Monday, August 22, 2011

Packing List Jordan

Naturally you will take with you everyday items of toiletries and clothing. Just keep in mind, Jordan is a Muslim country and conservatively dressing is recommended, guideline is to cover shoulders and knees. The following checklist should help you packing other essentials. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your luggage to a minimum.

◊ Valid Passport.
◊ Airline Ticket.
◊ Money and credit card.
◊ Travel insurance.
◊ Itinerary with contact of Petra Nights Tours.
◊ First Aid Kit.
◊ Walking shoes, especially for Petra.
◊ Bag or daypack.
◊ Swimwear.
◊ Camera with batteries/charger.
◊ Hat or scarf as protection against sun and wind.
◊ Sunglasses and sun protection.
◊ Adapter.
◊ Notepad and pen.

For longer outdoor activities like trekking and camping additionally:
◊ Hiking boots.
◊ Water bottles.
◊ Covering clothes for sun protection.
◊ Warm jacket or sweater for cooler nights.
◊ Lightweight windproof jacket.
◊ Small towel.
◊ Insect repellent.
◊ Antibacterial handwash.
◊ Trekking poles.
◊ Sewing kit.
◊ Small padlock for your trek bag.
◊ Alarm clock.
◊ Torch.
◊ Plastic bags (not to be left in Jordan).
◊ Toilet paper.
◊ Lighter/matches for burning toilet paper.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Wadi Rum Jeep Tours

Wadi Rum desert, also known as Valley of the Moon, is one of the most popular destinations in Jordan. Located in the south of the country the protected area covers 720 square kilometers of dramatic wilderness with mountains, canyons, sand dunes and impressing scenery. Since June 2011 Wadi Rum is inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, due to its natural beauty and cultural significance, it has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Still today Bedouin tribes are living in this area. Fastest, but not environmental friendliest way to see Wadi Rum desert is by jeep, or better said off-road vehicle. Jeeps in Wadi Rum are mostly old pickup trucks with benches in the back.

The drivers stop at the landmarks, you get out and explore each for a few minutes. Popular spots are the Seven Pillars of Wisdom, Lawrence's Spring (named after Lawrence of Arabia), the Khazali Canyon with rock inscriptions, large sand dunes, the rock bridges Burdah and Um Frouth, Burrah Canyon, Anfashieh rock inscriptions, the ruins of a Nabatean Temple and sunset sites. Here a list with some possible tours:

2 hours jeep – Nabatean Temple, Rum Village, Lawrence Spring, Khazali Canyon (30 kms)
35 JOD = 50 USD per jeep
3 hours jeep  – Nabatean Temple, Rum Village, Lawrence Spring, Khazali Canyon, Little Rock Bridge (35 kms)
45 JOD = 64 USD per jeep
4 hours jeep – Nabatean Temple, Rum Village, Lawrence Spring, Khazali Canyon, Little Bridge, Um Frouth Rock Bridge, Anfashieh inscriptions, sand dunes (50 kms)
55 JOD = 78 USD per jeep
5 hours jeep – Nabatean Temple, Rum Village, Lawrence Spring, Khazali Canyon, Little Bridge, Um Frouth Rock Bridge, Burdah Rock Bridge, Anfashieh inscriptions, sand dunes, sunset site (60 kms)
65 JOD = 92 USD per jeep

Monday, August 1, 2011

Petra Horses, Camels & Donkeys

When visiting Petra you have to be prepared for walking to be able to experience one of the great sites in the world. For the ones who are less active, there are some possibilities to limit your efforts. First of all, the entrance ticket Petra includes a short horse ride from the Visitor Centre to the entrance of the Siq, the canyon. It is about 700 meters and the horse boy walks beside you, so don’t expect a canter. Important, the horse boys demand a tip.

There are also 10 horse drawn carriages in Petra, first and foremost for elderly and handicapped visitors. These carriages take maximum 2 passengers and operate from the Petra Visitor Centre to the Treasury and back. Keep in mind the Petra terrain is uneven, so it is a bumpy ride. The price is 20 JOD per carriage. Handicapped clients can also obtain a permission to go with the carriage deeper inside Petra, but an advance reservation is to recommend due to the limited numbers of carriages.

