Jordan is a Kingdom located in between Izrael, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Irak, and Syria. Even though its geographical location hints instability, Jordan has been neutral in wars that shattered its neighbors and remained a very safe and pleasant place for travelers. Due to its long history and location very close to where the very first human civilization was created, it has a lot to offer. Here are my 5 reasons to visit Jordan.
1. Long and interesting history
We can trace the presence of people on Jordan land back to the paleolithic period, where humans would start using stone tools for the first time. Since then people exploited the land, started living in little villages, domesticated wild weeds, and animals. Since Jordan is not yet a popular tourist destination, you can still go and visit those first settlements, (for example in Amman) and you might be the only one there.
One of the New Seven Wonders of the world, Petra is absolutely breathtaking. It was a capital of the Nabatean Kingdom, nomadic Bedouin tribe that roamed the Arabian Desert and moved with their herds to wherever they could find pasture and water. The precise origin of this tribe of Arab nomads remains uncertain. One hypothesis locates their original homeland in today’s Yemen. When they came to power, they created the marvelous city of Petra.
And Petra, oh my God, what a magical place! Hand-carved into the hard rock the city consists of several Temples, Monasteries, Thumbs, Streets, and houses. When you stand in front of those buildings, you can’t help but wonder, how is this even possible? The well-restored Treasury that lies at the very entrance to the city, gives you a glimpse of the grandiosity once present here. Located at the end of the tight path, it is protected by a canyon. It is believed that this was one of the natural defenses that Nabateans used against the enemy.
Bring good walking shoes. If you are planning on seeing the Monastery (and you most definitely should) be prepared for a tough journey.
3. Wadi Rum Desert
The Wadi Rum desert, the Queen of the deserts. Beautiful, Mysterious, Dangerous. Absolutely incredible place located in the south of the country. Very easy to access from Petra or Aqaba by bus or rental car. Most of the tourists sleep in the desert camps to experience Bedouin life, although you should know what the camps are prepared for the tourists and are very comfortable. If you are looking for something more authentic, you can opt for a night under the stars. You will venture to the middle of the desert with your guide and spend the night, yes, you guessed it, under the stars.
4. The People
The people of Jordan are incredibly friendly, warm and helpful. They also have a great sense of humor. As a solo traveler I never felt unsafe, everybody wanted to help me and feed me. Sometimes it was even uncomfortable when strangers would call me from the street just to give me some tea. Don’t be afraid of them, they are genuinely nice! Enjoy it, talk to them and you might learn something interesting about their customs and traditions.
5. The Food
I didn’t expect much from the food in Jordan, especially after reading many blog posts featuring only lam dishes. As I am not a big fan of lam, I didn’t think that I will find something I will like. I was wrong, oh, how I was wrong! You can find all kinds of meat in restaurants in Jordan: cooked, baked, steamed, shredded into a shawarma, minced into a kebab. The abundance of spices that are being used and a long time of cooking makes the meat melt in your mouth! Usually the grilled meat will be served with rice and a yogurt sauce that binds the whole dish together. For the vegetarians all the popular options like hummus or baba ganoush are available.