuzogagu (11 km)

Petra Siq gorgehttps://mapy.cz/s/deburaduro

Petra – view point with view of Treasury from above – https://mapy.cz/s/dozofadoma (beginning of the stairs — 1,3 km, based on map 40 min., it took us with slow walk and taking photos 1 hours 10 minutes)

Restaurant Basin – price 17 JOD, bufet style – main  course, fruit, dessert https://goo.gl/maps/qSbGgaje4Gz43qFY8

Mussa Spring Hotelhttps://www.booking.com/hotel/jo/mussa-spring.cs.html?aid=304142&label=gen173nr-1FCAEoggI46AdIM1gEaDqIAQGYAQW4ARfIARXYAQHoAQH4AQuIAgGoAgO4AqLkmO0FwAIB&all_sr_blocks=24339327_141096924_3_42_0&checkin=2019-11-04&checkout=2019-11-05&dest_id=3470&dest_type=region&group_adults=2&group_children=0&hapos=11&highlighted_blocks=24339327_141096924_3_42_0&hpos=11&no_rooms=1&sr_order=price&srepoch=1571496293&srpvid=5af367b28a660215&ucfs=1&from=searchresults;highlight_room=#hotelTmpl

Mussa Spring Hotel – price– 18,7 JOD/2 bed-room (including breakfast)

Dinner in Mussa Spring Hotel – 7 JOD (I do not recommend)

Hotel map – https://mapy.cz/s/parefonace

Taxi  Petra – hotel – 5 JOD

Useful information

  • Water – you can easily get it in places with refreshments, but 0.5 liters costs 1 JOD, better to have some supplies from the supermarket
  • Refreshments – drinks, fruit, sandwiches
  • Restaurant – Basin only – 17 JOD lunch
  • Enough toilets
  • What to bring – water, hat, sunglasses (big part of the path is in direct sunlight)
  • Jordan Pass – need to be printed out (they wanted to see it again the next day, even though we had a ticket they gave us the first day based on a Jordan Pass check)

Day 4

Petra

The breakfast at the Mussa Spring Hotel wasn´t very good. In the evening they told us that it would be around 7:10 (although they wrote to us before the trip that it officially starts at 7:30), so we came down at 7:15 and the chef /receptionist was still sleeping on the sofa at the reception. Only once he saw the first guests coming, he got up and started to prepare breakfast. When there was practically everything at 7:35 and we started to take some food, he asked us to wait still. So we told him that it should have been ready a long time ago and that we can´t wait because our taxi will arrive in 10 minutes.

Mohammad´s brother arrived on time and took us for 5 JOD to the entrance of Petra. If you have accomodation in these part of Wadi Musa, you need to order a taxi, in this part there are no taxis on the street and we didn´t see any passing either. We only had 3 hours for Petra that day. Well, we could get up earlier but because we got up very early every day, we didn’t want this time and we wouldn’t go to the Monastery anyway, so that we wouldn’t risk not getting back on time. So we just walked through the Siq gorge and took photos in front of the Treasury, sat down and then headed back. On the way back, there weren’t many people in the Siq gorge, so we could take some photos without the crowds.

Kámoška si chtěla koupit jeden náramek, tak se ptala kluka, co prodával náramky, kolik stojí. Řekl, že 15 JOD, protože je to prý opravdické stříbro. Tak kámoška řekla, že nemá zájem a on se zeptal, kolik by dala, tak řekla, že maximálně 5 JOD. Na to nechtěl přistoupit, ale i tak po kámošce chtěl, aby si ho vyzkoušela, a když viděla, že je celkem malý a nebyl by na ruce pohodlný, už se smlouvat nepokoušela. Ale kluk to nevzdával, nabídl 10, pak 7 JOD a i když už jsme se vzdalovaly, tak nás doběhl a řekl, že jí ho dá za 5 JOD. Ale když byl náramek malý, tak prostě kšeft neudělal. Ale je vidět, jak mají ty ceny hodně nadsazené, když byl ochoten zlevnit z 15 na 5 JOD…

Instead of driver Ayman his uncle Khalid

At 11:00 we were supposed to meet Ayman at the entrance to Petra. When I was writing to him from the Czech Republic about how we will recognize each other, he just told me not to be afraid that he would recognize us. It wasn´t very convincing, so I preferred to send him our selfie just like we sent it to Mohammad. And then I took a photo of the entrance to Petra with the sign I love Petra and I sent him a photo with the information that we will be waiting for him next to that sign.

About 45 minutes before the meeting, he wrote me to messenger on Facebook that he would not take us, but his uncle. So I asked him to send me his name, phone number and photo so we could recognize him and to know we were getting to the right car. Ayman just sent his name and phone number. At about 10:45 we got to the meeting place. Five minutes later, an Arab arrived in a robe and scarf and looked like he was waiting for someone, so I wondered if it was him and tried to look at him significantly to make eye contact and find out if it wasn’t him. But he didn’t even look at us. When it was 11:10, I was about to call Ayman’s uncle Khalid. But then this gentleman suddenly asked us if we had an arranged journey through Ayman. He said that Ayman didn’t give him neither our photo nor our number, even though Ayman had my number and my friend´s number as well. Great  communication … and it was definitely not the last surprise …

When we got in the car, we found out that my friend was missing belts, actually the lower part into which the belt needed to be inserted. So we insisted that he take it out but he wasn´t able to do it and told her to insert the belt into the other one in the middle but of course it didn’t work, so my friend ended up in the front seat because when we saw the way everyone is driving, we would not dare to go such a long route without belts.

