ABOUT US: we've been working and living in Jordan since the mid 1990s and we made Jordan our home for many of those years.
The people are warm and friendly, the weather is wonderful and the countryside breath-taking. Share our experience, and be at home in Jordan, even on holiday .

IssaIssa has a degree in business studies, his father is a professor of Arabic and he's been in the travel business all his working life.
Issa will organise the best deals for hotels, car hire (with free local SIM card), guided tours, rented apartments, flights, taxis and tickets. He will take all the tension from your holiday arrangements, solve all your problems and truly make you feel at home in Jordan.  

To contact Issa phone 00 962 797 583 582; CLICK here for EMAIL -- darawish02 at hotmail dot com  (NB text/sms if no email reply within a day or so) 

*    Ras al Naqb -- stunning views of the blood red sands of Southern Jordan and fascinating links with the Hijaz railway
*     the doctor!!  the dentist!!  or an optician!
seriously, the standards are very high and the costs are much, much less than Europe! again email me for details -- see below
*    Mukawir, where John the Baptist was beheaded, after Salome's 'erotic' dance
*    Wild Jordan cafe, off Rainbow Street, stunning eco-friendly design and food
*    Ain Ghazal -- one of the world's oldest Neolithic settlements, where the oldest human statues were found, NE of Amman
*   Tell us your special places in Jordan!

Our Dead Sea apartments are strategically located among the Sacred Destinations of Jordan, a short drive from Amman airport -- it's the perfect base for exploring Northern Jordan and enjoying the healthiest bathing and sun-bathing on the planet!
Why not stay in the lowest luxury rented aparment in the world? COME FOR A LONG WEEKEND!! -- leave London at lunchtime on Thursday and get back around midnight Sunday -- two nights in a private apartment at the Dead Sea; one night in a luxury bedouin tent in Wadi Rum; SPECIAL OFFERS
VISIT JORDAN!!    have a look at this great tourist web-site with lots of information and background on Jordan! then come back here and book your holiday apartment! 

HIJAZ RAILWAY NEWS we have ambitious plans for launching a weekly service from Amman to Ma'an and then, on the new branch, to Wadi Rum and Aqaba. Discussions have begun, very slowly     . . .contact us if you can offer support or want information

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS Post your questions and comments here.  We will try to respond within a few days.  We welcome debate and feedback

NB to deter spammers we sometimes use 'at' not @ in the emails on this page; you will need to replace 'at' with @

Jordan is the perfect holiday destination, close to Europe but a world away. Aqaba, Jerash, Mount Nebo and the promised land, Wadi Rum, the Hijaz railway, the Baptism site, the Dead Sea, Wadi Dana, serious desert, Amman, Petra. A land of spectacular Roman, bibilical and archeological remains; the cradle of our civilization, home to eco-tourism, full of romantic and evocative place-names and more must-visit locations per square-kilometer than anywhere else in the world. Home in on Jordan!
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. . . how to approach Petra

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Petra is, of course, a must-visit site; one that you'll probably never forget. But there's not much point in staying the night and certainly no need to hire a guide.   I'll deal with exceptions to this blunt advice in a minute.

For most visitors the best way to see Petra is to camp in Wadi Rum! An early morning start gets you to Wadi Musa, the Valley of Moses leading into Petra, well ahead of the coach-loads from Amman, so you see it all uncluttered. And if you're lucky you'll have a magical view from Ras al Naqb on the way there.

This blog is not about Petra; you can and should read the guidebooks for that. It's about how to get the most out of your visit -- and you need to, as it is very expensive, 50 Jordanian dinars per person (children under 15 are free); 1 JD = US $1.4125 (the dinar is fixed to the $ and has been for many years).

The cost is so high because of the Egyptians and Israels, who advertise holidays to their countries including Petra!  Their tourist groups arrive totally self-contained and spend no money in Jordan, hence the high prices.   Infact, if you can't prove you're staying in Jordan for at least one night you will pay even more, 90 JDs per person.

Once you arrive, in simple terms you walk or ride a horse to the entrance, then along the Siq, noting the Nabateans irrigation channels cut into the rock. Your first mind-blowing view of the Kasneh (the Treasury) catches most people unprepared.

After the exploration and photographs, you have to make choices. If you are fit and energetic, you should visit the Place of High Sacrifice; you'll walk in due course along the Roman colonade, past many more buildings carved into the red rock. Eventually, you have to decide whether to climb the hundreds of worn, stone steps to Ad Dayr (the Monastery).

