Jordan’s Journey Highlights: Wadi Rum & Petra

Deep within the deserts of southern Jordan, lie two unbelievable sights: the mysterious historical metropolis of Petra, and the boundless Wadi Rum. You might spend at some point and one night time in every place and see the highlights, or, you would spend days exploring every crevice. I’m Tristan, an NYU pupil, avid backpacker and journey geek who spent per week doing simply that not too long ago…

Petra, generally known as the “Purple Rock” or “Rose Metropolis” was the capital of the traditional Nabatean folks. The Nabateans have been a cave-dwelling tribe that managed a part of the Silk Street commerce routes an extended very long time in the past and far of their historical past continues to be debated.

To get into Petra, stroll by means of Al-Siq, an extended canyon hall carved by the river way back. Discover the stratification of the rock, the canyon’s layers are fantastically marbled.
By the clearing, the Treasury, Petra’s most iconic construction, begins to look. (For those who haven’t seen the third Indiana Jones film “The Final Campaign”, it is best to watch it earlier than going! Simply don’t get any concepts; it’s not attainable to enter the Sanctuary.)


is an enormous park, with dozens of web sites and trails scattered off of the principle outdated metropolis boulevard. The entire trails are walkable, and most matters are inside a 45-minute radius. Nonetheless, a number of the actually far websites inside the park (Tomb of Aaron, and many others.) can take as much as 6 hours to get to on foot.

For those who solely have 1 day in Petra (there are 1, 2, or 3-day passes), I extremely counsel taking a donkey/mule or camel to expedite the journey, and looking out on the map beforehand to ensure you’ll have time to see what you need.

Unsure which path to take? One of the best matter to see (after the Treasury, which you’ll’t miss) is the Monastery, which even bigger. To get there, stroll or take a donkey up the slender winding path. The numerous historical tombs and amphitheater are typically alongside the best way to the Monastery, so should you arrive early within the day with a plan, it’s attainable to see all the most important websites at a relaxed tempo.
For a wide ranging view, head as much as the highest of the mountain which overlooks the Treasury. Most individuals don’t come up right here, however it’s an ideal photo-op.


Discount exhausting, the guides could let you know it’s 20JD to experience the donkey up the hill to see the Sanctuary– it’s not, you are able to do it for five, it’s solely a ten or twenty-minute experience. Longer treks are about 10-20JD, for actual, and will take an hour or longer.
To experience the horses again to the doorway after an extended day climbing, it’s 2JD — the horse experience is definitely included within the ticket, however it’s customary to tip the horsemen. You don’t must tip rather a lot, so talk about the tip earlier than using, and don’t allow them to con you into tipping outrageous quantities.
On the finish of every path, there are unbelievable viewpoints and bedouin-tent-style cafes. Additional up from the Monastery, there’s a view over Petra’s mountain into Israel. I sat up right here with some pals and frolicked with the Bedouins for some time.


I hope you want your espresso black and your tea additional candy!

“Petra at Evening” is a further exercise provided on the park; round eight or 9, three days per week, there’s a conventional Bedouin music present and the Treasury is lit up. I went to Petra by night time final yr, and it was unbelievable. Al-Siq is filled with luminaria main as much as the magnificent Treasury, the place we have been served tea and listened to oud and flute music.
This yr, it was horrible– they not too long ago added coloured lights, making the Treasury neon inexperienced, then purple, then blue, it’s actually unlucky. I wouldn’t advocate it anymore. Nonetheless a pleasant expertise however fairly tacky.
When you’ve got plenty of time, try ‘Little Petra’, extra ruins which can be somewhat farther away from the remainder of the park. Little Petra is free to enter and near the Bedouin village. The Bedouin listed here are nothing just like the slightly-obnoxious businessmen of Petra, and can you present you nothing however hospitality.
(Political correctness isn’t actually a matter for the shopkeepers right here, so don’t be offended if folks loudly name to you by your nationality, or at the least, what they assume your nationality is.)


Wadi Rum

Additional into Jordan is the well-known Wadi Rum, a extremely nice tenting spot. Not your typical tenting although– Bedouin-style tenting. Scattered all through the desert are Bedouin tents of various luxurious. Final yr, I stayed in a conventional material tent and slept on the bottom.
This yr, we stayed in a a lot nicer place, the “tents” even had showers in them; so don’t really feel thrown off by the thought of ‘tenting’, it’s probably not tenting except you need it to be! The costliest locations are basically 4-star inns; personal king-sized beds inside futuristic dome-shaped buildings, some even have giant skylights on the ceiling so you’ll be able to stargaze out of your mattress!
Decrease to mid-level Bedouin tents, about $10/night time.

Wadi Rum is understood for its rock bridges and red-orange sand. Jeep or camel excursions take vacationers on excursions day-after-day, to discover the expansive desert. Aside from the attractive panorama, there are additionally Nabatean ruins and carvings, Normal T.E. Lawrence’s outdated lean-to, and different small websites.


The archeological websites are fascinating however nothing in comparison with Petra. My recommendation is simply to benefit from the jeep experience, hike up the most important rock you’ll find, and soak all of it in. It doesn’t get significantly better than this; the wind in your hair and the new desert solar beating down when you cruise across the sandy trails. (For those who haven’t seen the film, Lawrence of Arabia, add that one to your listing too.)

After a day trekking round, your Bedouin hosts will put together some sort of feast; there are a couple of fascinating Bedouin cooking methods, a few of which contain cooking meals underground. It’s all the time an enormous manufacturing! Bedouin hospitality is unparalleled.

After dinner, drink some extra candy Bedouin tea and calm down beneath the celebs. I extremely advocate planning your journey across the moon cycle– one of the best day clearly is the New Moon– my first journey to Wadi Rum, I noticed extra stars than I’d ever seen in my life. Completely insane. Final weekend, sadly, the moon was about 80% full so we may hardly see any stars.
Nonetheless don’t understand how to do that ‘astral images’ matter however you get the thought– plenty of stars!
It’s enjoyable to hang around with your mates in Petra and Wadi Rum, but in addition completely doable as a solo traveler. Both approach, make sure that to take a while to speak to the Bedouin and ask them about their lives; the Bedouin lifestyle is fascinating and the tradition is wealthy.


A Bedouin man exhibiting me his rababa, a conventional bowed instrument


Jordan: Know earlier than you go


When is one of the best time to go to Jordan?

Additionally, I extremely advocate going late February-April or October-November when it’s not too sizzling however not too chilly both! It’s freezing in January, and boiling within the Summer time.


How protected is it to journey in Jordan?

Don’t fear– Jordan is totally protected, in all probability safer than America.


Be taught the language: Fundamental Arabic (Jordanian Levantine dialect)

Hiya (Peace): Salam
Good Morning: Sabbah el-khreer
Good Night: Messeh el-khreer
How are you?: Kayf ha-lek?
What’s your title?: Shu Ismek ?
My title is: Ismi..
I’m misplaced: Ana die-e-aw
The place is the…?: Wayn el…
Bathroom: hammam
Bus station: mahata el autobeese
I would like: Bidi
What is that this?: Shu hathe?
How a lot?: Adesh hathe?
Sure (formal): nam
Yeah: aye-wa
No: leh
Sorry: asif
Please/Excuse me: lao samaht
Thanks: shukran


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