Then we told him that we would still need to buy water and if he could stop for a quick lunch somewhere because we hadn’t had lunch yet. When we set off, we did not follow the main road but we drove through the small streets of Wadi Musa. Then he stopped at a house and said he lived there. Then he told us that he has a total of 9 children and one of them a small baby, all with one woman. He told us as well that his friend has 16 children and 2 women. We waited there for about 10 minutes and actually we didn’t know why. Then we realized he wanted to show us his baby. Then they brought us the baby, which he claimed to be 1 year old but he was 1 month old. His English was pretty bad when he confused even such simple words and soon we gave up attempts for conversation, sometimes he answered something else and even though he answered something, we ourselves sometimes had trouble understanding what he meant.

Then he stopped at a shop where he didn’t buy anything and then at another shop where he bought us 3 waters of 1.5 liters each. We didn’t pay him for water. Before we got out of Wadi Musa, it was 11:40 and that’s exactly the time we missed at the Dead Sea, where we arrived after sunset … After a while he stopped again and said that we could go buy something to the supermarket. Next to the supermaket they were selling some grilled chickens, he went to buy something and we didn’t know if it was the lunch for us, in the same style as in Wadi Rum, that he would buy it and we would just pay him. Well, it wasn’t lunch for us, and then there wasn’t a single place to eat, then just the desert, the mountains and the hairpin bends all the way to Wadi al Mujib. He could have told us that this is the only place we can buy something, we couldn´t know that… So we had only some cookies and an apple for lunch…

The road around Little Petra was very nice, there were a lot of locals who had a picnic right by the road by the rock. It would also be nice to do a hike there, maybe next time.

On the way, he stopped at a beautiful view point with an amazing view of the mountains and the valley. We also took a few photos with Khalid and then we went through the hairpin bends down into the valley. I would probably recommend a pill for someone with motion sickness. The journey was starting to seem long considering he was saying that it was 2-2.5 hours to Wadi al Mujib. In addition, we needed to be there before 15:00 because then new visitors would not be allowed to enter into the canyon to be able to return in time.

Wadi al Mujib

At 14:30 we finally arrived in Wadi al Mujib. I knew from the web that the ticket should cost 21 JOD / person. Khalid asked us for 50 JOD saying he will buy the tickets for us. We didn’t know how it worked there, if there was a long queue and he would go buy tickets while we were changing clothes. Well, in the end we didn’t understand why he wanted the money to buy himself the tickets for us because he told us to change clothes by the car, so we took water shoes, a waterproof mobile phone case (before the trip I bought this from Decathlon and it was good, really there was no drop of water (https://www.decathlon.cz/vodotesne-pouzdro-na-telefon-id_8480983.html), and a small backpack with water.

The tourists were equipped quite well, except for one man who went in moccasins (I’m surprised he has not lose them) and one lady who went in socks (it’s hard to say whether intentionally or her inappropriate shoes floatted away). The photos taken with the waterproof case were fine in the end, I was afraid that the quality would be very bad, but it was quite ok. I saw that someone who was not ready, got a waterproof bag but it had to be paid for (unfortunately I do not know the amount). As for my clothes, I was wearing leggings and a functional T-shirt. I didn’t wear a peaked cap or glasses to not lose them in water. There was no need for that actually, the gorge was in the shade.

Then we went to the ticket office, where Khalid bought tickets for the two of us for 42 JOD, and we hoped that he would return the 8 JODs to us but we didn’t see this money anymore.

From the travelogue Po světě bez cestovky, I saw that the girls were just going a shorter route without a guide, and I was chatting with Jana in a messenger to make sure what it looked like, because when I saw a video of the entire route from someone else in her travelogue , it scared me a lot, I never did anything like that and I didn’t even want to try something like this because I was scared. When Khalid was buying tickets, I still wanted to check with the seller if it was the easy route without a guide. The salesman looked at me with mistrust and said, well, not easy, the standard route, where you go one hour there and one hour back, you have to be able to swim, you will climb down various obstacles with ropes, climb small waterfalls and slide on the way back. At that moment, I broke out in a sweat and I was wondering what I´im doing there… Well, ok, I thought that I could give it up at any time in the middle and wait for my friend before she returns from the entire route.

If you want to see what the whole route looks like, you can take a look at this video on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXk28qMR7OY (unfortunately I don’t have my own video).

In the beginning you have to go down the stairs and jump straight into the river where the ether is pu to the waist approximately. I was afraid that after two hours in the river I would be very cold, as I thought the river would be cold, fortunately it wasn´t. The water was really warm, I have no idea how many degrees it could have but I have impression that even my parents 29 ° C whirlpool is slightly colder. When I jumped down the stairs into the water, I didn’t feel cold at all, it was really warm, I’ve never seen such warm water in a river. A little further on, there was less water and we went a bit either on pebbles or in water so up the ankles, then the level rose slightly to the knees or more and we proceeded quite slowly up stream. Then there were ropes somewhere so that we could move hand over hand along the rock or across the river. They said that now in October before the beginning of winter, there was already more water than, for example, in summer.

