For years I had needed to go to Jordan however couldn’t determine whether or not I’d travel there totally solo (that’s, independently) or be a part of a gaggle tour. My inclination is often the former, however Jordan is in the Center East, and is a predominantly Muslim nation. How would a solo woman in Jordan fare?
After my dangerous experience in Egypt (and to a lesser diploma Morocco), I was wary. Firstly, how protected was Jordan in common? Surrounded by Syria, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq, this appeared like a legitimate query. And secondly, how a lot discrimination and harassment might I anticipate as a woman travelling solo?
In the long run, I did spend most of my time in Jordan with a gaggle however still managed to be alone a few of the time before and after the tour. Under are my impressions of what it’s wish to be a solo woman in Jordan and why finally I selected to go together with a tour.
- 1 How protected and hassle-free is solo journey in Jordan?
- 2 Why I selected to go together with a tour as an alternative of solo
- 3 What to wear in Jordan
How protected and hassle-free is solo journey in Jordan?
I spent some time walking around cities alone, both through the day and in the early evening. I additionally had some solo time in Petra. I went sightseeing, had a meal alone, and entered some outlets. Here’s what I skilled.
Walking around/sightseeing alone
I walked extensively on the streets of Amman and Madaba without the slightest problem. No one bugged me or adopted me. I might have been in a North American or European metropolis! This was an enormous contrast to my solo expertise in Egypt again in 1997.
Not solely have been individuals not annoying me, they have been welcoming me! One night after sundown, I was walking in downtown Amman, where sidewalk patios bustled with locals who had just damaged the quick of Ramadan. A bit of boy sitting at a table together with his family yelled “Welcome to Jordan!” while I waited at a visitors mild.
At noon, I walked down from the Amman Citadel to the Roman Theatre alone underneath the recent solar. The streets have been fairly empty, but just a little woman waved at me from a balcony. 🙂
I spent a whole day strolling round Madaba and visiting archeological sites and church buildings. Once again, no one harassed me. The worst prevalence was an previous man who began guiding me round a website without me asking, after which anticipated a tip.
Automobiles typically stopped to let me cross the street (a courtesy that is ignored in a lot of the world). Even in busy Amman, I once tried crossing a multi-lane boulevard with non-stop visitors (the visitors lights have been really distant). A driver finally stopped to let me cross, and in addition caught out his arm to stop the other lane of visitors!
So not only individuals were not hassling me, they have been courteous as nicely.
<img data-attachment-id="8166" data-permalink="http://bigtravelnut.com/solo-woman-in-jordan/olympus-digital-camera-735/" data-orig-file="http://bigtravelnut.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Lunch_in_Amman.jpg" data-orig-size="350,333" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta=""aperture":"3.5","credit":"","digital camera":"E-M10 Mark III","caption":"OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA","created_timestamp":"1557296978","copyright":"","focal_length":"14","iso":"2000","shutter_speed":"0.02","title":"OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA","orientation":"0"" data-image-title="Lunch in Amman" data-image-description="
Lunch in Amman
” data-medium-file=”http://bigtravelnut.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Lunch_in_Amman.jpg” data-large-file=”http://bigtravelnut.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Lunch_in_Amman.jpg” class=”alignleft wp-image-8166 size-full” src=”http://bigtravelnut.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Lunch_in_Amman.jpg” alt=”Lunch in Amman (solo woman in Jordan)” width=”350″ peak=”333″ />
I only had one meal on my own, a lunch in Madaba. Nevertheless I didn’t feel awkward sitting alone and I was served like a traditional patron. It was mid-afternoon and the room was principally empty. The food came promptly and I didn’t get any condescending chit-chat from the waiter as I did in Egypt (“You’re alone? Where is your family?” type of crap).
I had a number of different meals with one woman pal from the group, and there once more the service employees was friendly and useful with no angle by any means.
Another advantage of Jordan is that wait employees and people who work in tourism all have an honest degree of English, so you don’t have to worry an excessive amount of about communication problems.
If something, store clerks have been very aloof, in contrast to in Moroccan outlets. Once, I walked right into a memento store with a good friend. The employee was talking on his telephone and ignored us the whole time we have been there (till we approached him to purchase one thing).
Strolling into convenient shops to buy water and snacks generated the standard interplay. On one occasion I did marvel if I was being overcharged for a bottle of water by the dour clerk, however that wasn’t an enormous deal.
On another event I walked right into a laundry/dry-cleaning shop to enquire about prices. The elderly gentleman at the counter requested me the place I was from and even tried speaking French to me. Once I returned with some garments the next day, he didn’t give me a receipt of any type. “I know you!” he stated. “Come back at six.”
My experience with lodge employees was nice too. They have been helpful and by no means creepy, even on the one night time I spent utterly alone in a Madaba lodge. I might recommend selecting good high quality lodges or hostels though. Read the evaluations on websites like Booking.com or HostelBooker.
For example, the Artwork Lodge in Amman is an effective mid-range selection and is perfectly situated to succeed in the primary points of interest in Amman on foot. The employees at the front desk is pleasant and speaks good English.
I didn’t use transportation alone but read about other solo females in Jordan utilizing a personal driver and not experiencing any issues. It’s easier to e-book drivers immediately from your lodge where the costs are fastened (and the place you would complain if anything ever did go mistaken).
