Summary: Jordan is located to the northwest of Saudi Arabia with a terrain that is mostly desert plateau in the east, the Great Rift Valley separating the east and west banks of the Jordan River, and a highland area in the west. Since its independence from Britain in 1946, Jordan has recently begun to execute broad economic reforms to control the budget deficit, encourage tourism and increase investment to help counterbalance its lower supply of natural resources.
Time Zone: UTC + 2
Languages: Arabic, English
Power: 230 V, 50 Hz
Currency: Jordanian Dinar
- Currently 1 JOD = 1.4119 USD $
Climate: Jordan is mostly an arid desert climate with a rainy season in the west that runs from November to April.
- Currently 59º, Partly Cloudy
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| Amman: A city with a long history of inhabitation, and known in the bible as Rabbath-Ammon, Amman has many attractions including the Roman Amphitheater, home to the cultural Folklore Museum and the Museum of Popular Tradition, the Archaeological Museum, home to artifacts including some of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the ruins of the Citadel, located beside the Archaeological Museum and worth your while to explore. Other than ruins and history, the King Abdullah Mosque and the Grand Husseini Mosque are two photogenic Muslim shrines.|
| Petra: Any trip to Jordan should include Petra, in part because of the beauty of the rose-colored stone buildings, and in part because it was lost for more than a thousand years, rediscovered in 1812. The capital of the Nabatean Empire in the 3rd century BC, this party ruined and partly excavated city has been built into the mountainside and has left many stunning buildings, like the treasury, the monastery and several tombs in tact. 3,000 people visit a day, and bring your camera, although many people come back a second day just to enjoy the mountain vistas from Aaron's Tomb.|
| Aqaba: Aqaba is on the Red Sea and as such, is gifted with a beautiful climate and stunning waters. Some of the sights include the coral reefs prime for snorkeling or scuba diving, and if you feel brave, a short trip through the Wadi Rum, where Lawrence of Arabia hid among the jabals, soaring rivuletted rock formations.|
| Jerash: Jerash is another site of ruins about 30 miles to the north of Amman and although it has been only partly uncovered, it is already attracting sight-seers as one of the best preserved Roman provincial cities in the Middle East. The sights include the Forum or Oval Plaza, the best image to represent the city, the South Theatre, with a seating capacity for 5,000, and temples like the Temple of Artemis, not far from the Temple of Zeus.|
Local Customs: Although rural areas are more conservative than the cities, modest dress and behavior are encouraged, and respect for local traditions and the Sunni Islam religion, practiced by most Jordanians, is wise.
Safety: Jordan is a safe area, and while you may want to steer clear of demonstrations and keep an eye on your wallet, you will likely have a peaceful time.
Banking: Banks are open every morning, except for Fridays, and afternoons outside of Ramadan. You should have no problems using credit cards, traveller's checks, or finding an exchange kiosk.
When To Visit: The best tourist season for Jordan is spring and fall, where temperatures are neither too hot nor too cold.
Food: Jordanian foods are rich and based often on meats, rice, and spices and curries, but in particular, try mansaf, a chopped lamb or meat and yoghurt dish served on a plate of rice, and kanafeh, sweet cheese pastries often served with honey.
Phrases: Yes = Na’am, no = la’a, hello = marhaba, please = min fadlak, thanks = shukran, peace be with you (a common greeting) = assalamu alaikum, and with you be peace (the common reply to the above) = walaikum assalam
Tipping: Unless a service charge of 10% has already been added to your bill, add the same amount in restaurants or on taxi fares.
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