20 Things Women Should
Know Before Visiting Jordan...
Al-Pasha Turkish Bath
- Ladies, this is an absolute must.
You'll spend two hours in an authentically designed
Turkish bath and emerge completely relaxed and with
skin as smooth as a baby's bottom. Address: 1st Circle
Opposite C.M.S. Kinder Garden, Tel: 962 6 4633002, Website:
Visit Jabal Al-Qala'a
-- Perched on top of the city’s
highest hill these ancient ruins in the middle of Amman
are absolutely beautiful, especially in the late afternoon.
This site is recognized for its historical importance
and its 'special place in the hearts of Amman residents.'
Visit the Royal Automobile
Museum and Memorial Park in Amman --
the late King Hussein's car collection is incredible
even for those who don't appreciate cars. Also, provides
an interesting perspective on Jordanian royalty. www.royalautomuseum.jo
or call (+962-6) 5411392.
Visit downtown --
to truly get a taste of Amman, take a taxi to Wasaht
al-Balad (literal meaning is middle of the city) and
browse through the many little shops. Be sure to bargain
for the souvenirs you'd like to bring home with you.
After a couple hours, head to Hashem's for some of their
famous falafel (that's all they serve). Even King Hussein
ate their once.
single women go downtown without being hassled?
foreign women dressed appropriately would be able to
shop downtown alone. However, it won't exactly be comfortable.
Expect to get a lot of stares and maybe an overly helpful
salesperson but that would be about it. It is inevitable.
Staring is not considered rude in Jordanian culture.
It doesn't matter where you are, people will look at
you but it isn't meant to be threatening or strange.
As a foreign woman, you are interesting and they are
simply observing you. Another point to make here is
that staring and possibly some uncomfortable things
might be said but this is the end of such behavior.
In this culture a very strict social distance is observed
between men and women and physical contact between the
two is inappropriate. All you might see are grown men
and women holding hands and kissing each other on the
cheek. That said, if possible go shopping with another
woman. It will be easier for you and women typically
travel in pairs or groups of three anyway.
Editors Note: I
definitely appreciate the men who follow the rules of
their culture re: distance between men and women. I
am much more concerned about 'antisocial' men who don't
follow their society's rules. Click
here and scroll down to read, 'Jordanian men will
Visit the Dead Sea Movenpick
Resort -- purchase a day pass which
offers access to the Dead Sea and its famous mud, plus
a fantastic pool with bar and food. Be
very sure to pack sunscreen. This sun is hot! For more
Try snorkeling in the
Red Sea at Aqaba -- we stayed at the
Royal Diving Club and snorkeled all morning because
the water was so pleasant and the fish and coral were
other-worldly. Cool off later with a lemon and mint
juice. Website: www.coralbayaqaba.com
or call 962 3 2015555
Stay at a bedouin camp
in Wadi Rum -- Captain's
Desert Camp is a beautiful and comfortable camp
tucked into the side of a mountain in Wadi Rum. It's
operated by a company that has many different tourist
operations around Jordan and from what I've heard their
others places are very pleasant as well. Your visit
includes dinner (the lamb kebabs, mint tea, and handmade
bread are amazing) and you sleep in cozy, clean tents.
Bathrooms are well-kept and clean as well. Call the
Wadi Rum Visitor Center at this telephone number: 962
3 2090600, and they can give you the number for the
mini guide to Petra...
is amazing. This is Jordan's biggest tourist attraction.
Imagine a city carved into the face of pure rock. You'll
need at least one full day to devote to Petra because
it takes about three to four hours to get there from
Amman and it's an hour from Aqaba. Once you get there,
you will need to pay an entrance fee of around 33 JD
(approximately $US47) for a one-day pass. Expect a two
mile walk to the Treasury and the main entrance to Petra.
You'll want to take your time here because this Siq
(gorge road) is streaked with different colored rocks
and there are small alcoves that dot the cliffside that
once held offerings and statues. You'll emerge from
the Siq into a wide area and the Treasury of Petra looms
above you in all its splendor. They do not allow tourists
to go inside anymore because it is hazardous to the
site but you can take photos.
important to mention here is that there are people at
this point offering camel and donkey rides for outrageous
prices. We were advised against taking them because
of a variety of reasons (safety and the way the animals
are treated) so it would be my suggestion to avoid them
because they are tourist traps. If you want to ride
a camel, go to Wadi Rum and set up a camel ride with
a guide there! From here, you can wander down the rock
corridor and you will come across cliffs that are riddled
with mausoleums and tombs. Our guide told us that Petra
was a 'city of tombs' and some famous Roman emperors
and desert kings have their tombs here. There's also
the only Roman ampitheatre that was carved into rock
and an old Roman street which is very interesting as
well. After this, there are decent restaurants to take
a break at but just be prepared to spend more for what
you are getting than you would elsewhere in Jordan.
Finally, there is the Monastery (also carved into the
face of the mountain) which can only be reached by climbing
about 800 stairs up to the top. If you are capable of
doing it then the feeling of accomplishment and the
views are well worth the effort.
be sure to keep drinking water, wear comfortable clothing
that you can climb or hike in, and shoes with traction.
Many people think that wearing shorts and tank tops
are the best way to stay cool but, in fact, protecting
your skin from the direct heat of the sun is much more
effective. I recommend loose linen pants, a cotton shirt,
a hat and sunglasses.