The Wonders of Wadi Rum

My 9-day adventure in Jordan was coming to an end. After 2 days of exploring Petra, it was time for me to move on further south of the country to experience the wonders of the desert – the wonders of Wadi Rum. Wadi Rum is often associated with the British officer T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) who spent a significant amount of time in this desert during the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire during 1917 to 1918. Fans of the 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia will recognise the Wadi Rum landscape which is not so much sand dunes like

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In Pictures: The Bedouins of Petra

Just as tourists are fascinated by the ancient Nabatean lost city, Petra, many are equally enchanted by its inhabitants – the Bedouins. The Bedouin tribes claimed to be the direct descendants of the Nabateans and that they had inherited Petra from their ancestors. Therefore it is presumed that the tribes have had been living in this area for over a hundred years or more. The Bedouins were once nomads, earning their livelihood from breeding goats, sheep and horses, and making and selling yogurt and cheese. After some time, they changed their nomadic habits for a more stable existence by living

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A Guide To Walking Trails in Petra

As soon as I returned from Jordan in May, the immediate questions that family and friends asked were not about my general experience travelling in Jordan but specifically about Petra. “Did you go to Petra, is it like in Indiana Jones?” “You went to Jordan? Oh my god, Petra!!” “How was Petra?”, “I hope you went to Petra!” People tend to associate Jordan with Petra only. It is not surprising because there is indeed something extraordinary about Petra. Each time I see images of Petra, it takes my breath away. However, the image that one often sees of Petra is

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King’s Highway Jordan: Wadi Mujib and Kerak Castle

To travel from Amman/Madaba to Petra, travellers have the option to drive on the Desert Highway or the King’s Highway in Jordan. I would recommend the King’s Highway because this scenic route follows a zigzag course that cuts through several deep valleys, offering scenic views of rugged terrains and steep canyons. The Desert Highway, on the other hand, is a straight dual highway which is a faster route to Petra but the journey can be monotonous. The journey on the King’s Highway takes a little longer time but, after driving past rolling arid fields and through winding roads up and

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Madaba Day Trip to Mount Nebo, Bethany, Dead Sea

When I was in Madaba, I went for a half-day excursion to biblical sites close to town. Those sites are Mount Nebo, Bethany and the Dead Sea. Tourists can also go on a similar excursion from Amman but I preferred to go from Madaba as the distance to the biblical sites were closer and accommodation were actually cheaper than Amman. Mount Nebo Mount Nebo holds a great significance for the 3 major religions in the world: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Having led the Israelites from the wilderness after 40 years ago, it was here – at a vantage point – Moses

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Reviewed: Moab Land Hotel

I stayed at the Moab Land Hotel, a hostel situated literally across the road from the Greek Orthodox Basilica of St George, or simply, St. George Church. The word ‘hotel’ is rather misleading for the prices they charge but it’s actually a hostel consisting of private double rooms and mixed dormitories. There are not many accommodations available in Madaba because the town is rather small with population of only 60,000. Majority of the accommodations are family-run and the most luxurious hotel that you can find is a 4-star Best Western hotel. In addition, there are travellers’ accommodations run by the

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Mosaics of Madaba

Imagine living in a town where your backyard is now part of an Archaeological Park, a museum of mosaics unearthed from an early Byzantine church buried underneath rubbles, rocks and sand? Pretty cool, huh? The town is called Madaba – a laid-back town of 60,000 people – and is best known for its Byzantine mosaics preserved in churches and museums. Many tourists come to Madaba for a fleeting visit to see the mosaic map of the Holy Land but I wanted to experience something more from this town. I wanted to walk along the narrow streets and wander around the

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Ancient Cities of Jerash and Amman Citadel

The day after I explored the modern and contemporary art of Amman, I went back in time to explore the historical ruins of Amman – Jerash and the Amman Citadel. Jerash is located 48km north of Amman and is now the second-most popular tourist attraction in Jordan, after Petra, due to its ancient sites as one of the best-preserved Greco-Roman cities of eastern Mediterranean. Based on archaeological evidence, Jerash was inhabited since the Paleolithic and Neolithic times (that’s 18,000 years ago!) but this fertile valley attracted settlement in 3rd century BC and was declared as one of the Decapolis cities (“ten cities”

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Reviewed: Toledo Hotel, Amman

It can be disconcerting when arriving in a city or country never visited before to find your airport pick-up from the hotel did not arrive on time. I have had my share of such experiences. Thankfully, that didn’t happen when I arrived in Amman. The moment I exit from the airport, I was grateful to see my name on the placard held by the driver sent by Toledo Hotel – nothing is ever more reassuring than that. The arrival experience continued to be pleasant the instant I stepped into Toledo Hotel, the hotel that I stayed for two nights in Amman.

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Artsy Amman

An interesting observation of the questions asked of me when I returned from Jordan. Apart from “Is Jordan safe?”, the ones I found amusing were “Did you go to Petra, is it like in Indiana Jones?” , “You went to Jordan? Oh my god, Petra!!”, “How was Petra?”, “I hope you went to Petra!”. Of course I went to Petra, it would be a travesty if I didn’t! I appreciate your questions and am more than happy to share with you about my thoughts on Jordan…and Petra. But nobody has asked me about things to see and do in the

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