Wild Junket » Jordan http://www.wildjunket.com An adventure travel blog that brings you on a rollercoaster ride around the world Wed, 17 Sep 2014 15:32:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Featured Destination of the Month: Jordan http://www.wildjunket.com/2011/12/15/featured-destination-of-the-month-jordan/ http://www.wildjunket.com/2011/12/15/featured-destination-of-the-month-jordan/#comments Thu, 15 Dec 2011 07:00:58 +0000 http://www.wildjunket.com/?p=7602 Jordan: a land rich in centuries-old history, intriguing Bedouin culture and landscapes that range from vast red rose deserts to the legendary Dead Sea. Situated in the Middle East, Jordan has traditional Arabic flair blended into modern, advanced development, resulting in a safe and fulfilling destination to visit. The country has also gained quite a [...]

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Jordan: a land rich in centuries-old history, intriguing Bedouin culture and landscapes that range from vast red rose deserts to the legendary Dead Sea. Situated in the Middle East, Jordan has traditional Arabic flair blended into modern, advanced development, resulting in a safe and fulfilling destination to visit. The country has also gained quite a reputation for its outstanding wonders – the Petra, the Wadi Rum desert and the Dead Sea (lowest point in the world) to name a few. I’ve visited more than once and during all my visits, I’d been blown away by the outstanding beauty and diversity of Jordan. Undoubtedly, Jordan is one of my personal favorite countries in the world – having won my heart for its bounty of nature and adventurous activities on offer.

This month, we’ll be featuring Jordan as our destination of the month on WildJunket as well as our facebook page and twitter feed. Along with seven other bloggers, we will be featuring our Jordan articles over the next two days (15 and 16 Dec 2011). Feel free to join us on Twitter using the hashtag #GoJordan and join in our Jordan hour twitter chat on 16 December at 6pm CET (12 noon EST) where our group of bloggers will be online to help answer your questions on the unique destination.

To give you better perspective of the country, here’s a look at the various articles I’ve written on Jordan:

 

Canyons, Hot Springs and Roman Ruins: Jordan at First Glance

Highlights of Jordan – From the Desert to the Sea

Seeing Wadi Rum From Above

 

The Ancient City of Petra and Wadi Musa

Greco-Roman Ruins of Jerash, Jordan

Diving the Red Sea in Aqaba, Jordan

This campaign is brought to you in partnership with Visit Jordan and iambassador by Velvet Escape. Wild Junket maintains full editorial control of the content published on this blog.


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World’s Most Unearthly Landscapes http://www.wildjunket.com/2011/09/05/worlds-most-unearthly-landscapes/ http://www.wildjunket.com/2011/09/05/worlds-most-unearthly-landscapes/#comments Mon, 05 Sep 2011 15:58:14 +0000 http://www.wildjunket.com/?p=7146 Eerie, dramatic and enigmatic: certain landscapes on Earth can be so unworldly, they’re reminscent of scenes from outer space. Many of these hotspots have been sculpted by the hands of Mother Nature, moulded into intriguing destinations that have captivated the imagination of modern-day travelers. While space travel still seems to be a far stretch for [...]

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Eerie, dramatic and enigmatic: certain landscapes on Earth can be so unworldly, they’re reminscent of scenes from outer space. Many of these hotspots have been sculpted by the hands of Mother Nature, moulded into intriguing destinations that have captivated the imagination of modern-day travelers. While space travel still seems to be a far stretch for average travelers, why not check out these mind-blowing outer space destinations for now.

Cappadocia, Turkey

An expanse of sandy brown plateau topped by cascading cliffs, Cappadocia in Central Turkey features whimsical fairy chimneys, bizarre cave churches and maze-like underground cities. There are various ways to see it: on a hot-air balloon, on a jeep or by foot (the area has excellent hiking trails and open-air museums). Although its extraordinary landscape is now dominated by lavish cave hotels and restaurants, it remains a rather unique yet accessible place to visit. 

Click for more of my Cappadocia photos.

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Spanning across an area of 13,000 square kilometres, the dazzlingly white Uyuni Salt Flats resemble landscapes from the Moon. The shimmering salt fields are so clear they reflect the sky in perfect symmetry. In the immensity of the desert, it’s easy to fantasize about space travel, or even aspire to visit the Moon someday.

