Have the ruins of Petra, Jordan’s Nabatean capital, the mysteries of the Dead Sea, and the varied cultures of Amman lured you into planning a trip to this Middle Eastern country? We’re sure you will love this historically famous place. We’re equally sure you have a lot of questions on your mind: where to start, the entry process, how to figure out the many things one needs to consider before visiting a new place. Considering the fact that Jordan is a relatively lesser known tourist destination, you may find it more challenging to find the right answers.
Here we try to give you as much information as we can, in one glance.
Visa For Jordan
Unless you belong to one of the 10 visa-exempt countries, tourists require a visa to visit Jordan. The Hashemite country offers visa on arrival to 120 countries, with different rules and fees depending upon the nationality.
Indians can apply for visas, in advance, at the nearest Jordan embassy in the country or through an authorised travel agent. The other option is visa on arrival, however, one must be prepared with the entire list of documents required, because it will be asked for during immigration. You can find out more about the process on the official tourism website of Jordan, visit.jordan.com.
Best Way To Travel In Jordan
The best way to reach Jordan is by flying in to Queen Alia International Airport, which is 45 minutes away from Amman and services most major airplane carriers.
From the airport, a taxi or shuttle bus can drive you down to the main city. Within Amman, you can move around via taxis, rented cars or buses arranged by various sightseeing tours.
You can use similar modes for inter-city travel, starting at a price of 8JD (Jordan Dinar) onwards. If you are driving from Amman to Petra, you can opt for a slower but scenic route through the King’s Highway. One of Middle East’s most ancient trade routes, it offers breathtaking views of the wadis (valleys) and crosses countless riverbeds during its 280km-long journey.
The distances between the top tourist areas are as follows:
Amman to Petra – 237km
Petra to Aqaba – 126km
Amman to Aqaba – 334km
Aqaba to Wadi Rum – 64km
Amman to Dead Sea – 60km
Amman to Jerash – 53km
Best Time & Weather To Visit Jordan
With different topographical regions coming together, Jordan is a land of extremes. Right from the desert to beaches to cold valleys, the weather conditions can vary from one extreme to another.
The spring months of March to May are ideal for a trip to Jordan, as the temperatures are light and the hills and valleys are covered in a carpet of pretty flowers. The days are warm and nights are cool but, bear in mind, that this it is also the peak season and you may experience heavy crowds and higher prices at most tourist locales.
The summer months of June to August are extreme with scorching heat in the desert.The hot winds and the stifling temperatures can get pretty unbearable. On the other hand, the country gets very cold during the winter months of December to February. The desert regions of Petra are covered in snow and temperatures can go as low as -8 degree Celsius. This isn’t the best time to visit Jordan, however, the sea resorts of Aqaba are operational and make for a fine retreat even during these winter months.
Things To Pack For A Trip To Jordan
You don’t need to stuff your suitcases for a trip to Jordan. You need to pack less, but pack right. Here are a few things you should include in your packing list.
A hat, sunglasses and sunscreen are a must to ward of the sun’s rays in the desert.
Light-weight shoes that help you walk through sandy areas beat heavy leather footwear.
Although Jordan has no particular dress code, women in shorts or skimpy clothes are not allowed in certain areas, since Jordan is a Muslim country. So don’t forget to add some pants and full sleeve t-shirts, just in case!
The nights can get cold, so carry a sweater, warm socks and gloves. You won’t regret it.
With all the beauty waiting to be photographed, a good camera or mobile phone is a must (a selfie stick too, if you’d love photographing yourself at exotic destinations).
The Best Food To Eat In Jordan
Jordanian food is influenced by and derives flavours from the nearby Turkish, Syrian and Lebanese cuisines. The sheer variety of culinary offerings here are a treat for foodies. The country’s staple food is bread or rice with stew or maglouba, as they call it. Mansaf, a traditional dish made of lamb and served with rice in a gravy of dried yoghurt, is Jordan’s national dish.
And that’s not all, Jordan’s streets are lined with places offering different Arabian offerings like falafel, shawarma, pita with hummus, kebabs, moutabel, and more. Visit Amman’s high-end restaurants, which can cook up just about any cuisine that you would like them to.
Currency & Costs In Jordan
The Jordanian Dinar (JD) is the country’s main currency and comes in both coins and notes. One dinar can be further divided into 10 dirham, 100 piastres, or 1,000 fulus. You can find coins in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 piastres, while notes are available in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 JD.
A day in Jordan will not burn too big of a hole in your pocket, but it depends on the kind of traveller you are. For a budget traveller, anywhere between 20-40 JD a day maybe enough to cover a shared room, street fare and public transport. A luxury traveller may need to shell out anywhere between 120-140 JD per day to stay in a 5-star accommodation, with private transport and guided tours. At a lot of places, especially in Petra, they expect a tip in return for any service, so be prepared to let go of that extra buck.