A visit without this climb is just fine, Ad Dayr is a lot like the Treasury so you're not missing too much. On the other hand, if you can you should. Both to know you've done it and because the view from the top, down into Wadi Araba is pretty special.

After that, the towny-tourists who've come from Amman, scurry and limp back to their busses soon after 3pm and leave to be back in time for a hotel dinner. You can amble around a bit more, chat and enjoy and then return to Rum, or drive on to Wadi Dana, or take the best road in Jordan, down to the valley you've just been looking at from above, and stay the night by the Dead Sea.  All is possible.

You will have noticed I don't advise staying the night in one of the dozens of hotels in Wadi Musa. Why would you?  Most of them are not so good; they're full of tourists! and the local staff have come to view visitors as a source of income.  For now that is quite unusual in Jordan outside Amman, and certainly the opposite of our experiences in Wadi Rum.

If you do want to stay the night, we strongly recommend Taybet Zaman, twenty minutes south along the Kings Highway; it's an old bedouin village of small stone houses, transformed into an atmospheric hotel.  And if you want to embrace Petra and Wadi Musa for longer than we've suggested, you should contact Jessica, a Dutch lady married to a local bedouin. She has experience in incentive travel and can match that with her local knowledge to give you a special time.

If you are interested in archeology in general and the pre-pottery neolithic age in particular then you should certainly stay longer than one day in Petra. And at this point the entry-price structure could have been designed for you! 50 JDs for one day, 55 JDs for two and 60 JDs for three nights! Wonderful value.

We know of a local bedouin, who works at Petra, is a doctor of archeology and, if you arrange in advance, will show you everything. This includes a site at nearby Little Petra which is one of the oldest human settlements in the world, where humankind ceased being hunter-gathers and put down roots. All the evidence suggests that this momentus human development happened first on the hilly-flanks in Jordan. Contact us for more details.

So the exceptions to the initial go-it-alone advice, are to use a guide if you want to go much deeper than the rather good Petra guide books. And yes, stay in Wadi Musa (or Taibet Zaman) if one of the main reasons for your whole trip to Jordan is to understand about the Nabateans and their ancesters.

For many of us, there's so much to see in Jordan that one well-planned day in Petra is enough; and anyway, why not spend time with the descendents of the Nabateans, the Huwaitat bedouins in Wadi Rum and hear and experience how to this day they live in harmony with their harsh surroundings.







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EASYJET makes a second visit very affordable and now we've teamed up with Jordan's leading environmental organisation, RSCN, to offer wonderful value, luxury accommodation, off-the-beaten track in wild Jordan!
JORDAN'S FERTILE TRIANGLE, the "hilly flanks", above the Dead Sea, where, for the first time ever, human beings separated themselves from other creatures!! Here they ceased hunting and gathering; 9,000 years ago these pre-pottery neolithic settlers cultivated the land and created for themselves the time and space to build up surpluses, to specialise, make art, plan, organise and think.  
This happened here in Jordan, at Ain Ghazzal and Al Beidha.
JORDAN'S GREEN TRIANGLE, the network of oases criss-crossing the desert and desert-margins that supported and protected the bedouins and seasonal-herders.  Azraq in the East is a true historical oasis; Ajloun is set among the scrubby Mediterranean-type forest of the North; and Dana, suspended on the edge of the escarpment that plunges down through three or four climate zones to the valley way below.
JORDAN-VALLEY TRIANGLE, with the DEAD SEA at its heart, stretching from Umm Qais on the border with Syria to Aqaba on the Red Sea and inland, through Mount Nebo and Umm Ar Rassas, containing Mukawir and Bethany beyond the Jordan, where Jesus was baptised.  Key sites for the Abrahamic religions and the whole region is scattered with hundreds of remains of the early Christians, the Romans, the birth of Islam and the crusader battles.
WE CAN ORGANISE seven-nights for two people, with breakfast, for around 500!
that's 70 per night, total price, for a couple.
You start off with two-nights at the Dead Sea (less than an hour from the airport), then choose to visit any or all of:
the Azraq Oasis, the forests of Ajloun, the Dana biosphere, or Saleh's bedouin camp in Wadi Rum.
Contact Issa (in the left-hand column) for good-value car-hire, with free local SIM card and 24-hour English-language support.
Book your apartment at the Dead Sea and Aqaba by emailing us:  <tudor  at  jemstone.net>

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