Click for more of my Salar de Uyuni photos.

Wadi Rum, Jordan

Affectionately known as the Valley of the Moon, Wadi Rum is a rose-red desert, sprinkled with jagged peaks in Southern Jordan. As the backdrop of various epic films, the desert has long drawn on the imagination of curious travelers. Camping in the Wadi Rum desert is definitely an amazing experience – picture sliding down sand dunes, watching sunset over the cliffs then sleeping under the stars by night.

 Click for more of my Wadi Rum photos

Lanzarote, Canary Islands

A volcanic island by nature, Lanzarote features bizarre lunar landscapes dotted with lime-green lagoons, craggy underground volcanic tunnels and massive fields of tar-like volcanic ashes (as a result of previous eruptions). It’s a place unlike no other, and you’d least expect to see such extraordinary terrain on a holidaymaker’s playground. Here, you’ll also see contemporary art weaved magically into nature – a result of Cesar Manrique’s contribution.

 Click for more of my Lanzarote photos

Tsingy de Bemahara, Madagascar

Climb above the canopies and sharp rock cliffs of the Tsingy de Bemahara in Western Madagascar and enter the world of outer space as imagined by the Flintstones. Tsingy forests feature sharp, grey rock karsts that poke vertically into the skies; some growing as tall as 200m. Formed millions of years ago by tectonic plate movements, these rock karsts were believed to form the ocean bed. In the Tsingy de Bemahara, harnessed climbing is only possible with a local guide.

Click for more of my Tsingy de Bemahara photos.

White Desert, Egypt

Get spooked by the vast whiteness of the Sahara el Beyda, where oddly-shaped chalk rock formations are strewn randomly throughout the desert amidst brown sand. Found in the Farafra Depression in Western Egypt, this desert is blanketed in a off-white, cream color, thanks to the result of occasional sandstone in the area. Camp out in the White Desert under the stars, sipping tea while listening to Bedouin tales – the magical setting will stir your imagination.

 Click for more of my White Desert photos

Socotra Island, Yemen

As one of the most isolated islands in the world, Socotra is rightfully home to some peculiar lifeforms and habitats. A combination of the long geological isolation of the Socotra archipelago and its fierce heat and drought have created a unique and spectacular endemic flora. Over a third of the lifeform found here are exclusive to the island, including the striking dragon’s blood tree – an obscure umbrella-shaped tree with red sap.

Photo by Boris Khvostichenko from Wikipedia Creative Commons.

Been to any other unworldy sites? Charm us with more space-like destinations!

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Daily Travel Snapshot: Panorama of Wadi Ghweir, Jordan http://www.wildjunket.com/2011/08/26/daily-travel-snapshot-panorama-of-wadi-ghweir-jordan/ http://www.wildjunket.com/2011/08/26/daily-travel-snapshot-panorama-of-wadi-ghweir-jordan/#comments Fri, 26 Aug 2011 01:30:04 +0000 http://www.wildjunket.com/?p=7104 Hiking through the narrow canyon of Wadi Ghweir in Jordan.

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Hiking through the narrow canyon of Wadi Ghweir in Jordan.

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Daily Travel Snapshot: Ma’in, Jordan http://www.wildjunket.com/2011/07/27/daily-travel-snapshot-main-jordan/ http://www.wildjunket.com/2011/07/27/daily-travel-snapshot-main-jordan/#comments Wed, 27 Jul 2011 01:30:52 +0000 http://www.wildjunket.com/?p=6736 The plunging hot-spring waterfalls of Ma’in, Jordan.

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The plunging hot-spring waterfalls of Ma’in, Jordan.

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Diving the Red Sea in Aqaba, Jordan http://www.wildjunket.com/2011/06/28/diving-the-red-sea-aqaba-jordan/ http://www.wildjunket.com/2011/06/28/diving-the-red-sea-aqaba-jordan/#comments Tue, 28 Jun 2011 15:27:00 +0000 http://www.wildjunket.com/2011/06/28/diving-the-red-sea-aqaba-jordan/ As we descend into the depths of the Red Sea, the strong waves and whipping winds are replaced by clear-as-glass water and a kaleidoscope of colors. Marine life of all sizes and characteristics surround us. As Barbara and I slowly make our way through the sprawling coral gardens, we spot hundreds of different fishes and [...]

