Travel Review: Jordan Part 1 – Basic Info, Aqaba and Wadi Rum

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In my never ending quest to be a travel blogger (a paid one), I am here to tell you about one of the places I recently went to: Jordan.

Jordan isn’t really high on many people’s travel list. It should be. It’s a beautiful country with nice people and is actually surprisingly easy to travel around in. Here is some basic information about my trip.

How we got In

My trip actually started in Israel. We got into Jordan by walking across the Southern border from Eilat to Aqaba. This is right on the coast of the Red Sea. It was very easy. You pay some fees to leave Israel, walk across to the other side, present your passport and Jordan Pass, and then smile. Ten minutes later, you are done.

It should be noted that different borders have different rules it seems, so it’s worthy to google the shit out of borders if you choose to cross from Israel.

What is the Jordan Pass?

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The Jordan Pass is an all you can eat buffet pass to the historical sites of Jordan. You can get it here and then carry the QR code on your phone or just print out a copy. Once you buy it, you can just show it at most, if not all of the major sites in Jordan and not bother lining up. The costs fall into 3 tiers and honestly, the only differences between each one is the amount of days you spend at Petra. We got the most expensive one because the price difference is basically a beer. The Jordan Pass also waives the visa fee for entry into Jordan. Considering it costs almost that much to enter Petra alone, the pass is no doubt something you need to buy if you want to tour Petra.

How we got around

Jordan is easy to navigate and does not appear to be too difficult to drive in outside of the major cities. I don’t drive, and I watch a lot of Fast and Furious so it always seems kinda fun, but the people who did drive didn’t seem too stressed out this trip and the roads were in good conditions for most part. We were also able to rent an automatic car in Aqaba and drop it off in Amman without trouble.

It should be noted that the lane markers on the road appear to be merely a concept in Jordan and you will frequently see three cars in what you previously thought was a two car lane. No one in Jordan wears a seat belt either. To navigate, you can just buy a sim card for a fairly cheap price and use google maps. The places were pretty clearly marked, and some of the highways are rather spectacular as Jordan goes from mountains to valleys very quickly.

Okay, now to where we went.

Aqaba – Red Sea

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Aqaba is the town on the Red Sea in Jordan. It’s where you go if you want to get your water sports on and it’s the only real reason why you would stay there. We wanted to be on a boat and also do some snorkeling and so we walked around all the dive shops and settled on Dive Aqaba. It surprisingly had a Canadian there and after some confusion, we were able to book our boat and a guided snorkeling tour for 35 JOD a person. There were cheaper options but we are precious and wanted a private experience.

The waters during the day had great visibility and there are a lot of things to explore in the water. There was a lot of fish around the coral reefs in the Red Sea which made for a great experience. We also saw sea turtles and were looking for eels but couldn’t find any. Another interesting aspect of the trip was that we were also able to see wreckages that were just off the coast, including a sunken ship.

A good day all around. Next off, was Wadi Rum

Wadi Rum

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Wadi Rum is fucking magnificent. It’s a place with immense beauty and not a place I will soon forget. If you ever want to feel small, Wadi Rum is a great place for this. A giant valley cut into sandstone and granite (says wikipedia), it is a place you’ve seen before. It’s featured heavily in movies like Lawrence of Arabia, the Martians and one of the Transformers. However, you really really have to be there to understand the scope and size of it. This place is enormous.

We spent roughly two days there. Wadi Rum is home to the Bedouin and as such, the only real way to do Wadi Rum is to stay at a Bedouin camp. We stayed with Rumstars and it was great. Their camp was deep inside the heart of Wadi Rum. Food and beverage (in the form of water and tea) are provided and the people who run are very nice. The accommodations are quite basic, but it is completely reasonable.

During the day, you will get driven on a 4×4 to many places that are visually stunning within the area. You will see great vistas, walk through canyons, climb to great elevations and basically want to instagram everything. It’s spectacular.

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Next up – Petra, Feynan Eco Lodge, Dead Sea and Amman

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Posted on by Ricky in Everything

About Ricky

Britpop lovin Chinaman, consumer of all things irrelevant. Toronto Raptors fan.

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