Likes & Dislikes

Opinions

Jordan - Wadi Rum - Elter photo

“At first glance, (especially when arriving in Amman) Jordan looks like quite a backward country. Ruined houses, crumbling roadside curbs, and cracked and potholed sidewalks with trees and lampposts planted right in the middle, making them virtually impossible to walk on. Roads are full of garbage. Of course, after a day or two, you get used to it.

Aqaba is cleaner and more modern, and the locals are friendly and helpful.

Jordan is a totally safe country, even in the evening, though the roads are pretty chaotic, and drivers rarely indicate. They don’t stop at zebra crossings either, and not always at red lights, so you have to drive carefully.

One thing I didn’t like is that they smoke everywhere, even at restaurants and in shared taxis, and nobody thinks to ask others if it might bother them.

All in all, though, anyone interested in a fascinating culture and the world of the desert should definitely pay Jordan a visit.”

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“Jordan is a sensational country – a real gem amid the storms and conflicts which rage across the Middle East. If you’re looking to experience Arab culture, and the magical, mystical world of the East, but to do so in comfort and security, then Jordan should be your first choice! It doesn’t hurt that the people there are unbelievably friendly, attentive, and hospitable. (i.m.r., 2020)



Practicals

Transport

Uber in Amman is cheaper and more convenient than the taxis.

Petra - a narrow gorge (siq) leading to the Treasure house - Elter photo

Jordan - Wadi Rum - camel riding (animal cruelty?) - Elter photo

Petra - camels - p.m. photo

Jordan - Alcohol is haram (forbidden) for Muslims, but this Jordanian driver forgot about it (or he is one of the 5% non-Muslims?). - y.m. photo

Food

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Jordan - light lunch - k-t. g. photo

Amman - small eatery - k-t. g. photo

Jordan - greengrocer - k-t. g. photo

Shopping

•    Shops are open from nine in the morning until eight o’clock at night, but they close for an hour or two during the hottest part of the day.

•    Gold and silver are significantly cheaper here than at home. But don’t forget to haggle! This is a fundamental part of the ritual of shopping in Jordan.



Fun

Their crazy-strong coffee is served in small cups, and traditional mint tea (divine) is usually sweetened. Arabs are very hospitable and like to invite new acquaintances for a coffee in their shop, or even in their homes. It is not polite to refuse the invitation!

Public safety

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Jordan - an officer of the Tourism Police - vigilant yawn - y.m. photo

Health

“Practically everyone in Jordan smokes. Smokers from Western Europe and the US, accustomed to severe restrictions, will be surprised to find that they can light up practically everywhere. Nor has the hookah gone out of style – it is available in the bazaar for four or five dinars. Don’t be surprised, however, to find that the tobacco is highly scented.

Jordan - Dead Sea - mud pack - Elter photo

Others



Background

Jordan - national flag - العلم الوطني الأردني

Destination in brief

Jordan in brief

Jordan is an Arabic kingdom in the Middle East, in Western Asia. Its neighbors are Israel and the West Bank (west), Saudi Arabia (south and east), Iraq (northeast), Syria (north). It also has a maritime border with Egypt. Jordan is almost a landlocked country and only has a tiny (20 km) coastline on the Gulf of Aqaba. 

Size: 89,342 km² (34,495 mi²) – 94% of its territory is desert

Jordan is the only country in the region without oil.

Population: 10.1 million (2020)

About half of the population is Palestinian: those who came here as refugees during and after the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, or their children and grandchildren. Jordan is the only Arab country that gave citizenship to Palestinian refugees who left what is now Israel.  

Religion: Muslim (92% Sunni Muslim) 

Capital city: Amman 

Language: Arabic - English is widely spoken among younger people and the middle and upper classes.

In Jordan, it is considered rude and unclean to eat or drink with your left hand. As a woman, you should never touch a man who is not your husband, and vice versa.

Currency: Jordan dinar (JOD) 

Average net monthly salary: 580 USD

Most frequent surname: Allah 

Ramadan in 2021: 12 April – 11 May

Important tourist attractions: Petra, Dead Sea, Wadi Ruzm, Amman, Aqaba, Quseir Amra, Umer-Rasas (Kastron Mefa’a)

There are no words that can adequately describe the beauty and uniqueness of Petra. Not even the most spectacular pictures can.