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As we descend into the depths of the Red Sea, the strong waves and whipping winds are replaced by clear-as-glass water and a kaleidoscope of colors. Marine life of all sizes and characteristics surround us. As Barbara and I slowly make our way through the sprawling coral gardens, we spot hundreds of different fishes and corals.

Through my mask, it’s hard to see the excitement on my face underwater, but I’m shrieking like a child in a candy store. Swimming close to the corals, we see the cute orange-and-white anemone fish slithering amongst bubble-like corals, the rainbow-colored parrotfish nibbling on plants and the rather amusing-looking masked pufferfish seemingly half awake.

Colorful Marine Life

We’re diving just metres away from the shore of Aqaba, Jordan, along a reef that slopes down from 10 to 18m deep (rather shallow for divers); yet we’re already surrounded by the richest marine life I’ve ever seen. The visibility is also nothing like I’ve ever seen. This dive site, known as the Japanese Garden, is famed for its colorful array of fauna and collection of hard and soft corals.

Barbara, my trusty dive buddy, is the expert – she knows where to spot the good stuff. With her guidance, I wriggle my finger through the soft flurry hairs of the tree coral and glide by the cube boxfish while staring into its eyes. Just before making our ascent, Barbara guides me towards to the bottom of the coral gardens. There, hidden within the coral fans, is the gorgeous, flamboyant lionfish: all coy and wary but stunning nonetheless. That just about made this my favorite diving experience ever.

Protected Marine Reserve

As a veteran diver who’s chalked up over 300 dives, Barbara is a German doctor who splits her time between home and the Red Sea. Now working for Sea Guard Diving, she spends her summers showing divers some of her favorite diving spots in the world. Back on land, she tells me why she chose Jordan, “Four countries share the Red Sea: Egypt, Jordan, Israel and Saudi Arabia,” I nod.

Floating in the Red Sea, I can see the four distinctly different beach towns in the near distance. “Amongst the four countries, Jordan does the best job of protecting its part of the Red Sea. Its entire 30-km long coastline is a marine reserve, where fishing and other human activities are prohibited. As compared to Egypt, Jordan is not over-run by dive operators and you often get a more personal and exclusive experience here rather than other parts of the Red Sea.”

Barbara has me so convinced that I’m pretty sure I’ll be back in the Red Sea pretty soon.

Essential Information

How to Get there: Aqaba is a one-hour flight away from Amman via Royal Jordanian Airlines. It’s also accessible by fast boat from Nuweiba or Taba in Egypt. If you’re coming from Wadi Rum or Petra, it’s just a short bus ride away (approx 1 hour).

Where to Stay: There’s a wide selection of hotels and guesthouses in Aqaba. My stay was hosted by Radisson Blu Tala Bay Resort, a gorgeous property along the quiet Tala Bay. I highly recommend it for those looking to splurge and unwind.

Scuba-diving info: Sea Guard Diving provides leisure dives as well as PADI open-water courses for those interested in getting certified. For more info, head on their website to check out details.


This trip was made possible by Jordan Tourism Board and Sea Guard Diving, but all opinions are my own. Read more about my travels in Jordan here.Photos above were provided by VisitJordan.

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Photoblog: Greco-Roman Ruins of Jerash, Jordan http://www.wildjunket.com/2011/06/22/photoblog-greco-roman-ruins-of-jerash-jordan/ http://www.wildjunket.com/2011/06/22/photoblog-greco-roman-ruins-of-jerash-jordan/#comments Wed, 22 Jun 2011 01:37:00 +0000 http://www.wildjunket.com/2011/06/22/photoblog-greco-roman-ruins-of-jerash-jordan/ When the Romans ruled the world, they left behind a legacy, one that would stay with us for milleniums. As a history buff, Roman ruins always have that wow effect on me. With their sheer size and grandeur, I find it hard to imagine that they were built thousands of years ago. Most of the [...]

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When the Romans ruled the world, they left behind a legacy, one that would stay with us for milleniums. As a history buff, Roman ruins always have that wow effect on me. With their sheer size and grandeur, I find it hard to imagine that they were built thousands of years ago. Most of the world-famous Roman ruins like the Panthenon, Coliseum and Esphesus are found in the heart of the Roman Empire – in modern-day Rome, Greece and Turkey. So it came as quite a surprise to find such a well-preserved and massive Greco-Roman ruin site in Jordan, a country associated more with the Arab Revolt than the Romans.

