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Jordan - Traveling

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Entry requirements

Organizing your trip

Means of transport recommended in town

Two means of transport can be used in town. On the one hand there are taxis. They have a meter and the fare for some rides such as that to the airport is fixed by the government. Their level of English is sufficient to understand directions and destinations. Buses are inexpensive but their routes are mostly written in Arabic.
Maps of urban networks: Maporama

Means of transport recommended in the rest of the country

The most convenient means of traveling in the country are shared taxis, minibuses and buses. Shared taxis have between 5 and 7 seats. They only leave when all the seats are occupied. They are as cheap as buses but they go much faster. They are white and have set, regular lines. All towns are served by buses or minibuses. Minibuses only leave when they are full. Buses have fixed schedules. The public company Jordan Express Tourist Transport manages the buses. From the point of view of trains, there is only one line which transports passengers, the Hedjaz line which links Amman to Damas in 8 hours. Domestic flights are limited. There is only one link Amman/Aqaba operated by Royal Jordanian Airlines.
Rail companies: Jordan Hedjaz Railways
Airlines
Name Type Domestic flights International flights
Royal Jordanian Airlines Major yes (link with Aqaba) Yes

Traveling by yourself

Recommendation: Road safety is not guaranteed: drivers often drive dangerously. It is preferable in the event of a non serious accident to try and find an amicable arrangement, since Jordanians are usually badly or not insured. However, in more serious cases, call the police to have a report drawn up. When there are Jordanian victims involved, it is advisable to go directly to the nearest police station to protect oneself against a possible hostile reaction from witnesses.
Find an itinerary: Generator of itineraries

Visiting

Different forms of tourism

Historical: Petra is one of the few magic places in the world.  Petra was the capital of the Nabateans, a Semitic population, native of Arabia. About 600 monuments, carved in the cliff, extend over a 6 km long and 3 km wide field.
The castles of the desert (Qasr), were built in the 7th and 8th centuries.
Jerash is the ancient Gerasa site, abandoned since the 12th century, and re-occupied by the Circassians at the end of 19th century. With its well preserved ruins and its huge restorations, Jerash is undoubtedly the most spectacular Roman site in Jordan.
The Kerak region: located on a peak which overlooks the whole region.
Cultural: There is a Jordanian Fine Arts museum in Amman. In addition, the capital has many galleries and cultural centers.
Nature: There are several very beautiful natural parks in Jordan. The Dana reserve for example is magnificent with its different landscapes. In the same way, the Wadi Rumdesert with its red sand dunes is particularly impressive.
Religious: There is very little religious tourism in Jordan. However, the country has great potential especially with its fabled Biblical sites and its early Christian churches paved with mosaics.
Thermal: Thermal and well-being tourism has grown up around the Dead Sea. The very salty water together with the mud has reviving and curative virtues for problems of rheumatism, allergies and circulation of the blood.
Beach: The Gulf of Aqaba is renowned. The beaches are very beautiful, and the reefs have a wealth of varied flora and fauna.
Winter sports: This type of tourism is not developed.
Outdoor activities: You can practice diving and snorkeling in the Gulf of Aqaba. The mountainous relief of the country provides opportunities for hiking, trekking and climbing.
Shopping: You can wander in the souk in Amman. The capital has several shopping malls.
Tourism organizations: Visitjordan.com

Living conditions

Health and safety

Health precautions: A certificate of vaccination against yellow fever is required for travelers over one year old coming from affected areas.
Bathing in fresh water exposes you to the risk of urinary bilharziosis (or schistosomiasis). Bathing can be envisaged when a reliable report on the place is available. Bilharziosis is particularly present in the valley of the Jordan. As conditions of hygiene are not especially good, you should avoid drinking tap water, eating raw vegetables and consuming raw or poorly cooked foods.
If you are staying in a rural area, you should take repellents with you to avoid possible bites from phlebotoma which can transmit phlebotoma fever (leishmaniosis).
For further information on sanitary conditions: WHO website

Time difference and climate

Map of the time zone: Amman (GMT+2 in winter, GMT+3 in summer)
Summer time period: Summer time from March to September
Climate: The summer temperature in Amman is 26°C on average but can reach 49° in some areas. In winter the average temperature is 7°C.

Eating

Food specialties: The Jordanian culinary specialty par excellence is the mensaf. This is a dish of lamb or chicken accompanied by a slightly sour fromage blanc sauce and oriental rice. In Jordan, as in most countries of the region, you can taste excellent mezzes. Another favorite dish is kobeiba. This consists of meatballs mixed with bulgur wheat, pine kernels and walnuts.
Drinks: The Jordanians prefer tea. You can also find locally produced wine (Eagle and Haddad). The country also brews beer under the Amstel license and another brand has appeared recently: Farida. You can drink arak, too (like ouzo).
Dietary taboos: Obviously eating pork is forbidden for Muslims.

Speaking

Getting some knowledge: Cornell University gives Arabic lessons in video format. Arabic for free also gives basic Arabic lessons.
Free translation tools:
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