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Driving in Jordan

Travel Forums Africa and The Middle East Driving in Jordan

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1. Posted by fuzzypuppy (Budding Member 62 posts) 9y

fuzzypuppy has indicated that this thread is about Jordan

In May, I'm taking a tour of Egypt. I have 3 days at the end of the tour in Cairo. My flight home is already booked and is non-refundable.

I know there's probably lots to do in Cairo but I am seriously considering flying to Jordan for those 3 days and driving to Petra and the Dead Sea myself. So I'm looking for advice:

Would it be safe for a single female to do this? Whenever, I seek advice on a middle eastern country I get 2 answers: "It's perfectly fine, no problems whatsoever" or "OMG ur going to get RAPED and MURDERED!!!" I'm looking for the middle ground here with realistic things I should take into account.

Right now, I'm considering the following itinerary:

Day 1:
-Fly to Jordan (flight would land approx 9:30 I think, I haven't booked it yet)
-Drive to Dead sea
--Spend a few hours taking pictures
-Drive to Petra
--Check into hotel (hopefully pre-booked)
--Explore a bit

Day 2:
-Explore Petra

Day 3:
-Explore in morning (probably 3 hours tops)
-Drive back to airport by 5:30
-Fly back to Cairo (I think flight is at 8:30ish)

How long would it take to get from the Queen Alia airport to the Dead Sea and the Dead Sea to Petra?
What roads should I take?
Anything else I need to know?

2. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 9y

I've been to Petra and I think your plan is feasible. But I recommend taking the bus or hiring a taxi for the day instead. There are JETT buses running from Amman to Petra.

IIRC a woman driving a car alone is not well looked at in Jordan. (The influence of Saudi Arabia.) You would be making yourself a slightly bigger target than the average tourist on the bus. Not a big one, but still. If you do decide to rent a car, keep in mind that 1) you'll be driving for hours through the desert 2) you should not pick up any hitchhikers even if this is considered to be common curtesy.

http://wikitravel.org/en/Jordan
http://wikitravel.org/en/Dead_Sea

3. Posted by fuzzypuppy (Budding Member 62 posts) 9y

I see. Well, I guess I'll have to figure something out.

Thanks for the input t_maia! I was hoping you would reply, given your other posts.

4. Posted by cosing (Budding Member 4 posts) 9y

That's funny! Those are the same two reactions I've been getting! I am planning a trip to Jordan in the beginning of January. When were you planning on going? I'm 24 years old, females, and will be travelling alone, hoping that I will meet some other savy persons that might have the same itinerary. I am a little nervous, but have travelled alone before (never in a muslim country though!)

5. Posted by Henk Bos (Budding Member 3 posts) 9y

Very feasible and there is no problem driving in Jordan as a woman. My wife does it every day.

It is easy to get from the airport to the Dead Sea taking the road to Madaba. About one hour tops.
After that you could drive down the Dead Sea Road to Petra and visit Petra the next day. Be sure to follow the guards when it opens at 7am. You will be by yourself
If you have your own car, you might want to consider Taybet Zaiman, an old village converted to a hotel. My wife had a great Turkish bath there!

Treat yourself on something special by staying with Bedouins (Amarine Camp is great) near Little Petra (a lot less visited by tourists) and drive back to the airport the next day.

A must read is jordanjubilee.com!

6. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 9y

Quoting Henk Bos

Very feasible and there is no problem driving in Jordan as a woman. My wife does it every day.

Agree with you that it is doable, Henk.

But I'm a bit careful with doling out advice like that. It is a bit different whether you live there or are visiting as a tourist.

The last thing I want is an Aussie or American woman in shorts, flip-flops and strappy bikini halter top without gas, water or a word of Arabic standing on the King's Highway because her car has broken down. Now the OP will hopefully be more sensible but you get what I mean.

I've found Jordan to be pretty conservative compared to Egypt or Turkey and think that travelling there takes a knowledge of the region, its customs and traditions that many tourists on a package deal to Egypt do not have. It is better be safe than sorry.

7. Posted by lizziebell (Budding Member 6 posts) 9y

I read that the price of fuel is high in Jordon and it may cost you a lot of money to drive.

8. Posted by Henk Bos (Budding Member 3 posts) 9y

Nowhere near European levels.
I fill up my tank (diesel) for JD20 (about 20 euros), enough for at least 500km.
My wife's car takes about JD40 (unleaded) for about the same distance.

9. Posted by fuzzypuppy (Budding Member 62 posts) 9y

Quoting t_maia

The last thing I want is an Aussie or American woman in shorts, flip-flops and strappy bikini halter top without gas, water or a word of Arabic standing on the King's Highway because her car has broken down....

Wow, now I'm insulted...

10. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 9y

Quoting fuzzypuppy

Quoting t_maia

The last thing I want is an Aussie or American woman in shorts, flip-flops and strappy bikini halter top without gas, water or a word of Arabic standing on the King's Highway because her car has broken down....

Wow, now I'm insulted...

Sorry.

I did not mean to insult you. It is clear that you've got more brains than that.

But I also met quite a number of tourists (especially on guided tours to Egypt) who didn't. In Luxor you'll see plenty of the strappy top, shorts and flip-flop set with not a care about how they look. (It is hot, why should I wear more clothes?) Yet they bitch constantly about the "dirty Arabs" who harass them and swear that this would be their last trip to Egypt.