7 things you didn't know about Jordan.
Things you didn't know
There is no country in the world where we as tourists have felt so welcome. Mexico came close but in Jordan everyone is really friendly and hospitable. Even the police at the side of the road speak to you in a friendly way and during one of the many checks on the road, you as a tourist are allowed to just drive on after a little chat. Residents are also helpful. In many restaurants or businesses, you will also be offered something for free. For example, we went to eat a cake at a local bakery in Madaba and got another one for free and they went to buy water specially for us because they saw that we were thirsty too. Aside from the delicious cakes, the people are also welcoming.
You might not expect it, but Jordan is a hugely expensive country. Their currency, the Jordanian Dinar, is higher than the Euro and you notice it. Prices in restaurants and stores are slightly higher than we are used to in Belgium and the Netherlands. Admission tickets for activities are also on the high side. It is a prosperous country in the Middle East. Then again, the prices for gasoline there are not as high as in our country. And that has everything to do with neighboring countries like Saudi Arabia that produce oil making imports cheaper. So for a cheap trip, you should definitely not go to Jordan. But, of course, you can save quite a bit on overnight stays.
3 Roadtrip country
You may not have known it yet, but Jordan is ideal for taking a road trip. More than its neighbors in the Middle East, Jordan is fully equipped to take scenic road trips. From desert to sea to mountains, there are so many different landscapes to observe. Make sure you have enough fuel because gas stations are only encountered every few kilometers. You also don’t just come across restaurants on the side of the road. You can usually find these only in cities.
Since tourism has not yet fully blossomed there, you would think that most residents speak poor English. However, this is not the case at all. Most of the inhabitants are perfectly bilingual (Arabic and English) and sometimes they also speak French and a little German. Especially in tourist areas like near Petra. We even encountered two locals who spoke a little Dutch. Jordanians really do their best to approach you in the best possible way. So you shouldn’t be afraid of a language barrier. Even if you should encounter someone who can’t speak English, they will still help you whenever possible.
5 Short flight
Jordan is located in Asia but that doesn’t automatically mean you have to fly far. From Belgium you can reach the capital Amman after a flight of about five hours. So not much longer than to, say, Egypt. But the country has so much more to offer! So it’s worth to choose this destination as well.
6 Luxury Hotels
What we did not expect from Jordan in advance is the huge range of luxury hotels. We have stayed there in the most beautiful hotels we have ever stayed in. Our favorites? UFO Luxotel in Wadi Rum and Ma’In Resort & Spa at Ma’In Falls. These two hotels are a true experience. The locations are stunning and they are both very well decorated. Jordanian style is flashy with gold details and prints, but always classy and comfortable. So you certainly don’t have to compromise on comfort. The electrical connection is also the same as in Belgium and the Netherlands. So you don’t need to bring a special world plug if you stay in hotels or hostels.
7 Fauna and flora
Another thing you don’t expect from a country with a huge desert is an extensive fauna and flora. Jordan is a small country but with a huge variety of trees, plants, flowers and also animals. We saw many mammals and birds. Near the waterfalls and hot springs in Ma’In, it is a beautiful scene to see a flock of birds flying off and on. That along with a radiant sun make this place as if you’re in paradise. You’ll also find lots of fresh fruit, including pomegranates and figs.