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Located in West Asia, Jordan is bordered by Syria to the north, Iraq to the east, Saudi Arabia to the east and south, and Israel and Palestine to the west. Tourists can access the Red Sea through the southern port city of Aqaba. Amman, capital of Jordan is located in the northwest part of the country. While the majority of Jordan is desert, the northwest area is quite fertile and is part of the Levant region of the Fertile Crescent, which has been referred to as the “cradle of civilization”.
Etiquette Tips For Jordan:
Etiquette is very important in Jordanian culture. While Jordanians graciously tolerate behaviors from visitors that may not necessarily conform to their own standards of etiquette, you can show respect for Jordanian customs by following a few basic rules:
- Stand when someone important, or another guest, enters the room.
- Shake hands with everyone, but only with a Jordanian woman if she offers her hand first.
- Don’t engage in any conversation about sensitive or personal topics unless you know the person you’re talking to well.
- Most women don’t like to be clicked. Ask permission or avoid altogether.
- Remove your shoes when visiting a mosque or a private house (unless you’re specifically told to keep them on).
- Never interrupt someone praying.
What to wear in Jordan:
I found Jordan to be a liberal country. However some religious places may have clothes restrictions. Here are my packing tips based upon my trip in May:
- Smart Casuals
- Casual trousers / jeans and T-shirts.
- A warm but light jacket/and or a shawl for nights.
- Walking shoes – You will be walking a lot in Jordan. Comfortable shoes are recommended. Flip Flops advised for the nights and the beach.
- Some places like Wadi Rum are remote. It is advised that the travelers must carry basic medications along. You might waste time finding the brand you need. Worse still, you may not be able to find the same brand in Jordan.
- Jordan is a heaven for outdoor enthusiasts. Sunscreen and Sun glasses are must!
- It is a picture perfect location. Do carry a good camera and enough memory cards!
Pics above: Mars Like Wadi Rum was my favourite in Jordan
More Soul Window Tips for Jordan:
- The water is safe to drink here but if you are still unsure you can buy bottled water
- Take these things back home– Dead Sea products, Local Souvenirs, Mugs, Mosaics from Madaba, Different kinds of nuts, olives, spices to name few.
Food Tips For Jordan:
Healthy food is available all over Jordan. The cooking standards are good. Most restaurants and take away outlets maintain hygiene and quality. It is a paradise for vegans as most of the mezzes and deserts are 100 % vegetarian and healthy.
Time Zone : Jordan
From the beginning of October to the end of March, Jordan is two hours ahead of Greenwich
Mean Time (GMT) and seven hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Standard Time (EST). Jordan switches to Daylight Saving Time in the summer, when it is three hours ahead of GMT between South Africa and its neighboring countries, or between the 9 provinces of South Africa.
Currency of Jordan:
The local currency is the Jordanian Dinar, commonly called JD. 1 JD = $1.41 USD (as on January 2017)
Denominations– 1, 5, 10, 20, and 50 JD notes are in circulation. The Dinar is equal to 100 piasters (pronounced “peeaster”) of 1,000 fils. The piaster is the unit most commonly used. If you see prices written as 4,750, it means the price is 4.75JD. Currency can be exchanged at major banks, exchange agencies, and most hotels. Indians can withdraw JD at ATMs with their Indian Debit cards. My advice: Withdraw whatever amount you want to withdraw in Amman. It has more numbers of ATMs.
Best Time To Go To Jordan:
Jordan boasts almost year-round sunshine with temperate weather.
- The Spring and Fall seasons: Mild and temperatures range from 60-70°F/15-21°C, with rain being more common in the Spring.
- Summers are sunny with temperatures averaging 90°F/32°C in the day with cool evenings.
- July and August are the sunniest and driest months of the year, especially in Amman and the Jordan Valley. In the desert areas, temperatures can reach 100°F/38°C.
- The winter months from November to April can be cold, but snow is rare. Aqaba is an especially pleasant wintertime resort with the colder temperatures staying in the north. About 75%of the country can be described as having a moderate climate with very little annual rainfall.
