Desert landscape near Wadi Rum

Jordan Travel Guide

Practical information

09:50:44
Language(s)
Arabic
Currency
Jordanian Dinar
Time zone
GMT +3

Jordanian Culture

Jordan is based within ancient Arabia, but bears the influences of the many different civilisations who have roamed it's lands. It's prominence in biblical history is reflected in the ancient kingdoms of Moab, Gilead, and Edom as well as the defining line of the Jordan River which separates the country from Palestine. Other ancient kingdoms such as Petra, originally named 'Raqmu', have been heavily influenced by the Nabataean culture, a civilisation centred around the trading networks that brought considerable wealth to Arabia. The Nabataeans were later adopted into the larger Greco-Roman culture, their intricately designed potted ceramics a key feature of Greco-Roman architecture. 

Jordan was part of the Ottoman Empire until 1918. The Ottoman Empire was a large Turkish Empire controlling most of  South-Eastern Europe, Western Asia and Northern Africa from the 14th to the 20th century. Their rule brought about governmental, social, and economic systems and was the centre of interactions between the Middle East and Europe during this time. However, in the early 1900s a Young Turk Revolution began and overthrew the government, allying themselves with Germany. They fought alongside Germany in World War I but were defeated by the British at the Battle of Sharqat and so fell the Ottoman Empire. A British mandate then controlled the state until 1946 when it eventually became independent. 

A young state, Jordan is relatively liberal compared to it's Arabian comrades and it's rulers are committed to keeping peace and stability for their people. The kingdom is often referred to as an oasis of stability in the region. The Arab Spring in 2010 which brought so much violence to the middle east had very little impact on Jordan. The country is a popular tourist destination as well as attracting medical tourism thanks to its highly developed health care sector. Jordan is classed as a country of “high human development”  with a skilled workforce and strong economy.

Time Zone

The time zone in Jordan is GMT +2 in winter and GMT +3 in summer. 

The adopt daylight saving time in the country from April through to September (Summer months).

Languages

Arabic

The official language in Jordan is Arabic. There is a significant difference between the written language—known as Modern Standard Arabic—and the spoken form. Armenian is also spoken in some small regions, but bilingualism with Arabic language is common in these areas.

Useful Phrases

  • SabaaH alkhayr - Good morning
  • Naäam - Yes
  • Laa - No
  • Min faDlik - Please
  • Shukran - Thank you
  • Aafwan - You're welcome
  • Aläafw - Excuse me
  • Ana asef (male) / Ana asefa (female) - I'm sorry
  • Ma esmuka? - What's your name?
  • Esmi huwa..... - My name is....
  • Ana jayyed (male) /jayyedah (female) - I'm fine
  • Ana la atakallamu Al arabiyyah. - I don't speak Arabic
  • Mosa’adah! - Help!
  • AynaAl hammam? - Where is the bathroom?

Currency

Jordanian Dinar

The currency in Jordan is the Jordanian Dinar (JOD). For the latest exchange rates please see www.xe.com


It is best to take cash in US dollars, GB pound or Euros and exchange it locally.  US Dollars are the most commonly used currency so will be easiest to exchange. There is currency exchange next to Baggage Claim as you exit the airport or you can exchange your cash in the currency exchange, hotels or banks, generally these offer the best rates than the airport. Credit and Debit cards are widely accepted and there are ATMs in the larger towns and cities. Travelers cheques are best avoided as you will be charged a hefty commission for exchanging them.


Expect to pay between $10 - $35 for a meal out in a local restaurant in Amman. To get around the city, a taxi will cost you around $5.26 for a 5km journey whereas the bus will be less than $1. Souvenirs are also relatively cheap so budgeting $50 for souvenirs will get you plenty! 
USD
JOD

Electricity

Jordan has a wide range of different electrical sockets. European round two pin plugs and British style square 3 pin plugs are both commonly found. We suggest you bring a versatile adapter.

Weather

Jordan is a very sunny country with an average of 310 days of sunshine each year. From May to October there is barely any rainfall at all and the average temperature is around 32°C. Although the temperatures can be high, there is very low humidity (usually 30-40%) which makes the climate feel comfortable. At night time the air is much cooler and you will need some warm clothing for the evenings.

The rainy season in Jordan starts at the beginning of December and runs through to the end of March. The coldest months are December and January when the average temperature drops to 13°C in the higher areas. Petra, at 1200m above sea level, can even see snow on rare occasions!

Safety and Security

Your safety and well-being is always the number one priority at Kandoo Adventures.

We operate all our travel destinations in accordance with the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advice, which publishes travel advisory notices for British nationals. We also closely follow the advice of ABTA (The Association of British Travel Agents) which provides support to UK tour operators.  


In addition to this, our extensive, directly-managed operations in each of our destinations, provide us with detailed knowledge and up-to-date information, which enables us to make informed decisions and operate our trips safely.

We always recommend that you regularly check the FCDO's travel advice, in order to keep up to date about the country you are planning to visit.


If you are not a UK resident, we would recommend that you visit your government's travel advisory website for further information:



Alternatively, you may wish to visit our Travel Updates page or seek further information from the World Health Organisation.

Lost or delayed luggage

We recommend that you wear your walking boots to travel and pack as many essential items as possible in your carry-on luggage. If your luggage is delayed we can then do our best to kit you out to start the trek on time. In the event that your luggage is delayed or lost, our procedure is as follows: 


  • Establish what items are missing and a contingency plan for each critical item
  • If it reaches 6pm on the evening before starting the trek and your luggage has not arrived we recommend buying and/or hiring items immediately as a precaution
  • We will take you to a shop where you can buy toiletry items, e.g. toothbrush. You will be able to find everything you need in Amman. 

We will do everything we can to help if your luggage is lost or delayed. Be sure to check your insurance policy coverage for lost luggage cover before your adventure tour in Jordan.

Alcohol

Despite the fact that Jordan is a largely Muslim country, consuming alcohol is not frowned upon. You can buy alcoholic drinks in restaurants and hotels and most tourist areas have bars where you can grab a beer. 

Dressing Appropriately

Attitudes towards clothing in Jordan are more liberal than other Muslim countries. There is no formal dress code and Jordanian people tend to be very understanding of foreigners and their different way of dressing.  In Amman you will find most people are dressed in a western style.

Even so, it is always best to be respectful of the local culture. In smaller towns and rural areas female travellers may want to ensure their shoulders, upper arms and knees are covered up. Wearing shorts is often considered disrespectful for men as well as women so a couple of pairs of loose cotton trousers are a good idea.
Trekking through the desert in Jordan

Geography

Jordan is a small country of around 89,000 sq km with a population of 10 million. 75% of its land mass is desert but more hospitable landscapes can be found in the Jordan Valley in the west and the highlands.

The east of Jordan is an arid plateau, irrigated by oases and seasonal rivers. Here you will find the barren moon-like landscape of the Wadi Rum desert. The vast majority of the population is based in the north west due to its fertile soil and higher rainfall. In the west of the country you can find evergreen forests that drop away into the Jordan Rift Valley that contains the Jordan River and the Dead Sea which separates Jordan from Israel.  The Dead Sea lies at 430m below sea level and is the lowest point on Earth. It contains almost 10 times more salt than the ocean, creating a harsh environment that prevents any plants or wildlife being able to flourish, hence the name.


The national flower of Jordan is the Black Iris which can be found covering vast fields in the north west near the town of Madaba.

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