Making an attempt to get a fair worth from a daily cab you find on the street is quite a bit more durable, particularly for those who’re by your self. While at Petra, my whole tour group of eight individuals was quoted twice the going fee for 2 taxis. We just needed to go to the city centre for dinner. Finally, we have been capable of discount them down somewhat for a return journey. I doubt I might have carried out this alone.
Why I selected to go together with a tour as an alternative of solo
As I hope I’ve demonstrated above, Jordan is protected for a woman travelling alone, and I might see myself travelling across the nation with out hassles. Nevertheless, even in retrospect, I might nonetheless select to go together with a tour. Why? 4 principal reasons.
1. Transportation logistics
Public transportation in Jordan is geared in the direction of locals. There are buses that journey between Amman and Petra, as well as Amman and Madaba, however reaching well-liked locations like Wadi Rum and the Lifeless Sea is extra problematic.
To bridge that hole, most vacationer lodges arrange personal transport and even excursions to locations where travellers need to go. Costs are usually not low cost though, especially if in case you have no one to share the price with. For instance, a straight one-way journey to Petra from Madaba (214 kms) could possibly be 55 JOD or even more![Note: 1 JOD (Jordanian dinar) is worth approximately US$1.41 or CA$1.84 at the time of writing. These figures are from xe.com. The rate you get from banks or currency exchange desks won’t be this good though.]
Jordan just isn’t an affordable country. At the least when it comes to prices, it’s nothing like Latin America or Southeast Asia (two of my favourite areas for price range journey). A room in a mid-range lodge will value between 25 and 60 JOD for one individual. A meal shall be round 10 JOD in a restaurant. And a one-day ticket to Petra is 50 JOD! As talked about above, personal transport for solo travellers can also be quite expensive.
Typically, I find group excursions grossly overpriced compared to what it would value me to travel independently. However in Jordan’s case, CA$1500 (US$1150) for an 8-day tour including good mid-range motels, transportation, admission to sights (together with a two-day Petra move), a tour guide, breakfasts, and some other meals seems pretty good value. And that’s exactly what I received with Intrepid’s Explore Jordan tour.
Another factor that had me hesitating for years was that the majority excursions solely spend in the future in Petra. All unbiased travellers I talked too informed me (rightly) that Petra was big and required more time. This Intrepid tour was the one one I found that allotted two days to Petra. Bought!
I’ll admit that I typically skimp on guides in order to economize. However after studying concerning the country, it turned apparent that Jordan had a very complicated history. Combine this with a really totally different tradition, and the truth that I know little concerning the Middle East, its customs, and its food, the thought of a information who might clarify things and answer my questions was appealing.
Khaled, our Intrepid information, proved to be a mine of data and in addition very accommodating. He went out of his solution to make the group completely happy, including organizing an unplanned afternoon journey to Aqaba, and giving up his room so a sick traveller didn’t need to share with a roommate on the last night time of the tour.
A lot of the vacationers I saw during my 10 days in Jordan appeared to be on excursions. I really lucked out with my group. All eight of us received alongside very properly and we ate most of our meals collectively, even once we didn’t should.
In hindsight, a solo woman in Jordan (or any solo traveller for that matter) would in all probability want to stay in hostels in order to satisfy others with whom to share actions and transportation costs. I didn’t discover any solo travellers in the mid-range resorts we stayed at.
By the way, a good way to spend half a day with other travellers and eat a unbelievable meal is by taking the cooking class at Beit Sitti in Amman.
What to wear in Jordan
Whether you determine to travel solo or with a gaggle, it is best to give some thought to what you’ll put on.
I didn’t generate plenty of consideration (an excellent factor) during my keep in Jordan, however I’m a 56-year previous woman, and I dressed modestly. Your outcomes might differ.
As you in all probability suspect, Jordan is a conservative country and native ladies are likely to not show loads of pores and skin. If you wish to blend in and never appeal to unwelcome attention, you need to comply with go well with. I’d advocate overlaying your knees and shoulders, until you’re on the seashore (Lifeless Sea or Pink Sea). I wore T-shirts or lengthy sleeve shirts (on cooler days/nights) together with lengthy pants or capris.
Most local ladies also cowl their heads with a scarf (especially is small towns) and though you don’t need to try this, it is best to carry a scarf with you in case you need to visit a mosque. A shawl also comes in useful to protect your neck (and probably head) from the fierce solar. I wore mine round my neck most of the time, especially once I felt a bit self-conscious a few T-shirt low neck line.
You’ll additionally need snug footwear with a thick sole, or mountaineering boots for Wadi Rum, Petra, and the other archeological websites. Canvas footwear or walking sandals are high quality for the cities that are pretty trendy and haven’t any cobblestones to cope with.
I used to be actually glad to have my Tilley hat to guard my head from the recent solar, so ensure you deliver some sort of cap or solar hat, though a scarf may go too. And naturally don’t overlook the sun shades!
(Word: I used to be a visitor of Intrepid Travel on this tour. As all the time, all opinions are my own.)
Enjoyed this article? Sign up for my publication or “Like” my Fb web page to be notified of latest posts.