Inside Petra one can hire a camel or a donkey, price is a matter of negotiation with the owner and depends on the distance. There had been complaints about the maltreatment of animals in Petra. It is not a coincidence that the welfare animal organization, The Brooke, had a till 2010 a clinic here, now in the authority of the Ministry of Agriculture. So, by hiring one of the animals make sure it is in good condition and even don’t hesitate to criticize the handler when being cruel. The people live from the work of these animals and have to get the message, badly treated animal means no clients, so no income. Especially donkeys have a low status.

As we had over the years complaints about missing transport possibilities in Petra like motorized vehicles or - I read a while ago - even cable cars, a short remark. Keep in mind, Petra is a unique site, an amazing heritage, which has to be preserved for the generations to come, that is to say the fabulous, thousands of years old fusion nature and architecture shall not be destroyed for the sake of laziness.    

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sheikh Hussein Border / Jordan River Crossing

The Sheikh Hussein Border or Jordan River Crossing, connecting Jordan and Israel, is about 90 kms distant from Amman in the north. The border is open Sunday-Thursday 06:30-21:00, Friday and Saturday 08:00-20:00, closed on Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) and Muslim New Year (Eid El Jijara) only.

When arriving to the terminal you undergo the usual procedures like security check and passport control and payment of departure tax. On Jordan side this tax is 8 JOD = 12 USD per person, the Israeli departure tax is 96 NIS = 29 USD per person. Then board the shuttle bus running between the two terminals, which charges in Jordan 3 JOD per person and on Israeli side 8 NIS. Travelers arriving Jordan from Israel can obtain at this border the entry visa Jordan for 20 JOD = 30 USD per person. But note, all mentioned rates are subject to change.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Allenby Bridge/King Hussein Border Crossing

The Allenby Bridge, also known as King Hussein Bridge, is one of 3 border crossings between Jordan and Israel/Palestine. The Allenby Bridge connects with the West Bank and this side is controlled by Israeli authorities. Just as note, Israeli citizens are not allowed to use the bridge.

The crossing is open every day, closed on Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) and Eid Al Adha (Muslim Feast of Sacrifice) only. For the Jordan side applies: from Sunday to Thursday you have to be latest at 18:00, on Fridays and Saturdays latest at 10:30 am at the border. However, the opening hours are not guaranteed as sometimes the border closes earlier without notice. Especially if you plan to arrive in the afternoon it is to recommend to check the opening time with the authorities (Tel: 00962 (5) 358 1030).

Passenger procedure includes in both terminals a security check, payment of the departure tax, passport control, customs and to board the shuttle bus, operating between the terminals. Usually the shuttle bus leaves every hour, sometimes more irregular, so be prepared for waiting time. The shuttle bus from the Jordan terminal costs 3 JOD per person and 1.25 JOD per luggage. The Jordanian departure is 8 JOD (circa 12 USD) per person and the departure tax at the Israeli terminal is NIS 167 (ca 52 USD) per person. The taxes are paid in local currency, and you can find exchange shops in both terminals. The Allenby/King Hussein Bridge offers a faster VIP service, which is about 100 USD per person.

Because several countries refuse the entry if the passport shows an Israeli stamp, it is possible to avoid the stamp as follows: just ask already on the Jordan side not to stamp your passport, as it is known, the Allenby Bridge is the crossing between Jordan and Palestine/Israel. Inside the Israeli terminal you do the same. You have to fill a form and together with your passport hand it over to the immigration officer, who will stamp the form instead.

Important note for visitors arriving Jordan via the Allenby Bridge: it is not possible to obtain the Jordanian visa at the Allenby Bridge, so you need it in advance from your country of residence.  

In general, be prepared for waiting time in the Israeli terminal due to the security checks, and in some cases to be questioned by the immigration officers for the purpose of your visit. We are thankful for any advice from travelers who recently used this crossing.