During my recent visit to Jordan, we drove an hour north of Amman, Jordan’s capital, through green olive groves and grey granite mountains (another surprise!) to arrive at the ancient Greco-Roman city of Jerash. From afar, the archaelogical site sprawled across the hilltops of Jerash – covering an extensive area that must have been the city center during the Roman conquest.  The main entrance of the historical site is the Hadrian Gate, an imposing sandstone structure made of three arches, built to commemorate the Roman Emperor Hadrian’s visit.

Hadrian’s Gate

To learn abit more about the ancient Roman city, visit the Temple of Zeus Museum within the archaeological site itself. Recently opened by a French archaeological organization, the museum showcases columns, mosaics and paintings dating back to the Hellenistic period.

 

 

Another impressive building in the ancient site is the South Theatre, a surprisingly well-preserved amphitheatre that could sit up to 2000 people back in those days. The acoustics of the theatre is astonishing: stand in the center of the theatre and shout – you’ll hear your echoes bouncing back from the theatre walls.

 

Columns of the South Temple

 

 

The Cardo – a walkway that cuts through the city center, typically found in most Greco-Roman cities.

All in all, I found the Jerash Roman ruins to be as impressive as those in Athens and Rome. So if you’re looking to see a different side of Jordan, be sure to pay a visit to Jerash. You won’t be disappointed.


This trip was made possible by Jordan Tourism Board, but all opinions are my own. Read more about my travels in Jordan here.

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Photoblog: The Ancient City of Petra and Wadi Musa http://www.wildjunket.com/2011/06/13/photoblog-the-ancient-city-of-petra-and-wadi-musa/ http://www.wildjunket.com/2011/06/13/photoblog-the-ancient-city-of-petra-and-wadi-musa/#comments Mon, 13 Jun 2011 07:26:00 +0000 http://www.wildjunket.com/2011/06/13/photoblog-the-ancient-city-of-petra-and-wadi-musa/ Mention Jordan and the image of Petra comes to mind. Not just Petra, but specifically its iconic rose-red building, the Treasury or al Khazneh. As a symbol of Jordan, the Treasury is strikingly stunning; but it is also just one of the thousands of impressive rock-cut buildings in the ancient city. In Petra, there is [...]

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Mention Jordan and the image of Petra comes to mind. Not just Petra, but specifically its iconic rose-red building, the Treasury or al Khazneh. As a symbol of Jordan, the Treasury is strikingly stunning; but it is also just one of the thousands of impressive rock-cut buildings in the ancient city. In Petra, there is no shortage of archaeological findings, caves and rock art. And if you’re not a history buff, then take your time to explore the sandstone canyons and network of hiking trails in the surrounding Wadi Musa.

 

A Lesson in Nabataean History

Once in Petra, it’s easy to see why it was voted as one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. Its sheer size and grandeur is impressive even for the most seasoned traveler and history expert. Established sometime around the 6th century BC as the capital city of the Nabataeans, Petra was the stronghold of this powerful civilization that spread across Northern Saudi Arabia, Southern Syria and parts of Israel.

Located on the slope of Mount Hor and the edge of Wadi Araba, Petra was the main caravan stopover and the main headquarters for trading. The Nabataeans traded extensively with the Greeks, Romans and Egyptians – thus they were influenced by them in many ways (you can spot the Egyptian obelisks and Egyptian Sun God in Petra).

 

The Treasury

The walk towards the Treasury is quite a visual feast: you start from the main entrance of the historical site lined with tombs and caves before entering the naturally-formed narrow canyon called the Siq. It meanders for 1.3km along sandstone gravels before opening up to a grand view of the Treasury.

The Treasury was named by the Bedouins as they believed that it was the place where the Nabataeans hid their treasure. It was later found that the Treasury is actually a tomb for one of the Nabataean kings. Bedouins lived in the caves of Petra (there are over 5,000) up until 1983, when the last family was moved out to the nearby village.

