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Jordan Travel Guide

Jordan – a dumb pop star, a basketball player or a country in the Middle East?

If you find your way to your favourite search engine and type in “Jordan”, you’ll probably be presented with a couple of dozen entries referring to an American basketball legend, or a ditsy British model with big tits. But keep searching and you’ll find some talk about a small oil-less patch of desert wedged uncomfortably in between Israel, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

This is Jordan.

Unfortunately for the local economy (but great for travellers), it’s this dubious geographical position amongst the world’s most notorious bad guys that keeps vast hoards of tourists from visiting this little Middle Eastern gem.

But don’t fall for the hype. Jordan is a western, modern oasis of calm and friendliness in an ancient, often chaotic part of the world, where the buses run on time, the crime rate is low to non existent, and “Welcome to Jordan” repeatedly rolls off the Arab tongues with seemingly genuine sincerity.

Jordan’s major cities are at best uninspiring, but the wadis, oases, and Red Sea coast that make up the country’s often “wow” inducing desert landscape are packed with ancient ruins, biblical sites, Roman outposts, crusader castles, and Nabataean cities. All nicely bundled into an area of 92,000 square kilometres (slightly smaller than the state of Indiana), Jordan is an easy country in which to travel.

While it may not be the kind of place to spend a six month life changing journey of adventure and self discovery, there’s enough to see here that it deserves a place on any middle eastern travel itinerary.

Jerash

– About an hour north of Amman, one of the finest examples of a Roman provincial city in the middle east.

Mount Nebo

– Hazy views over the promised land (A.K.A Israel and the occupied territories) where Moses is said to have finally passed away at the tender age of 120.

Madaba

– Home to Jordan’s largest Christina population and a lot of mosaics.

The Dead Sea

– The lowest point on earth and the saltiest sea on the planet.

Petra

– Would have been the 8th wonder of the world if the world had known about it. This relatively recently rediscovered ancient city must surely be the highlight of this little country

Wadi Rum

– Desert landscapes don’t come any better than this. The place for hiking, climbing, horse riding, camel riding, jeep safaris, and camping out under the stars.

Tariq El Kashef

Tariq El Kashef is the author and editor of www.alternativeegypt.com – The Online Egypt Travel Guide