I had problem already with the first obstacle and I was afraid that I would have to give up relatively shortly after the start. There were two large boulders, a strong stream of water between them and a rope with knots above them. A 2 meter high guy would have it easy, it would practically be sufficient to take one long step. But this was not possible with my height of 165 cm. I probably naively thought that if I took a step into the water and then a quick step right on the rock, it would somehow work but the current was so strong that it pulled me right down. I held on tightly to the rope and didn’t want to let go. The guys standing on the stone above me started pull me out of the river and after a while they managed to pull me out. They were all very kind and advised me on how to do it – lean as much as possible over the water, hold the rope as far as possible and then jump on the stone and pull the rope as much as possible so that I could climb the stone and not fall back into river stream. So I followed their advice and this time it was ok and I managed to jump on the stone. I was relieved, I didn’t want to give up like this at the beginning of the trail. In fact, this was the hardest obstacle for me.

Then it was easier, for example quite a small waterfall where we had to climb on the side of the rock using a rope with knots or there were metal steps and it was not so difficult. But I have to admit that as I don’t do any sports at all and I had to go up stream, it was quite strenuous for me and I was happy for the water in my backpack.

But I didn’t get to the end, at the end there was another small waterfall and it was needed to  climb up. I would probably be able to go up but it was clear that the way down would be quite steep and I refused to slide down the waterfall (Since I was a child, I used to have frequent otitis, so I was not allowed to dive and since that time I don´t like at all submerging my head under water).

But I almost came to the end, I decided not to continue only two obstacles before the end. So my friend continued without me and she said that the last waterfall was already difficult for her and the route ended with a large waterfall, which could no longer be reached.

End of trail

The hike was without a guide, only on the individual obstacles and waterfalls there was always a guide who helped and advised clumpsy people like me or the Asians.

At the waterfall, where I decided to finish and stay until my friend returns, I had fun, I could relax, take photos and make videos. There was really something to look at, this was one of the bigger waterfalls where one could slide down on the way back, so I watched the brave people slide down this waterfall. The guide wanted to show off so he slipped down too but he also managed turn a somersault.

When my friend came back, we went down but I preferred not to slip, so I used the ropes and a ladder to go down the same path as I climbed up. It wasn’t even faster to go down the gorge to the beginning, there were queues at the obstacles so it took quite a while. We really liked it here and we thought that we would rather spend more time here than at the Dead Sea, so we were in no hurry and on the way back we took more photos and videos.

On the places where there was enough water, we were lying on our backs in a vest and let ourselves be carried away by stream of water. It was a great feeling to get carried away like this and enjoy the view of the gorge. After we reached the beginning of the gorge, we climbed up the ladder to the bridge again and went to change into the changing room. We left at about 5:30 p.m. It was a really great experience, I definitely recommend it. Attention – for winter from 1.11. to 31.3. Wadi al Mujib closes. And you don’t have to worry – considering I was able to make it then everyone can make it as well. Eventually you don’t have to go the whole route, but a part of it, as long as you feel comfortable, the whole gorge is beautiful, so even if you don’t reach the end, you won’t regret it.

 

Useful information

  • What to bring – water shoes, waterproof case for mobile phone, water in a small backpack (glasses not to not lose them in the river)
  • There are also more difficult and longer trails to choose from, which are with a guide:

     Canyon Trail

     Malaqi Trail

     dry trail – Ibex Trail

Dead sea

The level of the Dead Sea is more than 400 meters below sea level. The Dead Sea has a salinity of 33% and contains about 8.8 times more salt than the water in the Mediterranean sea. It is also slowly disappearing, the level of this salt lake drops by 1.2 meters every year.

We left Wadi al Mujib at about 17:30 and headed for the Dead Sea. We didn’t know exactly where he would stop us, as I said, with his English we had already given up attempts for conversation and we decided to get surprised. I’ve read that even public beaches are paid and showers aren’t very good. We were driving around one “beach” that was for free but didn’t seem to have very good access to the beach – https://goo.gl/maps/9xwiuaH84et69VN97 , and according to reviews from Google, there are no chairs to sit / put off things and no showers and a shower is really needed after a bath in the Dead Sea.

Unfortunately, we arrived at Amman Beach – Dead Sea after sunset, about 18.15. The entrance cost 20 JOD / person, which is quite a lot when we wanted just to get in the water for a while, take photos and continue to Amman … We did not plan to swim in the pools at the beach. Of course, we didn’t want to miss the Dead sea experience. Surprisingly, Khalid was let in without a ticket, and instead of sitting up by the pool, he went down to the beach with us. Well, he has only one wife at home and he can´t see much of the girls on the street, so he probably wanted to see the girls in swimsuits. He sat on a plastic chair on the beach and watched us how we are enjoying the Dead sea …

The Dead Sea was a really special experience, it really buoy up. Swimming in the Dead Sea is not allowed. I couldn’t resist, and like everyone else, I had to have my picture taken with a magazine in hands. The water has a very special consistency, it is completely greasy as an oil when you touch it. In Wadi al Mujib we grazed our elbows a bit so it burned in the salt water.