The People and Camels

Jordanians are famed for their hospitality and wide smiles. “Welcome!” resonates throughout my trip through Jordan. Petra is a playground for the Bedouins who grew up here. Along the way, you’ll meet plenty who are more than happy to chat.

The royal guard of the Treasury

 

The Monastery

Perched on the edge of the Petra Mountains overlooking Wadi Araba, the Monastery is the biggest building in the ancient city. Spotting a facade resembling that of the Treasury, the Monastery is much bigger in size and thus more regal in appearance. Carved out of the surrounding rock cliffs, it is a sheer work of art.

From the restaurant/museum within the historical site, there is a trail that leads all the way up to the Monastery. The trail is easy but steep (over 800 steps) and takes just about 45minutes each way.

From the Monastery, there are various viewpoints that you can scramble up to for a panorama of the area. The picture below was shot from the Sacrifice Viewpoint where you can get a 360degrees view of both the Monastery and the sprawling desert of Wadi Araba.

 

Petra By Night

If you’re looking for a refreshing way to see Petra, I’d highly recommend visiting Petra by night (12JD, tickets available at entrance). Walking through the candle-lit canyons under the starry skies is an experience on its own, culminating at the base of the Treasury where hundreds of candles illuminate it in a dreamy shade of red.

Petra by night is not just a simple nocturnal visit of the historical site -  It’s an experiential walk into the Nabataean history and culture. As I arrive at the Treasury, carpets are laid on the ground for visitors to sip tea and soak in the surrounding in silence. Soon enough, beautiful traditional music echo in the distance and a Bedouin man appears, strumming the rebab (a string instrument) before playing the flute. Hundreds of visitors sit and listen in awe as the Bedouins bring us on a journey into their world.

 

 


This trip was made possible by Jordan Tourism Board, but all opinions are my own. Read more about my travels in Jordan here.

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Seeing Wadi Rum From Above http://www.wildjunket.com/2011/06/10/jordan-seeing-wadi-rum-from-above/ http://www.wildjunket.com/2011/06/10/jordan-seeing-wadi-rum-from-above/#comments Fri, 10 Jun 2011 07:30:00 +0000 http://www.wildjunket.com/2011/06/10/jordan-seeing-wadi-rum-from-above/ As my pilot starts the engine, I put on his Vin Diesel jacket and batman shades and buckle up. Within seconds, we are airborne, flying just inches away from the jebels or rock towers of Wadi Rum in Southern Jordan. I don’t care if the morning wind is whipping across my face – the view [...]

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As my pilot starts the engine, I put on his Vin Diesel jacket and batman shades and buckle up. Within seconds, we are airborne, flying just inches away from the jebels or rock towers of Wadi Rum in Southern Jordan. I don’t care if the morning wind is whipping across my face – the view before me is too distracting. I see a blanket of gold studded with grey landforms: the desert sprawls beneath my feet, with the occasional rock formations poking into the skies.

Flying on a Microlight

I’ve flown on a floatplane in Alaska, floated on a hot air balloon in Cappadocia and skydived in Spain, but nothing quite prepared me for this flight on a microlight. A microlight is basically a 1 or 2-person aircraft, similar in design to a hang-glider but equipped with an engine and landing gear. So as you can imagine, a microlight allows you to glide close enough to mountain peaks and yet high enough to get a bird’s eye view.

“Wohoooo!” Once we’re mid-air, I hear a loud cheer through my headphones and see Zsolt, my pilot, grinning like a child. He’s flown the microlight for 16 years but he’s never lost one bit of passion. As we whizz between two giant rock towers, we cheer and laugh like we’re on a rollercoaster ride.  I stare in awe as the desert runs for miles beyond the horizon – and I see him equally distracted by the stunning views of Wadi Rum.

“It’s beautiful here isn’t it? I’ve flown in Jordan for close to a decade and I can never get bored of its beauty.” Zsolt Petrovszki is a native Hungarian, who’s flown all sorts of aircraft around the world, but has now chosen to call Jordan home.

A Love Affair with Jordan and the Microlight

He’s flown commerical and private aircrafts, done paragliding for years and now has fallen head over heels for the microlight. I can easily see why: it’s a perfect combination of flying with an engine (which means speed) and feeling the wind in your face (a thrill that airplane-flying does not provide). The microlight can fly up to a maximum of 4,000 feet and can fly for over 2.5hours without refueling.

