A mixed bag of Jordan Tourist blog posts

An early 20th century tour group posing in Aqaba after a camel ride through Wadi RumYes folks, from nearly halfway around the globe we bring you the best exerpts from tourists blogging about the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, be it someone reenacting Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade or a visitor asking questions about the Jerash Festival – is here to conveniently summarize the blogosphere of Jordanian Tourism this last week of May 2008.

Big in Jordan: How to reenact Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, is a post by Matthew Firestone linking up the ancient World of the Nebateans at Petra with Hollywood pop culture in this snappy little snippet:
With the world premiere of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull scheduled for May 22, 2008, it’s no surprise that the internet is buzzing these days with Indy-related travel themes …

… one of the newly minted New Seven Wonders of the World, namely the ancient city of Petra, happens to be the location of the Holy Grail in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

… In the climax of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, the Joneses, Sallah, and Brody race across the world to reach the temple housing the Holy Grail, which is located in the Canyon of the Crescent Moon in Hatay near İskenderun.

Interested in reenacting one of the greatest moments in cinema history? Go grab your trusty bull whip and keep on reading Mr.Firestone’s excellent article. Just remember, I’m the guy who this past November spared no expense nor YouTube bandwidth to show you “The Petra Treasury Indiana Jones didn’t show you!”

Speaking of adventures, over at Jubilada Fashionista, said blogger armed only guide books and the internet made all their reservations and other travel arrangements own with relative ease; despite competing for rooms with visitors attending a world class auto race event and/or a nursing conference near the Dead Sea. Along with this factoid, Jubilada writes towards the end of an extensive and well-written review of his Jordanian journey:

In conclusion, Jordan is a very good trip and easy to go independently . I understand why most high end tour companies tagged it on to their trips to Egypt. The Jordanians are very well schooled about being nice to tourists. I do think they have to work on the transportation systems in this small country especially for tourists. I did read that they were working on a railway but it keeps getting stalled.

Jordan is also very safe and they love America (not George). It was a pleasure to see how different it is from what we constantly hear about Middle East chaos. You do not need guides as your book will explain all the sites for you.

Facts :

  1. Blackberries do work here
  2. All current is 220 but some plugs are European and some English
  3. Lots of Atms and they still take our dollars
  4. Hot book for foreigners “Married to a Bedouin”
  5. Watch Lawrence of Arabia and Indiana Jones DVDs before you go
  6. Read the Jordan Times the local English newspaper on line to see what’s doing.
  7. Check Jett buses to see their schedule and then work around it.
  8. The tour books say that the luxury hotels have buses to take you to your next destination….not true

Prepare to be stunned – or so writes a TravelPod blogger from Wadi Musa, Jordan who also had a great experience arranging their own travel explaining:

Our Taxi driver turned out to be a gem. He spent 7 hours driving us from Amman to Petra along the Kings highway. He stopped at all the points of interest and let us take photos. This land is full of history (as we anticipate Israel will be). Characters from the old testament walked this land. We were in awe.

Meanwhile a “Request for Dates and Info on Jerash Festival in 2008” on the Lonely Planet forums is returned with this response:

For the third time in over 27 years, the world-renowned Jerash Festival will be largely absent from the Kingdom’s cultural activities season, which will kick off in July, to come back in 2009 in a new shape, Culture Minister Nancy Bakir said on Thursday.

Bummer! That said, don’t forget, alternate events are easy to find at our BlogJordan Calendar of Jordanian Events page and/or our “This Week in Jordan” category.

Speaking of staying on schedule, as Scott on Safari ‘traveling through Africa 2008’ he takes a stop at one of my favorite cities on the entire planet, Aqaba, opining:

The rooms were very nice, it was very luxurious after coming from Egypt. We went for a walk to find at ATM to get some JD since all I had was 6 JD. Then we walked to a nearby café, Tche Tche Café, for dinner. The food was great and came out nice and warm; a very nice change. Jordan seems to be a lot cleaner and more organised than Egypt.

Of course Scott goes on to describe an encounter with Saladin’s revenge while ‘Journeying Jordan.’

Still, better that than an uncommonly rare but none-the-less unfortunate and fatal crash of a Jordan tour bus traveling from Jerash to Irbid.

Finally, Zawya is reporting that “Visitors on package tours [of Jordan] rise by 48.4% in first quarter” citing:

Tourist traffic to the [Hashemite] Kingdom continued to grow during the first quarter of this year, with visitors on package tours rising by 48.4 per cent compared to the same period of last year.

Official figures released by the [Jordanian] Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities yesterday revealed that some 101,311 tourists on package tours visited the country between January and March compared to 68,279 in the same period of 2007.

According to the figures, their average length of stay also increased by around 7.3 per cent to 4.4 nights during the first quarter of this year compared to 4.1 last year.

Here is a link to the English rendering of the 1st Quarter OTA report entitled “Tourism Statistical Bulletin JAN – MARCH 2008 Volume 4 – Edition 1.

This last report proving once again what I’ve been saying since November:

“Why spend $2000 for a week of manufactured fun Magic Kingdom when you can experience the journey of a lifetime in the Hashemite Kingdom?”

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