Waking up to a beautiful and bright morning in he middle of the Wadi Rum desert in the Bedouin tent was a great experience. By 6:30am the breakfast was served and by 7:30am, our guide Mehedi was at the campsite to drive us to the Rum Village. With prior booking, our taxi to Aqaba was ready for us. There’s no direct way to go to Amman from Wadi Rum and the best option is to take a taxi for JOD 20 to Aqaba and then take the JETT bus to Amman.
It’s advisable to check with your fellow campers if they are heading to Aqaba for their onward journey so that you can share the taxi. In case if you’re traveling by yourself, inform your guide upon arrival to Wadi Rum that you’d like to share a taxi to Aqaba; they will arrange for one and preferably put you along with other travelers. There are mini-buses that leave from Wadi Rum to Aqaba at 6:30am from the Information Center (JOD 5 per person), but your guide can reserve a seat for you and you may have to start early from the camp site.
The taxi ride was about 1.5 hours on clear roads and dropped us to the JETT bus station. Reaching at 9:40am, we tried to get the 10am bus for Amman, but it was booked. JETT buses from Aqaba to Amman leave every hour (JOD 8 per person) until 6pm and takes about 4 hours. Check the schedules during the planning phase as there may not be services on Fridays.
Keep extra time for the so-called customs check at the bus station – book tickets and head over to the customs on the left side of the building and get a tag on your bags. The bus arrives about 15 minutes before departure and you can hand over the bags to the person, who will check for customs tag on each bag (hand-baggage inclusive). The 11am bus was right on time and we took the upper level (seating is assigned at the ticket counter) on the double-decker bus. The 3.5-hour ride was smooth, with awful and loud Arabic movies playing all along the way!
Arriving at the JETT bus station in Amman, the first feeling was the less humid, lower temperatures of the capital city. You will be greeted with cab drivers wanting to drive you in the city, especially if you don’t look locals. Most taxis in Amman run on meters, but the ones from the bus station may not, so negotiate the price to your destination. Any ride to the city center should not cost anything more than JOD 3.
Another 20 minutes and we were at the heart of Amman city center at our hostel – Abbasi Palace Hotel (the taxi driver from the JETT bus station knew this hotelso just mentioning the name was good enough). The first impression of this hotel was not good with its entrance from the alleyway and reception on the first floor, but don’t let that discourage you because the staff is extremely helpful and courteous. We were put in room #106 which is a two single bed room without air-conditioning or fan. But ask for a fan and you shall get.
|Abbasi Palace Hotel, Amman, Jordan|
|Address: 70 Quraish Street, Amman 09999
In the city center, but depressing rooms
The reception staff is extremely friendly and helpful. They will arrange for taxi at a decent rate if you want to travel around to Mount Nebo, Madaba and Dead Sea. They also got desserts for us on one evening.
It can be a bit annoying to find the entrance to this hotel where you have to go to the side of the building and take the elevator to the 1st floor. There are no distinct markings! There is no rooftop access if you are a smoker, but you will see people smoking inside the building, in a small area next to the reception.
Taxi drivers from the airport or bus station know this place well, so just mention the name of the hotel in city center.
The rooms are basic, not always clean and you may have to keep asking for basic amenities like towels or a fan (in summer months). Not all rooms have AC, so make sure to check before booking.
Headed out in search of some Jordanian meal and ended up at a restaurant few blocks from the hotel called Bab Al Hara and after a filling meal of pita bread, hummus, rice and half-chicken, we strolled around the souqs for some window shopping. One of the things-to-buy from Jordan is the stringed musical instrument called Oud, which costs about JOD 90 and available in many shops at the souq, and bought one!
Another instrument that costs less and is also played at the Petra By Night show is the single-stringed Rababah. Cheap versions of this instrument can be found in any musical instrument or souvenir shops in the souq and costs no more than JOD 5. Shop owners will sell this for JOD 10-12 but negotiate the price.
Abbasi Palace hotel offers day trips to destinations around Amman for JOD 20 per person. But if you’re traveling in a group of 4 or more persons then the price is JOD 10 per person. We booked the 6 hour tour to Dead Sea, Madaba and Mount Nebo for the next day.
Been up since 6am, it was time to call it a day and get prepared for a 9am start the next day.
Note: All values in USD, unless otherwise mentioned, are approximate and based on the exchange rate of USD 1 = JOD 0.75. Each cost is for one adult.
|Taxi from Wadi Rum to Aqaba||JOD 20 or $28.25||For 2 persons|
|Bus from Aqaba to Amman||JOD 8 or $11.30||For 1 person (JETT bus)|
|Lunch at Bab Al Hara||JOD 11.70 or $16.50||For 2 persons|
|Taxi from JETT station to Hotel||JOD 3 or $4.25||For 2 persons|
|Musical instrument Oud||JOD 90 or $127||For 1 person|
|Total Costs||$162.90||Per person|
|Overall Costs||$2,340.60||Per person|
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Visiting Bedouin village & Wadi Rum desert.
Wadi Run to Amman, via Aqaba
Traveling from Wadi Rum to Amman via Aqaba.
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Mosaics, religious site & lowest point on earth.