Why Jordan? I ask. He says simply, “Look around you. There’s nowhere else like this in the world.” Indeed, Wadi Rum is something special – the colors of the desert change like a chameleon upon the reflection of the sun’s rays, while its topography transform unpredictably as we swoosh from one point to another.

Floating on a Hot Air Balloon

As soon as I descend from the microlight, I’m up in the skies again – this time, on a hot air balloon. The occasional bellow of the hot air pierces through the tranquility as the glaring sun showers the desert with its light. In the wispy morning air, I can see grey jagged peaks beneath me and the dreamy Red Sea in the distance.

Wadi Rum is a perfect place for hot air ballooning: there’s so much to see from above and plenty of surprises at each corner. At an altitude of 7,000 feet,  I get a refreshing perspective of the vast desert and its peculiar rock formations, sand dunes and the occasional natural springs. It’s easy to see why Wadi Rum is also known as the Valley of the Moon.

We find ourselves floating solo in Wadi Rum, there are no other hot-air balloons in sight. A stark difference to my previous hot air ballooning experience in Turkey (literally thousands of us). Despite being in a group of 15, we are struck speechless by the beauty surrounding us – so much so, there’s a soothing, comfortable silence as we let the wind take us.

Khalid, my balloon pilot tells me why hot air ballooning is a good way to see Jordan, “Every visitor flocks to Petra, the Dead Sea and Wadi Rum. But we break convention and go up to the skies and get away from the crowd. Get away from everyone.”


 Royal Aero Sports Club of Jordan is the only aviation company that offers hot-air balloon tours and microlight flights. To make your reservation, go to their website or call +962 79 8706 622.

Disclaimer: This experience was made possible by Jordan Tourism Board, but all opinions are my own. Read more about my travels in Jordan here.

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Highlights of Jordan – From the Desert to the Sea http://www.wildjunket.com/2011/06/09/highlights-of-jordan-from-the-desert-to-the-sea/ http://www.wildjunket.com/2011/06/09/highlights-of-jordan-from-the-desert-to-the-sea/#comments Thu, 09 Jun 2011 07:32:00 +0000 http://www.wildjunket.com/2011/06/09/highlights-of-jordan-from-the-desert-to-the-sea/ I’m still spinning in ecstasy from my week-long trip to Jordan – jam-packed with adventures, phenomenal sights and out-of-this-world experiences. We went from frosty mountain peaks to sprawling deserts to the breezy sea. Few countries offer as much diversity as Jordan: its distinctive terrains all within a few hours’ drive away from one another.  It [...]

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I’m still spinning in ecstasy from my week-long trip to Jordan – jam-packed with adventures, phenomenal sights and out-of-this-world experiences. We went from frosty mountain peaks to sprawling deserts to the breezy sea. Few countries offer as much diversity as Jordan: its distinctive terrains all within a few hours’ drive away from one another.  It was not my first visit to Jordan, yet it felt like I was getting to know the country from brand new perspectives. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be writing about the various regions and aspects of Jordan. Meanwhile, here are some of the highlights of my trip.

Wadi Rum Desert

Wadi Rum, the massive rose-red valley that sprawls across Southern Jordan, is most famous for its Bedouins and awe-striking jebels (rock towers). During my 4×4 desert tour, we navigated through red karsts, narrow canyons and slided down dunes. At sunset, I climbed up to one of the jebels and watched the beautiful play of colors. That night, I drank tea with the local Bedouins and slept under the stars at the Captain’s Desert Camp.

 

Seven Pillars of Wisdom in Wadi Rum

Seeing Wadi Rum from above was one of the most amazing experiences in my life – I went on both the microlight (pseudo-paragliding) and the hot-air balloon at daybreak and saw Wadi Rum work its magic.

 

 

Offbeat Nature Reserves

Jordan is home to a number of nature reserves that are protected by the non-profit organization RSCN (Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature). Most of these nature reserves are well off the tourist trail and offer some of the best hiking opportunities in Jordan. I had the chance to explore the Dana Nature Reserve (highlands), Mujib Nature Reserve (hiking through canyons and water streams) and Wadi Ghweir. Wadi Ghweir might not a nature reserve, but it’s one of the best-kept secrets, with dramatic variations in landscapes and flora and fauna.