So we bathed for a while and then we took a shower. Khalid showed us the showers on the beach, but we really didn’t want him to stare at us the whole time, so we preferred to go to the showers inside the building. Don’t forget the soap, we have forgotten the soap in the car and it was quite difficult to wash off. It’s a pity that we lost so much time in the morning before we left Wadi Musa, the half hour was a bit missing, otherwise we would have managed to arrive before sunset.

Amman Beach – Dead Seahttps://goo.gl/maps/yU6X6meDa31z6qTT6

Admission fee – 20 JOD/person

Useful information

  • Water shoes – I had them but here it would be possible even without them. Elsewhere, the salt may be sharp, so it’s definitely better to bring water shoes
  • Glasses – salt water must not come into contact with the eyes, so it is a good idea to wear sunglasses. But almost no one was there with us at this hour, so they weren’t even needed
  • Swimsuit – take some old ones, which you will not mind to throw in the litter bin
  • It is a good idea to take a bottle of water with you so that you can wash your hands when you get out of the water and you want to take pictures
  • Soap, towel

Going back to Amman and an unplanned dinner in a Jordanian family

Then we set off to Amman. It was supposed to be about an hour to Amman. Khalid asked us if we would mind going for dinner with his friend. It seemed to us impolite to refuse and we thought it would be somewhere on the way to the hotel. I didn’t understand the purpose of why he was taking us there, we had no idea if a friend has a restaurant and wants to brag and do business or if it will be at his house and he still expects to earn something or if it’s an invitation to dinner … It was at his place. And it was not on the way at all but about an hour behind Amman in the village of Al-Ruseifa.

At the beginning of Amman, he stopped by the road and began talking to a young Arab. We soon realized that he was lost and he was checking how to get out of there. Khalid then asked my friend if she had a GPS and the young boy typed the address into Google maps (he was still wondering if by chance we didn’t have an Arabic keyboard but fortunately he somehow managed to type it in Latin alphabet). Great that we had a local SIM and enough data. We set off again, my friend holding her mobile phone for Khalid to see, trying to navigate him at the same time. It already looked like his friend lived a short distance away, only 4 km left. Damn, we suddenly found out that it was probably lost again because we started to move away, it was no longer 4 km, but suddenly 7, 10 km … so my friend asked Khalid if he was really sure that he was going right. He said yes, that he knew the way, and we understood that the boy had typed the address of our hotel on the mobile phone and he just needed to get out of the edge of Amman and then he knew the way.

After about an hour, we finally stopped and went to his friend’s house for dinner. They welcomed us in a small living room where we sat for a while. The Lord did not even shake hand with us and just talked to Khalid. It was obvious that he did not speak much English. Then his wife came and shook hands with us and asked where we were from. She didn´t know Czech Republic until we said it was next to Germany, then she said knows roughly. Occasionally their children flashed for a while, most of them quite big, only one about 5 years old. He was very shy and he was hiding so that we don´t see him and laughing a lot when we looked at him. There were a few courtesy phrases, including whether we work and what we do, so we tried to explain to her as simply as possible what HR does, because she didn´t know what the term Human Resources means. Then they led us to the next room to sit at the table. Only my friend and I, Khalid and his friend were there. The wife and children did not join. In the center of the table there was a huge tray with a huge pile of spicy rice with almonds, raisins, etc., and about 2-3 carved ​​chickens made in two different ways. We got a big portion and I must say that the food was really great, the best I ate in Jordan, the chicken was very well made, very tender, not dry, the rice was also great. Well, as I was praising, I was given seconds 3 more times, they both gestured that you can stop here only when you have the food over your head. There was also a tomato-cucumber salad with herbs, also perhaps the best I’ve ever eaten, and then some tomato salsa, which was very good, but too hot for me. We had water and a can of juice to drink, I have not managed to open it successfully because it had a different opening system than our cans, so I got another one.

Then my friend and I were discussing if it was strange to use their toilet, after all, we were in the toilet in Wadi al Mujib for the last time about 3.5 hours ago. And because we were drinking a lot in the hot weather, we really needed to go to the toilet. The idea that we would spend at least an hour for dinner and another hour on the way to the hotel scared us a bit, so I said we would just go, whether it was strange or not … Khalid went to wash his hands after dinner, so we immediately took advantage of the situation and asking if it would matter if we used their toilet. My friend went first and I settled with the others in the living room where coffee and tea were served. To not be impolite, I had coffee, even though I don’t drink coffee at all, I had the last one at the highschool about 20 years ago. My friend then came from the toilet and I went to to the toilet as well. She said she didn’t find a flusher, so she asked me to try to investigate. Well, the bathroom and the toilet were mediocre, the toilet didn’t even have a toilet seat. Then I started to study where the flush is and I couldn’t find it either. I examined the pipe above the toilet and I realized that it is probably the classic toilet, above which is a water tank, where the water for flushing is filled. And this whole part was somehow missing. Well, ok, so I didn’t flush either … I hope that the reputation is not spreading around Amman that Czechs are pigs and can’t flush after themselves. Also good we just needed to pee uff: p My friend then said that she saw a bucket there, so maybe they were just flushing with a bucket but at that moment we didn’t think of it.

