Category: Jordan

Sep 21 2009

Dead Sea and Mount Nebo

Met the first Malaysian at the hostel and with 2 other travelers (swedish and aussie), we got a service taxi to Dead Sea and Mount Nebo at 7.30am (35 JD split by 4 person).

Mount Nebo is where Moses believed to be buried.
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In the bible, it mentioned that God showed Moses the promise land on Mount Nebo but he didn’t manage to get to Israel. It’s possible to see Jerusalem and Jericho from Mount Nebo when there’s good weather.

The dead sea is 8.6 times as salty as the ocean. No fish can survive because it’s too salty.

Dead Sea
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We went to Amman beach (12JD, which is a little pricey than expected), there is a swimming pool
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and shower room which are quite important because the salinity of the sea will make the skin uncomfortable.

Because of the high salinity of the dead sea, it’s very easy to float on the water.
Floating on dead sea
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Got back to Amman around 2.30pm. I went to the bus station trying to get to Damascus, Syria. But because of Eid, I wasn’t able to get any tickets and all the service taxi increase their prices so I decided to go to Syria tomorrow morning instead. Moved to Abbasid Palace hotel (5JD) because they have free wifi so I can get on the web again. Met another Malaysian lady on the street, this is the second malaysian traveler I met after almost 8 weeks traveling, and both malaysians I met were in Amman.

Sep 20 2009


Took the 6.30am bus from Petra to Amman (5JD, 3hours). Amman is a very old city. It was conquered by the Assyrians, followed by the Persians, and then the Greeks. The city became part of the Nabataean kingdom until 106 AD when Philadelphia came under Roman control.
In 326 AD, Christianity became the religion of the empire and Philadelphia became the seat of a bishopric during the beginning of the Byzantine era. Then comes the Umayads and Abbasids. After the Islamic conquests, Amman became part of the Muslim empire, until the Ottomans were forced out by the Allies, with the help of the Hashimites, who formed a monarchy that continues to rule until the present.

Today is the Islamic holiday of Eid ul-Fitr marks the end of the fasting period of Ramadan so most shops are closed. Checked in into Hostel Mansour (3.5JD). It’s an OK hostel, nothing too fancy but it’s cheap. Amman is a city of 2 millions people on 7 hills.

Amman is famous for old Roman Theather
and Citadel. The citadel has been inhabited for centuries, important as a military and religious site.
Click here for a 360 degrees view of Citadel Hill in Amman.

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Walked towards the famous 127m flag pole, I read that it’s the highest in the world.
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Jordanian kids wear their best for the first day of Eid.
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In the evening, walked to the west part of the city which is a more modern part of the city. Other than that, there are not a lot to see in Amman.

Sep 18 2009


Waited at the bus station at 7.40am to get a minibus to Petra. The minibus didn’t leave until 10am. It’s 2 hours ride to Petra (5 JD). Met Julia and Sam again as well as a Dutch friend Roul.

Got to Wadi Musa around 12pm and stayed at Valentine Hostel (3JD, got the cheapest dorm).

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View of Petra from hostel
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Petra is voted as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World and is famous for Nabataens architecture. Petra is just 2km from Wadi Musa and to get into Petra, a day pass cost 21JD. I decided to stay at Wadi Musa for 2 days since there is only one bus a day to Amman early in the morning because of Ramadan.

I got a 2 days pass for 26JD since it’s almost 2pm and the site close at 6pm daily. Met a Taiwanese and we spent half a day walking around the ruins. We covered quite a lot for half a day.

Petra is the capital of the Nabataeans around 2000 years ago. The entrance to Petra leads us through narrow gorge called the Siq
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After 30 minutes of walking, we got to the Treasury, Al Khazneh
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After 45 minutes hike, arrived at a peak called place of high sacrifice.
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Petra is a big site of around 40 square km.

Went back to Petra next day morning.
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The Monastry
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View from a peak

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With the team
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Went back to the hostel in the afternoon after covering all the sites on the map. My shoes after walking for 2 days at Petra
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Sep 17 2009


Took the 10.30am bus to Nuweiba (15 LP, 1 hour ride) in order to take the ferry across the dead sea to Aqaba, Jordan. The fast ferry is only an hour to Aqaba but cost US$70 plus US$10 departure tax from Egypt.

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Traveled with Julia and Sam who I met from the bus station at Nuweiba. We got a free Jordanian visa on arrival and after getting off from the ferry terminal, we were expecting touts to offer us hostel room since there were touts everywhere in Egypt but we didn’t see any. This was the only time where we missed the hassling from touts. There weren’t any hostel in Aqaba and just hotel. Got a room at DWeek hotel in the city for 10JD (1USD=0.70 JD).

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Jordan is cleaner than Egypt and people here obey the traffic lights. There were also less hassling for tourist.

Aqaba has one of the highest flag pole in the world.

Things are slightly more expensive than Egypt, Jordanian dinar value is similar to the Euro. Even though the average salary for Jordanians are only 200-300JD but a meal cost 3JD, 1% of their salary. I also noticed that Jordanian loves Mercedes Benz, there are many here, mostly old ones.

As always there are the Chinese doing business everywhere. In Aqaba, Chinese massage centers are pretty popular.

This one called Lord of the Rings Chinese Massage
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Aqaba is the only place with sea in Jordan (beside dead sea).

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