Jordan is a country which is rich in history and culture. The distance between Petra and Amman can take upto an hours drive but once you reach each city, you begin to see a different aspect of life and living. Petra is home to thousands of Jordanian people who live on the hills surrounding the main point of interest (Al Khazneh). However, once you enter the small historic sandstone city reaching Al Khazneh, you begin to see Bedouins living in huts and caves. A guess this has been the tradition for centuries. As part of my Jordan trip, I also did a separate blog on Wadi Rum Valley which was one my memorable visits to Jordan.Check it out here.
So here are my 5 Awsome Reasons Why YOU Should Visit Jordan.
1. Wonders of the World
The first thing that struck me about Petra/Al Khazneh was the huge curved sandstones surrounding a path leading towards the monument. The feeling is spectacular and every step of the way you begin to admire and question "how did they create this? who lived here? what do these signs mean?''.
The entrance to Al Khazneh was around 30 mins walk whilst taking pictures, but i'm sure you can complete the walk in a much shorter time.
As we approached the last narrow cave, I began to see a shed of light. The closer we got the adrenaline got stronger. Within the last few metres, we saw a partial view of Al Khazneh and heard crowds of people. This was it! I travelled thousands of miles to see this historic architecture and I was lost for words. The size of the pillars and doorway look like a giants house, something out of a movie. I can honestly say, this was the best moment ever in my life and I would happily make a second return to see it again.
• A historic location which is well taken care of.
• Food places to eat and local stalls nearby.
• 'Petra By Night' had a good vibe and great opening ceremony.
• Hotels are a two minute walk and easily accessible.
• Too many bedouin tour guides approaching you which can get frustrating.
• Not enough signs to direct tourist towards certain locations and historic sites.
2. The Deep Valleys
While we were driving from Petra to Wadi Rum, we approached numerous hills and eventually the valley. Driving around the valley was a phenomenal experience. You could feel your ears pop going up hill and with safety barriers on the side, we still felt nervous.
We followed our trusted Google Maps but had no idea what type of roads lie beyond us. I suggest mapping out before hand the route you plan to take as this might be a lot easier and make sure your car is fit to drive over numerous potholes, humps and ditches along the way.
3. Is the Dead Sea Really Salty?
Yes indeed it is. The taste of it is absolutely awful! While I was taking advantage of floating, I decided to rotate my body around so I could put my feet to the ground but in doing so I fell straight into the water and my gosh, I was in pain for almost an hour! The high density in salt is very dangerous to your body especially if you swallow it so I don't recommend laying flat at all.
My first impression of the Dead Sea looked beautiful especially from the view at the top of the cliff. As you get closer you see families and couples just casually relaxing at the edge of the Sea. We stayed at Dead Sea Resort for 2 nights and while this was one of the best hotels in the area, the Dead Sea beach was unoccupied by a life guard.
Once I got in, I found the water to be quite dirty containing lots of small branches and debris. Then again, I wasn't going to complain knowing I'm in the Dead Sea right? The feeling of being cleansed in great, just covering my self in Dead Sea mud then washing it away with sea's natural salt. Once I got out, I felt ten times more refreshed then in the shower! Great experience. I even managed to bring some Dead Sea Salt back with me and use it till this day. Dead Sea is not far from the Hot Springs so if you ever get the chance, take a visit.
The Dead Sea from a distance looks absolutely stunning. The water looks sky blue and you can see Palestine and Israel from a distance. The drive along the coast gives you a clear view on the Dead Sea and this is great for travellers to just stop and admire the view. The long stretched road leading to our hotel took around 30 mins from the moment you see the Sea. Driving along this route is great but be patient and you can find great opportunities for photos..
• A great way to get cleansed using the mud provided.
• Friendly environment with polite tourists.
• The water is a little dirty with plastic bags, bottles and branches.
• No life guards.
4. Street Culture Will Keep You Bargaining
The street culture in Jordan is fascinating. The vibrant fast atmosphere with lots of market stalls is truly a reflection of the past and Middle East. With Technology and Real Estate dominating the Middle East, what admired me the most about Jordan was the traditions and values it still holds. Just as I was passing by in Amman, I saw a number of market stalls and shop owners welcoming me to their shop. They knew straight away I was a tourist but the warm welcome really makes you feel at home.
5. Fancy A Refreshing Shower In The Hot Springs?
The Ma'in Hot Springs near the Dead Sea came up on my to do list during my prior research of Jordan. The waterfall is super hot and is completely safe to have a dip in. What I enjoyed about the Hot Springs was the feeling of a natural Jacuzzi just and the recognising the benefits of cleansing your body. The pool was super busy and many families come from everywhere to visit but once you have claimed the right spot in the pool, sit back and enjoy the hot bath!
The Ma'in Hot Springs is situated in Wadi Zarqa-Ma'in. It took around 30 mins from the Dead Sea to reach and is located between Madaba and the Sea. The uphill route you will has some breathtaking scenery. The route goes up the mountain allowing you to see the full view of the Dead Sea and nearby countries such as Palestine and Israel.
• Refreshing (non drinkable water) that cleanses your body.
• Has some stunning views along the way.
• The water temperature is hot.
• Can get crowded with lots of men. They should divide the area for Men and Women and sign post this.
• Facilities such as toilets and changing places need cleaning and maintaining.
• Car parking can get difficult.
Overall, the Hot Springs has a lot of potential and being located remotely within the mountains, this does not stop visitors from enjoying the experience. To be honest, I enjoyed the drive there and would definitely visit Hot Springs again.
On the way back from Ma'in Hot Springs, we stopped off at a view point. The cliff had a perfect view of the Dead Sea and whilst being quite high up, I still felt safe as there was no cliff but rocks gradually declining down. Great view point if you ever get a chance to drive towards Ma'in Hot Springs near Madaba.