Woman and two men standing in front of distant lake

Jordan – Arriving in Amman

Note: This post was written in 2014.

My partner and I decided to go on holiday (yeah I went on holiday while traveling) to a warmer climate. Turns out, Jordan can be down right chilly in March.

We landed at Queen Alia International Airport, near Amman, and were met by our driver, Richard. Passport control at the airport was simple enough, at least for UK and US travelers. Present your passport and 25 JOD (Jordanian Dinar) to the man at the desk, he stamps it, passes it to the guy next to him, he puts stickers on it, gives it back to you, and off you go. You must pay the fee in JOD. I saw an ATM before we got to passport control, but you should probably make sure you have 25 JOD on you before leaving your home country. (Read my updated post concerning entry fees and the need for cash.)

A bit on driving in Jordan-
We could have rented a car, but there’s no way I would have been able to cope with driving there, and my partner doesn’t drive. While there seem to be few rules of the road, there are plenty of speed bumps that appear out of nowhere. Sometimes two-way streets become one-way because there are a lot of cars going one direction and they just decide to drive in the oncoming lanes. Most lanes aren’t really marked, and even when they are they can disappear suddenly. Parking is a nightmare. People manage to squeeze their cars into spots that seemed to defy the laws of space and time. Everyone speeds, everywhere, even on winding mountain roads. There are few traffic lights. The traffic jams during rush hours (morning, lunch, evening) are crazy. You don’t get a turn, you take it or you’ll be sitting in one spot for a few hours. If you have nerves of steel and can be very aggressive while driving, give it a chance, you’ll see way more of the country that way. If you don’t, get a driver, we recommend Richard (contact me if you’d like info on how to get ahold of him).

Richard took us to the Amman Pasha Hotel for 25 JOD ($35) which is the standard fare. It takes roughly an hour during light traffic. The hotel was excellent. I highly recommend it, although some of their rooms are significantly better than others. 

For some reason I didn’t take a picture of our second room. (I blame exhaustion.) It was also 33 JOD ($46.60) a night, but it was just big enough to fit a queen bed in and shuffle around. The bathroom had only a shower–no tub–and was itty bitty. 

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