Fact File On Jordan
Location: Jordan, Middle East
Official Language: Arabic
Currency: Dinar (JOD)
Food & Drinks: Hummus, Ful Medames, Jordanian Meze, Arak, Jordanian Wine
Time zone: EET (UTC+2)
A Pune’ite who is in love with the world, Alefiya is a Copywriter and a communications professional. Cracking into jigs, making quirky observations and untimely giggles keep her going when she is not writing. Life is NOW, she believes!
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Visiting Cambodia is not just about going to new places, it’s about experiencing them. Which is why we’ve put together 5 select experiences that are sure to win a traveller’s heart and interest.
The Magnificent Sunrise At Angkor Wat
Don’t make the mistake of sleeping late on your first day in Siem Reap. Kick off the sheets, fight the last remnants of sleep and step out to explore Angkor Wat, the world’s largest religious monument and a UNESCO World Heritage site. You’ll be surprised how many people come out to see the magical sunrise, so make sure you reach the ancient temple complex well in time. Watching the rising sun fill the dark sky with fantastic hues of pinks and oranges is surreal. And seeing the entire scene reflected in the surrounding waters makes for a majestic experience; one that will live on in a traveller’s soul for a long, long time.
Local Foods: Yummy Richness or Yucky Firsts
Whether it’s the fine flavour of Fish Amok, the pleasing freshness of Khmer noodles or the sight of grilled insects, sampling food in Cambodia is an adventure by itself. The locals are quite passionate about their food, and their street food is legendary. Eating it like the locals do, straight off the street stalls, will help you understand why the traditional Khmer cuisine is so special for Cambodians. Sampling versions of the Fish Amok or Khmer Red Curry from both street stalls and upscale restaurants will reveal the variations and local flavours that define the region’s cuisine. If you’re feeling adventurous, try out the exciting (or revolting, depends on how you feel) snacks that include grilled spiders, grasshoppers and other bugs. Apparently, these are high in protein and don’t really taste bad, especially if you have the courage to pop one in your mouth AND actually chew it.
A Chill Down Your Spine At The Killing Fields
Most people don’t know about Cambodia’s dark history. On paper, the horror lasted about four years, but the suffering carried on for many more, continuing long after the dust settled on the road to hell. The famous Killing Fields, where thousands of victims were killed and buried in mass graves, are testament to the Khmer Rouge’s atrocities and the cruelty they brought to this otherwise peaceful land. You have to visit the Killing Fields of Cheoung Ek before you can even begin to understand modern Cambodia.
In 1975, the Khmer Rouge came to power in Cambodia, and the atrocities began almost immediately. Led by Pol Pot, the Khmer Rouge moved citizens from Phnom Penh and transferred them to the countryside, where everyone was expected to work for more than 12 excruciating hours a day. There was little food, and disease swept through the country, killing hundreds of thousands. And that wasn’t all. The Khmer Rouge was also responsible for genocide, killing more than 2 million people during their rule, almost a third of Cambodia’s total population. The Killing Fields has now been turned into an educational centre and a shrine, with the bones of the victims’ displayed in a glass building.
The Peacefulness Of A Deserted Island
Koh Rang, the second-largest island of Cambodia, is a beautiful but not-so-popular destination. A 45-minute speedboat ride is all it takes to reach the island, located 25km off the Sihanoukville coast in the Gulf of Thailand. There are paradise beaches, quaint villages, private bungalows and some amazing spots to go snorkelling here. The Cambodian government has plans to turn Koh Rong into the country’s first environmentally planned resort island. But this island is still pretty deserted, with few inhabitants, no roads, cars or traffic, and no electricity for most of the day. Stay here and enjoy the sheer peacefulness of being one with nature.
Surreal Feel Of Walking On Water
If you love water, then this place is for you. Visit Cambodia’s floating villages and meet the locals, who literally live on water, The most common floating villages and popular tourist destinations are Chong Kneas and Kompong Phluk, which are quite close to Siem Reap. However, being popular comes with a disadvantage; these places are usually crowded. So, if you have some extra time and would like an uninterrupted experience of this unique way of life, go to Kompong Khleang. More of a town than a village, this place has managed to retain its authenticity and is still untouched. If you have the resources, choose to stay in the 4-star boutique floating resorts amid virgin forests, rare orchids and fragrant frangipani. Waking up to startling colours and bird call is worth every dollar spent.
Fact File On Cambodia
Location: Cambodia, Asia
Official Language: Khmer
Currency: Cambodian riel
Food & Drinks: Try the Cambodian rice and noodles, accompanied by beer and tarantula cocktail
Time zone: UTC+07:00
Interested in touring Cambodia?
About The Author
Priyanka believes life is an endless collection of new experiences, with a story born every moment. Every time one sets eyes on something new or reviews something with a fresh view, the narrative changes. A marketing & PR professional, she strives to live and share her experiences with food, travel and dance, by penning down her stories, and relive those priceless moments.