Madaba Shopping

If you search for authentic Jordanian handicraft, Madaba is a place to go. The town is well known for its Byzantine mosaic art, and the Mosaic School is evidence for the importance of this craft. The school trains to conserve and restore the ancient mosaics as well to produce mosaics. So naturally you can find various, hand made mosaic souvenirs like vases, wall hangings and tables in Madaba. There are many shops around St Georges' Church and on the way to Mt Nebo where you can buy and watch how items are made.  
Other local crafts are rugs, pottery and hand-painted ostrich eggs. The eggs are decorated with tiny dots of paint to create various designs, depicting scenes of ancient mosaics and Jordanian folklore. 

© Petra Nights Tours

The artisans cut stone slices with clippers, to create the small pieces. Such kind of table mosaic takes in the average 5 months. © Petra Nights Tours

© Petra Nights Tours

© Petra Nights Tours

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Haret Jdoudna Restaurant Madaba

Prime address for lunch or dinner is the Haret Jdoudna Restaurant in Madaba. In a side street not far away from St George's Church, the restaurant is located in a charming 19th century house with a nice courtyard, serving Oriental Mezze, various Sawani and grilled dishes.
Tel: 00962 (5) 324 8650

© Petra Nights Tours

© Petra Nights Tours

© Petra Nights Tours

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Sun City Restaurant Petra

Close To Petra Visitors Centre (just walk by the M√∂venpick Resort and some small shops) you find the  Sun City Restaurant in the 2nd floor. The buffet includes Arabic and western salads, soup, chicken, beef and different kind of desserts. The restaurant offer a la carte menu too. You can eat in the simple, clean 2nd floor or on the roof top with its Bedouin tent styled ambience.
Tel: 00962 (0)3 215 4123

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Wadi Mujib Siq Trail in Jordan

Wadi Mujib is the lowest nature reserve on the earth, at the coast of the Dead Sea. The area, consisting of valleys, mountains and several water flows, is perfect for hiking and trekking. From Amman you drive about 80 kms along the Dead Sea Road, where you see here and there lush vegetation due to small springs. Arriving to Wadi Mujib Visitors' Centre we decided for the Siq Trail, as especially in summer a water trail with shades is inviting.

A guide for the Siq Trail is not necessary, just pay the entrance fee (we paid 11 JOD each) and choose one of the life jackets. Short way along a bridge, you scale down a ladder and find yourself on the trail. Following the course of the water stream you get inside the gorge with towering sandstone cliffs. The farer you get, the higher the water level, and it is not always easy to walk against the currents, some spots are deep pools enough for swimming. A little difficult are the scrambles over small waterfalls, what is done with the help of fixed ropes. End of the trail is the largest waterfall of about 20 meters. Going back it is easier and more fun as with the current you can slide down the waterfalls. In general it is a very refreshing and adventurous experience in beautiful nature! Just bear in mind light closes and good, but older footwear like sports shoes, and a waterproof bag for the camera.  The Siq Trail is open from April till October, and visitors have to be minimum 18 years old.  

Along the Dead Sea Road. © Petra Nights Tours

Start of the Siq Trail. © Petra Nights Tours

© Petra Nights Tours

© Petra Nights Tours

© Petra Nights Tours

© Petra Nights Tours

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Ferry Services Jordan Egypt

Since end of October 2012 the daily ferry service from Taba Port in Egypt to Aqaba Port in Jordan (Royal Yacht Club) and vice versa operates again. The sailing time between both marinas is 30 minutes, and the immigration procedures are handled on board. The boat from Taba is scheduled between 06:00-07:00 am Egyptian time.

© Meenagate.