We sat in the living room for a while and then Khalid began to ask if we had paid for the hotel in Amman. I said first that no but that we had to pay tonight as it was already booked. Then Khalid said that he had just thought that we could sleep at his friend´s house and give him the money for the hotel. So we noted quickly that we really have to go to the hotel that it is actually already paid and that we have to be there no later than 23:00 and we hoped that he would not call the hotel, as usual, to verify it. Check-in was until 23:30 but after a hard day we wanted to be already in bed and hoped that we would leave soon. So we preferred to miss the authentic experience in the form of accommodation in a local family …

On the way back, his friend also went with us, perhaps to navigate him. Because we don’t know the local customs at all, my friend and I were thinking if he was expecting money for that dinner. Because, as we have noticed, there is nothing for free in Jordan, and even though they claim it is, you are supposed to pay at least a tip :p So we thought that it still didn’t look like Khalid was going to give us back the 8 JOD they gave him back when giving 50 JODs at ticket office in Wadi al Mujib so we thought we would leave him these 8 JOD, which was basically a little more than we would pay for dinner at the Hashem restaurant for both of us.

When we get off at our hotel, Khalid asked about payment for the trip. We said that we had already paid Ayman via Martina from the Czech Republic, who is cooperating with him, and that I confirmed this to Ayman before we left the Czech republic. But Ayman forgot to say this to Khalid too … Khalid didn’t want to let us go and said he would call Ayman to see if we had paid. But he couldn’t reach him. So at least he started to demand the tip –  “Any tips, any tips?” So I told him that it was not true that the entrance cost only 21 JOD, that I know it from the web and from the ticket seller. And he continued to insist that the price was 25 JOD … So we said goodbye to him, saying we will not give him any other tip, that this was the tip. It put us in a bad mood a bit, it annoyed us that he didn’t even know we had paid, he didn’t want to let us go, and then we looked like we were running away without paying and we even didn’t want to give him a tip. As you can see, they try to get money out of you absolutely everywhere, at any opportunity. So either better not give money out of your hand or you want to see the account and insist on returning the money immediately and not at the end of the day. It wasn’t about the 8 JODs, we still wanted to give him this money for that dinner but we were a little annoyed that if he didn’t play for us with the 25 JODs for the entrance fee, he didn’t even realize that we gave him something extra and he felt that we are ungrateful people who didn’t even give any tip and ate for free …

As soon as we came to our room, Ayman started writing to me if he could call me, and he called me right away. I really wasn’t in the mood to deal with anything at 23:30, so I didn’t pick it up on purpose. Then he immediately wrote that he could not reach me, that the driver had called him now, that we had not paid and that he wanted to check whether we had paid Martina. So even Ayman himself didn’t know if we had paid. Terrible confusion, I wrote to Ayman right after the payment, that I sent Martina the money and that at the same time she confirmed to me that she had received the payment (Martina also sent me the receipt) … After a while he wrote again that he had already talked to Martina and she confirmed that we paid and apologized for forgetting it because he was busy.

So there were a few troubles – instead of Ayman we went with his uncle, who didn’t receive even our  phone number and a photo to get to know us, we were without lunch, he didn’t give us 8 JOD back and then neither he nor Ayman knew if we had paid … But on the other hand it was not boring and we had various authentic and cultural experiences. If we had a rented car, we wouldn’t have experienced any of it. When I returned, I gave Martina feedback that the organization and communication could have been better, and she said that this is basically still good, that someone came. She said that some drivers are unreliable and do not show up at all, sometimes just because one of their children get sick. And actually this can happen often as they have 9 or even 16 children, so I guess all the time some of them will be sick. Martina said that next time she would try to outline to other people how it goes there, so that they would not be surprised by such things because this is how it usually goes in Arab culture … She also mentioned that the payment is intentionally sent in advance to take it as binding and also negotiating the price in advance is good because they would require a lot more on the spot. Brother Mohammed also confirmed that 120 JOD for this trip is a good price and did not try to persuade us to go with him.

Price private driver Petra – Wadi al Mujib – Dead sea – Amman – 120 JOD

Zajímavosti z Jordánska (Czech) – useful information, offers for cheap travels (Martina Ladová) – https://www.facebook.com/jordanspices/ (payment for the private driver was done via Martina)

Ayman:

https://www.facebook.com/PETRACARMOON/ 

https://www.facebook.com/nawras.abugazala 

WhatsApp +962 7 7833 7107

Day 5

Amman

The last night we had stayed again at Cliff Hostel, the same as the first night. In the morning we bought breakfast in the bakery just opposite the entrance to the hostel. 2 croissants, 3 sweet “rolls”, donut and 3 small sweets with honey (Greek style) cost a total of 1 JOD, well the shop assistant said the 3 small pieces were for free …

At Cliff Hostel it was possible to order breakfast for 2 JOD but since the breakfast at Wadi Musa did not impressed us and we were expecting something similar here, we decided rather buy breakfast ourselves. Error. Breakfast here was worth the money. We could see how the breakfast was prepared at the reception and it looked really good – in addition to things like arab bread, eggs, cream cheese, jam, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc. there was also fruit (bananas, apples, nectarines, oranges), marble cake and some packaged “cakes” and to drink ice tea and juice. If we knew what breakfast looked like here, we would order it.

