TRAVEL TIPS FOR JORDAN
5 Interesting Facts About Jordan
- In Jordan you can find the lowest point on Earth (on dry land)
- Jordan is home to one of the New 7 Wonders of the World
- 75% of the country of Jordan is covered by a desert
- Unlike other countries of the Middle East, Jordan has no own oil and gas reserves
- Jordan has never been Jordan
Jordan on the map
A Few Days in Jordan
Good to know before you travel to Jordan
1. They will try to squeeze every cent out of you
When the Jordanians see a tourist they are like bees to honey. Once you come to Jordan, you will immediately feel like a magnet. Like never before. It's certainly not because there are no other tourists coming to the country and you are the only one they have ever seen, but you know, pretty much like in any of such parts of the world, people of "western countries" are considered rich so the locals just can see their opportunity. Seriously, you have to pay for everything here, sometimes ungodly money. I know that it's not surprising and the same applies basically to any touristy place all over the world, but here it is doubly true. You just have to be prepared that most friendly looking people will will just intend to rip you off.
On the other hand, when you get off the track of the touristy places, and start slowly building the trust again, the locals can be quite helpful and friendly (honestly).
2. Taxi drivers are really obtrusive
I guess unfair behavior of taxi drivers is apparently common all around the world, you have to be prepared for that, and, as travelers, you should avoid them as much as possible in general. In Jordan, not only are they sneaky, but also very annoying. Very annoying. But here is my experience - if nothing else works, being straightforward and rude to them seems to work here 😀 I'm not exaggerating now, they can really get on your nerves, especially when you are trying to hitch-hike and all of a sudden there are two taxi cars pulling over and standing in your way. They will negotiate with you, kiss your ass and persuade you to go with them for a "very special" price, but of course all that just to find a way to rip you off.
If you really decide (or perhaps you have no other option) to take a taxi, do negotiate with them and mainly agree on the price before you get in the car. And my little personal bonus piece of advice - record the agreement secretly on your phone 🙂 However, in most cases you won't need them at all, better hitch-hike.
3. Hitch-hiking is too easy
Although the taxi drivers will try to convince you that people don't give lifts here, Jordan is my 31st visited country and I can assure you that anywhere else it wasn't as easy as it was here. I would say too easy. In most cases you don't even need to make any effort at all. We hitch-hiked throughout the whole country (except for the faux pau with taxi drivers at the very beginning), and I guess the average waiting time was around 30 seconds. Yes, seconds!
Hitch-hiking is very common here and as said earlier, when locals see tourists, they are like crazy 😀 But in a good way now. They are willing to stop, give you a lift or help in other way. I only have good experience. Let me share some with you.
Once we stopped a bedouin who didn't speak any English but kept on trying to converse with us. Apparently it didn't work so we came to understanding through music and cookies 🙂 When we got out of the car at an intersection as he was continuing in a different direction, we hardly closed the door and another car stopped for us. The guy brought us to a panorama point and as we talked we found out he was actually a friend of our host in Petra.
On the way from Petra to Dead Sea, we got a lift from a nice guy who was literally psyched about having two foreigners in his car. I was happy that he had someone interesting to talk with and if he hadn't been busy with some other stuff, he would have driven us all the way.
Well, hitch-hiking really works here, don't be afraid. 😉
4. (Probably) the only capital cheaper than rest of the country
Strange. In every country I've visited so far, the capital city was always the most expensive one. Quite naturally. It doesn't apply to the capital of Jordan - Amman - though. On the contrary, I found Amman pretty cheap, whether it is products in supermarkets, food in restaurants or even accommodation. I actually felt like Amman was kinda different in general. With its more than 5 mil. inhabitants, I was expecting Amman to be a real madness, but when we arrived in the evening, it felt pretty quiet and also safe. Also, although you may not notice it so easily, Amman is quite highly situated (it's actually on hills), so if you come from the Dead Sea, there may be a pretty big temperature difference. In our case it was from like 25 to 15 °C (in April).
5. If possible, get the Jordan Pass
To be allowed to stay in Jordan, you will need to show at the border your visa, which is always pain the butt. Fortunately, they have come up with something called Jordan Pass. With Jodan Pass you can avoid the usual process of obtaining the visa and save money for entrances.
The Most Popular Places of Jordan
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