© Meenagate.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Meet & Assist at Amman Airport

We include the meet & assist service for individual and group travelers, so our representative welcomes you with a signage at the immigration area, assists you through the procedures and matches with your escort. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Old City of Salt Jordan

Salt Jordan

Not on the map of standard Jordan tours is the town Salt, 30 minutes drive from Amman. A half day tour visit is worth it and shows, especially in comparison to Amman, another part of history and atmosphere, characterized by Ottoman architecture. In the city centre many houses are built from yellow stone with long arched windows. Best to start at Abu Jaber House, this late 19th century building houses the Historic Old Museum. You get to know about history and culture of Salt, and see the room, where Prince Abdullah Bin Al Hussein, the founder of Jordan, spent the night. The museum is able to provide a brochure about the Salt Heritage Trail, 7 kms long, so you know which directions to take. Following mainly alleys passing by the highlights of the heritage buildings and small shops, you discover what makes Salt different. Downer at that day, in and around Hammam Street was a lots of litter. Hope this was an exemption as this spoils the experience. Along the Heritage Trail you find beside the Historic Old Museum (Abu Jaber House) the Archaeological Museum (Touqan House), fee is 2 JD each, both are closed on Tuesdays and public holidays.  

Hammam Street. © Petra Nights Tours

© Petra Nights Tours

© Petra Nights Tours

© Petra Nights Tours

Historic Old Museum (Abu Jaber House). © Petra Nights Tours

© Petra Nights Tours

© Petra Nights Tours

© Petra Nights Tours

Archaeological Museum (Touqan House). © Petra Nights Tours

© Petra Nights Tours

© Petra Nights Tours

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts Amman

If you are interested in Islamic art, the National Gallery of Fine Arts in Amman is a place to go. The gallery is run since 1980 by the Royal Society of Fine Arts, a non-profit organization. According to them the collection comprises over 2,000 works including paintings, sculptures, photographs, installations and ceramics by more than 900 artists from 60 countries, mostly Asia and Africa. It is a rather small gallery with contemporary art, located in two building which are connected via a sculpture park. One building houses a permanent collection and the other building is used for changing exhibitions.  The National Gallery can be found in Jabal Weibdeh, opposite the area of King Abdullah Mosque, in Husni Fareez Street.
Opening Hours: 09:00-19:00 (summer) / 09:00-17:00 (winter), 09:00-13:30 Ramadan, closed Tuesdays & Fridays and on national holidays
Entrance fee Non-Jordanians: 5 JD

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Green Valley Restaurant Jerash

When in Jerash enjoy lunch or dinner at Green Valley Restaurant, located at the main route south of the archaeological site Jerash. The ambience is nice, the staff friendly and the food is tasty with the typical mezze like hummus and fattoush, and as main course grilled meat is to recommend. The restaurant bakes its own fresh Taboon bread in an oven. After the meal you can relax with smoking a nargelah/shisha.
Location: Jerash, Old Amman Road – Tel: 00962 (2) 633 50299

Private Transfer Rates Jordan

Car/Van with English speaking driver - Rates in USD

Amman Airport (QAI) - Amman
Amman Airport (QAI) – Dead Sea
Amman Airport (QAI) – Allenby Bridge
Amman Airport (QAI) – Sheikh Hussein Border
Amman Airport (QAI) – Petra
Amman Airport (QAI) - Aqaba
Amman City Tour ½ day
Amman City Tour – Madaba – Nebo – Dead Sea
Amman City Tour – Jerash - Amman
Amman – Madaba – Mt Nebo – Dead Sea
Amman – Madaba – Nebo – Bethany – Dead Sea
Amman – Hammamat Ma'in - Amman
Amman – Dead Sea
Amman – Baptism Site – Dead Sea - Amman
Amman – Jerash – Dead Sea
Amman – Jerash – Ajloun - Amman
Amman – Umm Quais – Jerash - Amman
Amman – 3 Desert Castles - Amman
Amman – Petra (Desert Highway)
Amman – Madaba – Nebo – Kerak – Petra (King's Way)
Amman – Madaba – Nebo – Kerak – Dana - Petra
Dead Sea - Petra
Dead Sea – Allenby Bridge
Petra – Wadi Rum - Petra
Petra – Wadi Rum
Petra – Wadi Rum – Aqaba
Petra – Wadi Rum – Amman
Aqaba - Amman