Grand Husseini Mosque

In the morning we went on a tour of Amman. First we Explorer from outside the Grand Husseini Mosque https://mapy.cz/s/norepusupa (unfortunately you can’t go inside)

Bukhariyeh Market

Then we went to Bukhariyeh Market (https://goo.gl/maps/fkZzjx7TiKDqWfN87) , which was a short walk away. You can buy there spices, fruits, vegetables, dried fruits, etc.

Roman Nymphaeum

Then we went to the Roman Nymphaeum (https://goo.gl/maps/fbtxFi14u3rwEaJV6), which is a former Roman bath. We took pictures from the fence and then a man came, let us in and said that we explore it, that it was free, that we would only give him a tip then. We gave him 1 JOD each.

Roman theater

https://goo.gl/maps/kt5cKRKp89eFNyUR6

Then we headed to the Roman Theater. Admission was included in the price of Jordan Pass, again it was necessary to have it printed so that they could put a stamp there. The Roman theater is very nice, there is a beautiful view from above. It didn’t seem but it was a big ascent the way up.

Upstairs, a group of about 5 young Arab women asked me for a photo. I thought they wanted me to take a picture of them, so I took a picture of them and then I understood that it wasn’t about them. They wanted to take a picture with me – they probably wanted a photo with a blond woman with white skin which I had even whiter than usual after putting thick sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 50 :p 

Citadel

https://goo.gl/maps/3m6S3xSzKMLYpU6h9

Then we decided to go to the Citadel. It looked very far from the theater and uphill but it was up the stairs and it wasn’t that long (https://mapy.cz/s/hetupebuse).

On the stairs we met a couple of Spanish people, whom we met at a Bedouin camp, the world is just small. The citadel was also included in the Jordan Pass. There was also a beautiful view of the city from the Citadel. But otherwise Amman is not very nice, a mess everywhere. But these sights were definitely worth a visit and we liked the tour of Amman.

https://touristjordan.com/amman-citadel/

King Abdullah I Mosque

https://goo.gl/maps/U2R5iS8Z2CSy8GJ89

The plane flew at 18:00, it  was about 30 minutes by taxi to the airport but when we saw the crazy traffic in Amman, where there were traffic jams all the time, we wanted to have a time reserve and be at the airport after 15:00. There was not much time to go on lunch to the restaurant, so I bought only falafel in front of our hostel – for 2 bigger, 2 small and 2 arab bread I paid only 0.75 JOD.

Then we went to Cliff Hostel to take our stuff. Check-out was no later than 12:00 but fortunately we were allowed to leave our backpacks in the room behind the reception, so we did not have to take them with us during the tour of Amman. When we picked up our bags, the guy at the reception asked us if we were going straight to the airport and if we wanted a taxi. We said that first we want to take a taxi to the King Abdullah I Mosque and after a tour of the mosque go straight to the airport. He offered to arrange it for us for 20 JOD. That was a good price, we would pay 2 JODs to the mosque and then at least 22 JODs to the airport if we couldn’t negotiate anything, so we told him to arrange it for us.

Another old man went with us and led us around the corner to his friend’s car – it wasn’t an official taxi. He took us to the mosque, the entrance fee was 2 JOD (not in Jordan pass). After we put on their robes and took shoes off, we could see the mosque from the inside. Nice mosque but as I visited a breathtaking and huge mosque in the UAE in Abu Dhabi last year, I probably won’t be excited by any other mosque …

King Abdullah I Mosque – opening time Saturday – Thursday 8:00 – 11:00, 12:30 – 14:00

Ticket – 2 JOD (not included in Jordan Passu)

Duty free shop and purchase of alcohol for hostel owner and his daughter

Then we found out that the driver is directly the owner of Cliff Hostel. We wanted to go straight to the airport after visit of mosque but they said that we still had a lot of time and that they could show us something else. But we wanted to go straight to the airport. Then the driver asked us for a small favor – his daughter graduated from university and would like to have a party, and since they can’t buy alcohol, he asked us if we don’t mind to buy some alcohol with our passports in the nearby Duty free shop. They said it would take only 5 minutes but that it’s up to us, that they definitely don’t want to force us. We had time, so we thought we would make him happy. Duty free shop was located in a beautiful modern center with skyscrapers, which we saw in the distance from the Citadel. At that moment, we realized why his friend was coming with us. He lived in Florida for 45 years and therefore he had an American passport, so he was able to enter to the duty free shop with us, where other Jordanians are forbidden to enter. So he went with us, he chose the alcohol and paid for it himself. We just presented our passports and they gave us some paper only in Arabic (funny when only foreigners can come here) which he showed at the checkout counter. He was allowed to buy 1 bottle of spirits, 4 beers and a carton of cigarettes per person. The owner of the hostel then thanked us very much saying his daughter will be very happy as she will have a real party with alcohol (haha, with 2 Whiskey and 8 beers she will really push the boat out: p). In fact, I wonder if his daughter has just graduated from university, and if he actually has a daughter at all, if it wasn’t just another trick to buy alcohol for himself.

