Jordanian Recipes to Try at Home

I don’t know about you, but I love bringing something of a vacation home with me. One of my favorite things to bring is recipes and food ideas! Jordan has a surprisingly diverse cuisine (surprising only because when was the last time you saw a restaurant in the US specializing in Jordanian food?). In all honesty, Jordanian food is not always the world’s most beautiful food – but it more than makes up for it with taste!

Some fun recipes to try include: Read more

What to Wear Visiting Jordan

Jordan is an open country, but it’s still a conservative one. Women should plan to cover up just a bit, especially outside key tourist attractions.

At tourist-heavy places like Petra, it’s normal to see women in shorts and t-shirts, or even tops that have bare shoulders. In the cities, plan to wear sleeves and cover your legs (at least to the knees).

At the resorts, resort-wear is expected and normal. A good pool coverup is essential, and don’t hesitate to wear a bikini. (Do NOT, however, wear a bikini at a public beach.)

This is a post that’s focused on roughly April – October, when the weather is mostly warm. You’ll want a whole different set of things if you’re visiting in the winter!

When you’re in Jordan, you could be hiking, at a spa, floating in the Dead Sea or riding a camel. You need a wardrobe that’s flexible (and breathable!).

So what should you wear in Jordan in the summer? Read more

Petra: The 8 Wonders of The World (Part 1)

One of my favorite goals that I accomplished was to see all 8 Wonders of the World before I turned 30. It was a fun adventure, and in this series I’ll walk you through what the eight wonders are, and about how to visit each one.

General Info

Location: Petra, Jordan
Nearest Major Airport: Queen Alia International in Amman, Jordan (airport code AMM)
Overall Difficulty to Visit (ranked among wonders, 1 is the most difficult, 8 is the least difficult): 2
Why That Difficulty Rating? There are not as many international flights into Amman as others like Rome, Beijing, or Rio de Janeiro. There is no public transit that you can take to Petra, and limited options for hiring a shared ride. The best option tends to be renting a car or hiring a private driver, both of which add to the expense. Jordan traffic and roads are easy to navigate, and the country is well-signed. If you’re nervous about driving, avoid Amman. (Going to the Dead Sea or Petra from the airport will take you away from the city traffic.)

Amanda Plewes at the Petra Treasury Read more

Taking The Aqaba-Nuweiba Ferry Between Jordan and Egypt

If you’re into ancient world wonders, it’s pretty likely you’ll think about going to Egypt and Jordan in one trip. They’re quite close together, and the Pyramids and Petra are both incredible sights.

But how best to get between the two countries? Especially if you want a trip to Mt Sinai thrown into the mix, you’re going to start wondering about overland options rather than flying. And that’s when you find the ferry that goes between Aqaba, Jordan and Nuweiba, Egypt.

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Three Awesome Nights in Jordan: An Itinerary & Guide

Jordan was one of my favorite places on the trip, and I already can’t wait to go back. It’s a surprise of a country! As an American, I think it’s easy to lump it in with the “Middle East” and “Next door to Syria: Don’t Go!” but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

My experiences with Jordan were that the country is safe and welcoming. In fact, as much as renting cars in foreign countries terrifies me – I’d rent a car in Jordan next time I go. The traffic is not bad, the roads are incredibly well-maintained, and the signage is good (and largely translated to English). And if that’s not enough, there are military checkpoints around with friendly soldiers who will give directions to tourists. (Seriously! I don’t know that they advertise it, but the ones I ran into were friendly, polite, and excited to help tourists.)

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Egypt: Getting There is Half the Fun

Getting around Jordan and into Egypt is no small feat. Most places suggest to go around Jordan and end up back in Amman, then fly to Egypt if you want to see it as well.

But there is another way – there is a ferry from Aqaba to Nuweiba, which are both ports on the Red Sea. It can be an easier and cheaper way to get from Jordan to Egypt, especially if you want to do anything in the Sinai.

For me, I knew I wanted to be in the Sinai for at least a bit, so I decided to go ahead and take the ferry.

Alas… as I’m finding is true for much of the Middle East, information online about anything can be scarce and not exactly up to date. Online, you’ll find out all about the fast ferry and the slow ferry from Aqaba to Nuweiba, and there are multiple times for each every day.

Get to Aqaba and ask around about the ferry? First, you’ll be lucky to find even travel agents who are aware of the ferry. And then… well, I came in the off season, and Egypt has been suffering from a serious lack of tourism in the past couple of years. So there’s not a fast ferry for tourists anymore.

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Spreadsheeting: How Much I Spent in Jordan

Jordan is one of those surprisingly and shockingly expensive countries. It’s one that you’d expect to be quite cheap and then WOAH just kidding. It’s not.

I think part of what makes a country cheap for travel is the internal infrastructure for transportation – and in Jordan, there is not a cheap option for getting around. If you want to rent a car, it seems quite safe. I didn’t have the guts to do that. So if you don’t, you’re relying on either a guide or a taxi – both of which know that tourists have to get places and have to pay – so they charge accordingly.

I decided to get a private guide for Jordan – I thought the best/fastest way to save money would be to do the country quickly and with a guide, and I think I was right.

In four days, I spent $1,130.15. (ouch)

How did that work out?

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Wadi Rum: The Martian Was Filmed Here

I knew from the time I’d seen pictures online that if I was going to make it to Jordan for Petra, I definitely wanted to go to Wadi Rum as well.

I’m so glad I saw those pictures and decided to go! Wadi Rum is a desert that’s essentially in between Petra and Aqaba, and it’s a popular place for tourists to go on Jeep rides, camel rides, camping, etc. I definitely wanted to spend a night at a camp there!

So I did. We drove into Wadi Rum, and it’s truly otherworldly. The rock formations are giant and gorgeous, and we got in right around sunset, which made them even more beautiful. We came upon the camp, and it’s definitely more “glamping” than “camping” – they even had dome huts where you could see the stars through the ceiling! Next time, I’m reserving one of those. (And they had AC!)

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Petra by Night

One reason I wanted to stay in Petra for two days was so that I could experience Petra by Night. On a few nights every week, they open up the path to the Treasury and have a show for visitors. I was able to plan my Jordan trip so that I could have my overnight in Petra on a night when they were doing the program.

It was such a cool experience! I’m very happy I did it.

After Petra closes for the day, they issue tickets for you to come back (not crazy cheap – it was about $30US/17JOD). When you come back, you walk along the path to the Treasury – only the whole way is lit up with candles (electric of course).

There are thousands of candles guiding your way from the path through the Siq, and then when the Siq opens, there are a few hundred candles all around the Treasury.

They have you sit on these mats and then serve a cup of Bedouin tea. It was sweet sage tea, and it was so tasty! It was piping hot, so I even felt fine drinking it (you could tell the water had really reached a full boil).

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