Dana Nature Reserve

Granite cliffs are replaced by sandstone rocks in Wadi Ghweir

Ancient Ruins

Jordan bears witness to millenniums of history, with the oldest ruins dating back to prehistoric times. Having been home to the Nabateans, Romans and Arabs, Jordan has plenty to stories to tell, through its numerous historical sites and museums. Two of the most important historical sites in Jordan are Jerash, an impressive Roman city, and Petra, the massive ancient city voted as one of the new 7 wonders of the world.

The impressive Monastery that sits on the top of the ancient city of Petra.

   Columns of the Roman city, Jerash

 

The Dead Sea

The legendary Dead Sea is the lowest point in the world and the saltiest sea on the planet (30% of salt). I’d long dreamt of floating in the Dead Sea, especially since my father has got psoriasis and the Dead Sea is just about his only cure. Although my father still hasn’t made it here, I’m pretty sure we’ll be back soon.

  That’s me, floating in the Dead Sea.

Diving the Red Sea

My dive off the coast of Aqaba was one of the best dives I’ve ever done – both in terms of visibility and marine life. The Red Sea is bursting with colorful aquatic life and dotted with larger-than-life coral gardens. I did just one dive, but probably saw more than what I’d seen during my open-water PADI course. Amidst the corals, we spotted lion fish, butterfly fish, puffer fish and swordfish.

Aqaba Underwater 12


This trip was made possible by Jordan Tourism Board, but all opinions are my own. Read more about my travels in Jordan here.

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Canyons, Hot Springs and Roman Ruins: Jordan at First Glance http://www.wildjunket.com/2011/05/30/canyons-hot-springs-and-roman-ruins-jordan-at-first-glance/ http://www.wildjunket.com/2011/05/30/canyons-hot-springs-and-roman-ruins-jordan-at-first-glance/#comments Sun, 29 May 2011 21:33:00 +0000 http://www.wildjunket.com/2011/05/30/canyons-hot-springs-and-roman-ruins-jordan-at-first-glance/ This week, I’m in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for a week of adventure. The last time I was here, Jordan blew my mind away with its extraordinary landscapes, rich culture and good food. To me, the journey to Jordan felt like a less-trodden path in comparison to Egypt and Israel. A pity we had [...]

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This week, I’m in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for a week of adventure. The last time I was here, Jordan blew my mind away with its extraordinary landscapes, rich culture and good food. To me, the journey to Jordan felt like a less-trodden path in comparison to Egypt and Israel. A pity we had spent so little time in Jordan – I promised myself I would return someday to dig a little deeper so I’m thrilled to be back here exploring a bit more of Jordan.

I’ve just arrived in Amman, the capital of Jordan, ready to get reacquainted with this country. On my way here, I was slightly nervous – feeling as though I was about to reunite with an ex-lover. Would Jordan be as amazing as I’d remember it to be? Or would it disappoint?

The minute I arrived, I knew  I didn’t have to worry. The Arabic scribbles, the chaotic traffic, the smiles of the people and colors of its food told me I was at the right place. Beautiful memories came flooding back, leaving me craving for more.

As a guest of the Jordan Tourism Board, I’ll be traipsing around the entire country and experiencing both its major highlights and offbeat corners. From Amman, we headed to the historic city of Jerash to visit its impressive display of Roman ruins before crossing the majestic Ma’in Valley to get to the hot springs esconced within. Over the week, we’ll be hiking through the Dana Nature Reserve, staying at a Bedouin camp in Wadi Rum, floating at the Dead Sea and diving to the depths of the Red Sea. I’ll be reporting back shortly, in the meantime, here are a few of the snapshots I took today – enjoy!

  An oval-shaped plaza in the ancient ruins of Jerash.

     The South Amphitheatre in Jerash

Reaching for the sky – Roman columns in Jerash

Beautiful plate of Jordanian sweets

Shish kebab fresh from the grill

 

Hot spring waterfalls at Ma’in

 

 

  Stylish wooden furnishing at the Evason Six Senses Ma’in

  Leafy olive garden in the Ma’in hot springs resort


This trip was made possible by Jordan Tourism Board, but all opinions are my own. Read more about my travels in Jordan here.

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