Close to the airport, the friend of the hostel owner got out and stayed there. We learned that he could take us to the airport but he was not allowed to take anyone from the airport, and if his friend was sitting there in the car, it would not be possible to know if he picked him up at the airport or was just going with him all the time. The policemens are really checking it out carefully and if someone was sitting in the car with him on the way from the airport, he would get a fine 300 JOD and a driving ban for 2 weeks (in his English it was – “car 2 weeks in prison ”). In the place where he dropped off his friend, there were quite a few cars parked in the place with traffic sign No parking. Everyone who went to the airport for someone and was afraid to get there, waited here and the passengers had to walk all the way here. They didn´t care that they were standing in the place with sign No parking maybe there was a significantly smaller fine for it than for taking people out of the airport. I don’t know why they have such a rule, maybe to ensure enough deals for airport taxis?

The holiday in Jordan passed very fast, it was a really great holiday with a lot of experiences. I can definitely recommend Jordan.

Close to the airport, the friend of the hostel owner got out and stayed there. We learned that he could take us to the airport but he was not allowed to take anyone from the airport, and if his friend was sitting there in the car, it would not be possible to know if he picked him up at the airport or was just going with him all the time. The policemens are really checking it out carefully and if someone was sitting in the car with him on the way from the airport, he would get a fine 300 JOD and a driving ban for 2 weeks (in his English it was – “car 2 weeks in prison ”). In the place where he dropped off his friend, there were quite a few cars parked in the place with traffic sign No parking. Everyone who went to the airport for someone and was afraid to get there, waited here and the passengers had to walk all the way here. They didn´t care that they were standing in the place with sign No parking maybe there was a significantly smaller fine for it than for taking people out of the airport. I don’t know why they have such a rule, maybe to ensure enough deals for airport taxis?

The holiday in Jordan passed very fast, it was a really great holiday with a lot of experiences. I can definitely recommend Jordan.

Grand Husseini Mosquehttps://goo.gl/maps/biUhjyQasAqo5RRn8

Bukhariyeh Markethttps://goo.gl/maps/V4skM9G2y6LtCHyL6

Roman Nymphaeum – for free (just for a tip) https://goo.gl/maps/fbtxFi14u3rwEaJV6

Roman theatre – included in Jordan pass –  https://goo.gl/maps/kt5cKRKp89eFNyUR6

Citadele – included in Jordan pass –  https://goo.gl/maps/3m6S3xSzKMLYpU6h9

King Abdullah I Mosque – 2 JOD – https://goo.gl/maps/U2R5iS8Z2CSy8GJ89

Taxi“ to mosque King Abdullah I Mosque + to the airport – 20 JOD (for both)

Costs

How much did a 5-day vacation in Jordan cost me:

A total of 622 EUR (16,180 CZK) (flight tickets can be definitely cheaper, and if you travel in group of 3-4 people, private drivers and a jeep tour will be cheaper)

  • Flight tickets – 133 EUR, 100 EUR without priority boarding (3458 CZK, 2600 CZK without priority boarding)
  • Jordan pass – 100 EUR/person (2608 CZK/person, 77 JOD)
  • SIM card – 10,88 JOD – we were sharing it, so 5,44 JOD/person

Accomodation

  • Cliff hostel – 11,434 JOD (1 person – 5,717 JOD)
  • Kemp Joy of Life Wadi Rum – 13,010 JOD (1 person – 6,505 JOD)
  • Mussa Spring hotel (Petra) – 18,720 JOD (1 person – 9,36 JOD)
  • Cliff hostel – 11,434 JOD (1 person – 5,717 JOD)

Bus

  • Jett bus Amman – Petra – 13 EUR, 370 CZK(11 JOD)

Taxi

  • Airport – Amman – 12,5 JOD/person (for both 25 JOD – official price 21,5 JOD)
  • Amman – Cliff hostel – Abdali office – 1 JOD (for both 2 JOD)
  • Wadi Musa – Petra – hotel Mussa Spring – 2,5 JOD person (for both 5 JOD)
  • Wadi Musa – hotel Mussa Spring – Petra – 2,5 JOD person (for both 5 JOD)
  • Amman – mosque – airport – 10 JOD person (for both 20 JOD)

Private drivers

  • Petra – Wadi Rum – 20 JOD person (for both 40 JOD)
  • Wadi Rum – Petra – 20 JOD person (for both 40 JOD)
  • Petra – Wadi Mujib – Dead sea – Amman – 60 JOD/ person (120 JOD for both)

 Tickets

  • Mosque King Abdullah I Mosque – 2 JOD
  • Roman Nymphaeum – 1 JOD (tip)
  • Wadi al Mujib – 21 JOD/person
  • 4 hrs. jeep tour Wadi Rum – 32,5 JOD/person (65 JOD/car)
  • Pláž Amman Beach – Dead Sea – 20 JOD/person