Aqaba is about 4 hours away from Amman by bus or car. The Dead Sea is about 90 minutes away from Amman and Petra about 3-4 hours.

The Dead Sea is actually a lake, located at the bottom (where else) of a rift valley system where the earth’s crust has pulled apart. It has a salinity of about 33% (an ocean has about 3.5%). That is why everyone floats really high on the water. 

Best time to visit: March-May, October-November

Jordan is a safe country, with no terrorist threats. Health and hygiene conditions are pretty good. Locals are pleasant, reliable, and take great pride in their hospitality. Tea and coffee are served in every possible situation to travelers and strangers. It is quite common to be invited for meals and drinks by people you have just met on the street.


Geography

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Jordan - Umm Qais - view on the Galilea Sea - v.j. photo

Jordan - landscape near Aljoun Castle - v.j. photo

Climate

 Thanks to their Mediterranean climate, the weather in Jordan is good all year round. Summers are very hot and dry, making it a good time for a beach holiday. Spring and Fall are very pleasant, with temperatures around 20°C, but even in winter you shouldn’t expect real cold: even in January, it’s possible to bathe in the Dead Sea or the Red Sea.

Nowadays

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Jordan - Amman - k-t. g. photo

Jordan - Amman - bookstore kiosk - k-t-. g. photo

Tourist etiquette

1. Do not take photos of local people without first asking permission.

Gastronomy

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Jordan - oriental sweets - k-t.g. photo

Attractions

Petra

You should start exploring Petra around six in the morning. The peak is in the early afternoon, except in the summer, when there are few tourists due to the brutal heat.


Petra - The Royal Tombs - s.a. photo

Petra - h.j. photo


Mount Nebo and the section of the Jordan River where St. John the Baptist baptized Jesus.

Jordan - Mount Nebo - v.j. photo

Jordan - Mosaic map shows the place where Jesus was baptized - v.j. photo

Jordan - The place where Jesus was baptized - v.j. photo

Jordan - St John The Baptist church - v.j. photo

Jerash

Jordan - Jerash - v.j. photo

Jordan - Jerash - v.j. photo

Jordan - Jerash - v.j. photo

Jordan - Jerash - v.j. photo

Jordan - Jerash - v.j. photo

Ajloun (or Ajlun) Castle

Jordan - Ajlun Castle - v.j. photo

Jordan - Ajlun Castle - v.j. photo

Jordan - Ajlun Castle - v.j. photo

Qasr al-Hallabat

Jordan - Qasr al-Hallabat - v.j. photo

Jordan - Qasr al-Hallabat - v.j. photo

Jordan - Qasr al-Hallabat - v.j. photo

Qasr Azraq

Jordan - Qasr Azraq - v.j. photo

Jordan - Qasr Azraq - v.j. photo

Jordan - Qasr Azraq - v.j. photo

Umm Qais

Jordan - Umm Qais - v.j. photo

Jordan - Umm Qais - v.j. photo

Jordan - Umm Qais - v.j. photo

Jordan - Umm Qais - v.j. photo

Jordan - Umm Qais - v.j. photo

Wadi Mujib National Park

Jordan - Wadi Al Mujib - v.j. photo

Jordan - Wadi Al Mujib - v.j. photo

Jordan - Wadi Al Mujib - v.j. photo

Jordan - Wadi Al Mujib - v.j. photo

Jordan - Wadi Al Mujib - v.j. photo

Jordan - Wadi Al Mujib - v.j. photo

Dead Sea (Jordanian side)

Jordan - Dead Sea - rubbish - v.j. photo

Kerak Castle

Jordan - Kerak Castle - v.j. photo

Jordan - Kerak Castle - v.j. photo

Madaba, the most important Christian center in Jordan, is a city of mosaics.


Jordan - Madaba - St George's Greek Orthodox Church - v.j. photo

Jordan - Madaba - St George's Greek Orthodox Church - v.j. photo

Dana Reserve

Jordan - Dana Reserve - red rocks - v.j. photo 1

Jordan - Dana Reserve - flock - v.j. photo

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