I went in May. It was a pleasant time to be in Jordan. The days were breezy and conducive to walking. The nights were cooler (Just a shawl or light sweater is fine). Below is a lowdown on what weather is like in May in Jordan:
– Amman – 26°C – 32°C
– Petra – 22° – 26°C
– Aqaba – 31° – 35°C
– Dead Sea – 23° – 26°C
– Wadi Rum- 26° – 30°C
Average temperatures in Jordan by season:
Month Lowest Highest
January 40°F/5°C 60°F/15°C
April 54°F/12°C 77°F/25°C
July 66°F/19°C 97°F/36°C
October 55°F/13°C 84°F/28°C
Immunizations advice for Jordan:
No vaccinations are required to enter Jordan, although preventive shots for hepatitis, polio, tetanus, and typhoid are recommended. Travelers with personal health issues should consult their physicians before traveling. Medications should be carried in hand luggage along with passport, tickets, money, and other important belongings. Carry a small carry-on case with change and other essential for the layover in Sharjah. Don’t check this piece in.
Electric Outlets available in Jordan:
The electrical system in Jordan is based on 220 AC volts/50 cycles and requires two-pronged wall plugs, similar to ones found in parts of Europe.
Religion in Jordan:
The main religion in Jordan is Islam with 92% of the population being Muslim, but all religions are free to practice. 6% of the population is Christian, with the remaining 2% being a mix of other religions including Druze and Baha’i.
Smoking advice for Jordan:
Smoking is much more common in Jordan than in Europe or the United States, and smoke-free accommodation is relatively unusual (with the exception of larger hotels). Smoking the traditional water pipe or nargileh, also known as hubbly bubbly, is an interesting experience that visitors can try in any coffeehouse and many restaurants. The tobacco flavor is mild and mostly fruit-flavored. Most restaurants have smoking and non smoking areas. When smoking on road, pls drop the ash tray attached to the poles (Yes, it is for real!)
Tipping Tips for Jordan:
As a tourism based economy, Tipping is always appreciated. A 10% service charge is often added in hotels and restaurants, and extra tips are discretionary. In restaurants, for example, tipping an extra dinar for breakfast and two extra dinars for lunch and dinner is customary.
In general, you should plan to tip guides, drivers, and anyone else who performs a service for you in the amount you deem appropriate for the service rendered. Having small bills on hand makes tipping more convenient.
How To Reach: Air Arabia runs economic yet comfortable flights from India via U.A.E. Check my review of Air Arabia Flight.
The view from the Amman Citadel in Jordan
Below is a 7 day itinerary for Jordan. It is more suitable for luxury but adaptable for budget too:
- Arrive at Q.A.I. Airport on Air Arabia
- Check in at hotel in Amman Crowne Plaza Amman Hotel
- Lunch inside the hotel Al Halabi Restaurant
- Visit the site of Jerash
- Visit Citadel
- Visit Down Town Local Markets
- Rainbow Street
- Dinner Sufra Restaurant
- Overnight Crowne Plaza Amman Hotel
- Visit Royal Automobile in the morning
- Carry Shawerma & Falafel as take away lunch
- Drive down South to Petra
- 5:30 PM Early dinner with cooking class Petra Kitchen Rest.
- 8:30 PM Petra by night event
- Overnight Petra Guest House Hotel
- Half day visit to the site of Petra
- Lunch at Al Qantarah Restaurant near Petra
- Visit Little Petra
- Afternoon Drive to Wadi Rum
- Jeep tour in the desert. Visit the sun set point.
- Overnight Dinner and music program at Al Captain Camp
- Morning drive to Aqaba
- Lunch cruise with Yasmina Boat
- Check in Moevenpick Resort &Residences Aqaba
- Dinner Royal Yacht Club
- Shopping in the streets near the hotel
- Overnight Moevenpick Resort & residences Aqaba
- Morning drive from Aqaba to Dead Sea
- Check in Jordan Valley Marriott
- Lunch in the in house restaurant
- Time at Leisure
- Floating in Dead Sea
- Dinner inside hotel Italian Restaurant
- Overnight Jordan Valley Marriott Resort & Spa
- Visit Baptism Site
- Visit Mount Nebo
- Lunch at Haret Jdoudna, Madaba
- Continue the trip to visit Evason Mai’n Hot Springs
- Time at Leisure
- Dinner & overnight Evason Mai’n Hot Springs
- Transfer to Q.A.I. Airport to depart
Jordan Tourism Details:
P.O.Box 830688 Amman 11183 – Jordan Tel. (962 6) 5678294 Fax (962 6) 5678295
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NOTE: I was invited by Jordan Tourism Board to Jordan on a Press Trip
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