Food

  • Dinner Hashem restaurant – 3 JOD/person (6 JOD for both)
  • Lunch Wadi Rum – 7,5 JOD
  • Lunch Petra – restaurant Basin – 17 JOD
  • Dinner hotel Mussa spring – 7 JOD
  • Tip for dinner in Jordan family – 4 JOD/person (8 JOD for both)
  • Lunch Falafel – 0,75 JOD
  • Breakfast bakery – 0,5 JOD person (1 JOD for both)
  • Petra – drink – 3 JOD juice, 0,5 JOD water
  • Water – 8 JOD
  • Ice cream – 2 JOD

Links

Travelogue I used for planning (Czech) – http://posvetebezcestovky.cz/jordansko-bez-pujceni-auta/?fbclid=IwAR2qJ1b33iGqFAIStACEC2rVG20C2CpYuy0Guv9ckN7sDYmTxMRYL3FJ0jY

Zajímavosti z Jordánska – tips, information, offers for cheap travels (Martina Ladová) – https://www.facebook.com/jordanspices/

Jordan Passhttps://www.jordanpass.jo

Private driver Aymanhttps://www.facebook.com/PETRACARMOON/ ,

Private driver Aymanhttps://www.facebook.com/nawras.abugazala 

Private driver Mohammad Salimhttps://www.facebook.com/jordanseasontours/

Airport Queen Alia International Airport https://www.amman-airport.com/taxi.php

Bus from airporthttp://sariyahexpress.com/en/content/airport-express

Bus from airport general information https://www.amman-airport.com/bus.php

Uberhttps://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ubercab&hl=en)

Careem (similar to Uber) https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.careem.acma&hl=en

Jett bushttps://www.jett.com.jo/en

Mobile operator Ummiahhttps://www.umniah.com/en/

Mobile operator   Orangehttps://www.orange.jo/en/Pages/default.aspx

Mobile operator ZAINhttps://www.jo.zain.com/english/consumer/pages/default.aspx

Amman – Cliff hostel – https://www.booking.com/hotel/jo/cliff.cs.html?aid=304142&label=gen173nr-1FCAEoggI46AdIM1gEaDqIAQGYAQW4ARfIARXYAQHoAQH4AQuIAgGoAgO4AqLkmO0FwAIB&all_sr_blocks=27483502_206349778_0_10_0&checkin=2019-11-12&checkout=2019-11-13&dest_id=-970362&dest_type=city&group_adults=2&group_children=0&hapos=13&highlighted_blocks=27483502_206349778_0_10_0&hpos=13&no_rooms=1&sr_order=price&srepoch=1571578892&srpvid=80416046370b0173&ucfs=1&from=searchresults;highlight_room=&tpi_r=2#hotelTmpl

Amman – Hashem restauranthttps://goo.gl/maps/RFeyGSAMxrctYaBU9

Abdali office (boarding station of Jett busu) https://goo.gl/maps/M6TiomWFgWQLp9tD6

Kemp Joy of Life Wadi Rumhttps://www.booking.com/hotel/jo/beduin-nabatean-camp.cs.html?aid=304142;label=gen173nr-1FCAEoggI46AdIM1gEaDqIAQGYAQW4ARfIARXYAQHoAQH4AQuIAgGoAgO4AqLkmO0FwAIB;dist=0&frindrecv=1&group_adults=2&sb_price_type=total&type=total&

Petrahttp://visitpetra.jo 

Petra – Restaurant Basinhttps://goo.gl/maps/qSbGgaje4Gz43qFY8

Petra – Mussa Spring Hotelhttps://www.booking.com/hotel/jo/mussa-spring.cs.html?aid=304142&label=gen173nr-1FCAEoggI46AdIM1gEaDqIAQGYAQW4ARfIARXYAQHoAQH4AQuIAgGoAgO4AqLkmO0FwAIB&all_sr_blocks=24339327_141096924_3_42_0&checkin=2019-11-04&checkout=2019-11-05&dest_id=3470&dest_type=region&group_adults=2&group_children=0&hapos=11&highlighted_blocks=24339327_141096924_3_42_0&hpos=11&no_rooms=1&sr_order=price&srepoch=1571496293&srpvid=5af367b28a660215&ucfs=1&from=searchresults;highlight_room=#hotelTmpl

Wadi al Mujibhttp://wildjordan.com/destinations/mujib-biosphere-reserve

Wadi al Mujib – price list – http://wildjordan.com/sites/default/files/mujib_2020-1.pdf

Amman Beach – Dead Seahttps://goo.gl/maps/yU6X6meDa31z6qTT6

Ministry of foreign affairs recommendation for travels – https://www.mzv.cz/jnp/cz/cestujeme/aktualni_doporuceni_a_varovani/jordansko_doporuceni_k_cestam.html

Ministry of foreign affairs recommendation for travelshttps://www.mzv.cz/amman/cz/viza_a_konzularni_informace/podminky_pro_vstup_do_zeme/index.html

Ministry of foreign affairs recommendation for travels – Drozdhttps://drozd.mzv.cz

Vaccination informationhttp://www.ockovani.cz/jordansko/

Photo Gallery

Please follow and like us:

  •  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *