Places to Visit in Jordan for Malaysians

Places to Go in Jordan

Among the many places to visit in Jordan for Malaysians, I would personally recommend Petra as the number one place in Jordan to visit. You may be asking why I am writing this and the reasons is that most general Malaysians usually travel for under a week, leaving not many places to fully explore. Jordan is a beautiful place and it is best to spend at least a minimum of one week to fully see all the beautiful places and if you have read other reviews on Jordan, they are usually targeting the whole world in one post. 

Well, I am from Malaysia and my target readers is back to the Malaysians who plan to visit Jordan for their holidays, studies or even for business. I have read many articles on Jordan and everyone wants to have the top ten things to do in Jordan or top ten places to visit in Jordan, but again, sometimes these are not suitable for elderly or family travelers, especially from Malaysia or Southeast Asia. 

Anyway, my visit to Jordan was in 2015 where I had the opportunity to explore almost all of the main tourist spots here as I was under the Jordan Tourism Board on the VisitJordan tourism campaign. Places I visited was Amman, Petra, Wadi Rum, Aqaba and of course, the Dead Sea, but in his article, I will highlight a few of these places and why. 
Jordan Panorama Photo
Amman City in Jordan, in a panoramic photo (click to see full size)
Amman, Jordan

The capital of Jordan is Amman and all visitors will be arriving here. Just like any other city, there are many hotels available but you should know, Amman is unlike Asian cities which is bustling with shops, malls and traffic jams. Most visitors would put a night here before moving to the next destination but for those staying in Amman, one of the must visit places is Rainbow Street which is the main lifestyle area of Amman. 

Here, you will find cafes, coffee shops, boutiques, souvenir shops and restaurants along Rainbow Street and the surrounding areas. Generally, you can just come here and walk around to explore the place. If you are visiting Rainbow Street on a Friday, do check out Souk Jara near the King Hussain Mosque. This souk is like a flea market where you can find some interesting crafts and local items. 

Other things to do in Amman would be to visit a local spice market, a Turkish bath, the Jordan Museum and the local perfume shops. One of the main attractions in Amman is also the Amman Citadel, which is located downtown. 
Jordan Citadel Amman
Amman Citadel in Jordan
Amman Citadel

The Amman Citadel lies smack center in the city and is located on the highest hill in Amman. This historical spot has been around from the Bronze and Iron Ages, as well as the Roman, Byzantine and Umayyad periods where the rich history and structures still stand here. Among them are the famous Temple of Hercules, a Byzantine church and the Umayyad Palace. 

While here, visit the Jordan Archaeological Museum, which is home to a collection of artifacts from the Citadel and other Jordanian historic sites. At the highest point, you can get an amazing view of the city of Amman with the giant Jordanian flag flying in the distance. 

There is a lot of walking involved here therefore, it is recommended to come prepared and you can hire an English speaking tour guide at JD15 per hour. Alternatively, there are signs for each of the historical spots here in English as well. To get here from town center, take a taxi which will cost around JD1-2. Entrance ticket price for the Amman Citadel is JD2 per person. Prepare to spend around two to three hours here and the best time to go is after lunch, when the tour buses have left. Bring your water bottle and snacks too. 
Amman Jerash
Jerash Ruins in Amman
Jerash Ruins

Located about one hours drive north of Amman, the Jerash Ruins is the best Greek and Roman ruins out of Italy or Greece. This place is filled with ancient history dating back to the Bronze Age right to the Ottoman period and to see the entire Jerash, you would probably need half a day and there is a lot of walking involved. However, for photography and historical knowledge, this is the place to explore and best done with a local guide. 

The place is not wheelchair friendly and proper walking shoes are required. For elderly visitors, you need to be in decent good health to explore Jerash. There is a main mini souk at the entrance area with souvenir shops and cafes and once you head into Jerash, there are is no food or drinks, so you need to bring water and some snacks. The first structure you will encounter is the Arch of Hadrian and after walking through, you will find massive historical structures like The Temple of Artemis, a Hippodrome, temples, churches and loads of Roman and Greek pillars. 
Petra Monastery Photo
Petra's amazing Monastery
Petra 

Petra Ruins Jordan
The Treasury Building in Petra, Jordan
The one must-visit place in Jordan is Petra, where  it is also known as one of the New Wonders of the World. Petra is also the most visited place in Jordan where this ancient site was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. The town that is just outside Petra is Wadi Musa, where all the hotels, cafes and restaurants are located.

Among the notable spots in Petra one should visit is the Siq, the main beautiful gorge that leads you into the Treasury, a massive temple carved out of a mountain. Further in, there is the Royal Tombs, Hadrain Gate, Cardo Maximus and the Monastery, which is another structure like the Treasury. 

For Malaysians visiting Jordan, this would be the highlight of your visit and you would be staying at Wadi Musa. There are hotels ranging from basic to luxury for your choosing. For me, I stayed at Movenpick Resort in Petra, which is the closest hotel to the entrance of Petra, so it is easier for those wanting close access. At the entrance, the Petra Visitors Center is a good place to start as it provides all the information needed. 
Gorge in Petra
Walking inside the beautiful Petra gorge, heading to the Treasury
Petra is so huge that it takes about two full days to see everything. But I would recommend staying at Wadi Musa for a minimum of three days to take your time and enjoy Petra. There is a lot of walking here but for those wanting quick access, the local Bedouin people provide transportation using donkeys, camels and even horse carriages for a fee. We are looking at prices of JD$5 to JD$30 per person, depending on the areas too. In total, I walked 16 kilometers from morning to evening in Petra, so you can imagine the distance in there. For elderly travelers, take your time and use the transportation services if required.

If you would like to see more photos of Petra, I did a series Petra Jordan Photos which shows unedited photos taken from a Note 5 smartphone. This would give you a better visual image of Petra and what it has to offer. 

Journey from Amman to Petra

From Amman to Petra, it takes about three hours drive south. Petra is on the way to Aqaba, the resort city of Jordan. In that three hours, you will see much desert scenery therefore, you can get some sleep on the way there. Make sure you get a comfortable van or car too. Along the way, you can make rest stops at various restaurant cum souvenir shops and this would be your toilet break or prayer stop. 
Jordan Dead Sea
View of the Dead Sea in Jordan from one of the resorts here
Dead Sea

The second most popular destination in Jordan is the Dead Sea which is located about one hour southwest of Jordan. The Dead Sea is also the lowest point on earth with an estimate 429 meters below sea level while the length is 50 kilometers long and 15 kilometers at its widest point. This is also one of the saltiest lakes on earth where the salt water here taste 10 times more salty that normal sea water. 

People from all over the world come here to experience a natural wellness and health therapies due to the unique mineral content of the Dead Sea water. Also, the reason for the word dead is simply because no life can live in it due to the high salinity. With tons of tourist, you will find many hotels and resorts located along the Dead Sea. 

Many international chains have their resorts here like Hilton, Crowne Plaza Jordan, Movenpick Resort and Spa Dead Sea, Jordan Valley Marriott Resort and Spa, Holiday Inn Resort Dead Sea and many others. There is even a small shopping mall here called Semarah Mall and there are a couple of restaurants, cafes, a small supermarket and some retail stores here. As for my trip, I stayed at the Movenpick Dead Sea and Spa Resort which is truly an amazing place, especially if you are traveling with a family. 

Floating on the Dead Sea

Dead Sea Floating Photo
A visitor floating in the Dead Sea
Yes, this is the phenomena here where no matter what you do, you cannot sink at the Dead Sea. Trust me as I tried this and failed. One thing you must be cautious about is the Dead Sea water getting into your eyes and mouth as it will sting in a painful manner. The wellness process here is simple, at most resorts, they have a mud pail where you can cover yourself with mud and then get into the water in a slow manner, soak yourself slowly and then float and keep your head up. 

In the event the water gets into your eyes, you should immediately get back to the land and wash it out with tap water. It would be wise to carry a large mineral water bottle, just in case but most resorts here have a staff on stand by with pails of water. You can imagine the number of people experiencing this as I did. Well, I had to try it to write about here here, and I also did drink some of the Dead Sea water, it is the most salty thing I have ever tasted in my life. 
Ma'In Hot Springs in Jordan
Ma'In Hot Springs in Jordan
Other Places in Jordan

Aqaba is the coastal resort city at the Red Sea, popular for water sports and scuba diving. It is here where you can see Israel from the coast and it takes around 4 hours to drive from Amman to Aqaba. If you are doing a round Jordan trip, then I suggest you start in Amman, head to Petra, then to Wadi Rum, then Aqaba and then up to the Dead Sea before heading back to Amman. As for me, I visited Aqaba to experience Diving in the Red Sea as it has been one of my diving bucket list. 

Wadi Rum is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is mainly a scenic desert valley which is accessible by the main Desert Highway on the way to Aqaba. At Wadi Rum, Desert Safaris and Desert Camping is the main attraction where you can experience hot days and cold nights and exploring the beautiful natural structures in a 4x4 around this 74,000 hectare protected desert. 

Ma'in Hot Springs is located in the Dead Sea area just outside the Mijib Nature Reserve and only one luxury resort is available there. The Evason Six Sense Spa manages this luxurious resort which is deep down in a Oasis with no other property in the vicinity. In other word, luxurious and exclusive. 
Dessert Safari in Jordan
A dessert safari in Wadi Rum, Jordan
Jordan Dinar or Dollar (JOD)

The Jordanian Dinar is often called JD, or sometimes Jordanian Dollar with the code JOD, and the conversion rates to Malaysian Ringgit is 1 JOD - RM 6.32 (Dec 2016 Rates). In general, a can of Coke is 1 JOD and going to the public restrooms along the highways will also cost you 1 JOD. Food is relatively reasonable with dishes priced at around 3-5 JOD and a meal around JD4-8. In general, you should take note of the conversions, especially when you are paying for souvenirs and other minor things.

Changing Money in Jordan

This is one of the experiences I had where the Ringgit Malaysia or other non-popular currency is accepted, but at a really low rate. I would highly recommend you change your Jordanian Dollar in Malaysia or your respective country before going to Jordan. Alternatively, bring US dollars to be changed there as you would get a much better rate. In general, US Dollars always save the day so keep some spare. Credit cards are accepted at most places. 
Jordan souvenirs
Jordan souvenirs - Sand Art which is easily seen at most tourist places
Flights to Jordan from Malaysia

Currently, only one airline flies direct into Amman from Kuala Lumpur which is Etihad Airways. However there are many other airlines that do a stopover before landing in Amman and price wise, the difference is only around RM 500 versus the direct flight.

Direct Flight Kuala Lumpur - Amman
Etihad Airways 
7.20 PM (KUL) --> 2.15 AM (AMM)

One Stopover from Kuala Lumpur - Amman 

  • Royal Jordanian/Malaysia Airlines via Bangkok
  • Saudi Airlines via Jeddah (Cheapest Flights)
  • Emirates via Dubai (Cheapest Flights)
  • Turkish Airlines via Istanbul
Moving around Jordan

Jordanian cuisine
Jordanian Food
The best option is to book a tour with a knowledgeable local tour guide as it will be hassle free. And if you are those adventurous traveler, solo, couple of family, you can get around easily as most people here speak English, especially at popular tourist sites or bigger cities.

For single female travelers or backpackers, caution should be observed, especially at the desert areas or attractions. I would recommend you get a proper guide at some of these places. 

Eating in Jordan

As you already know, Jordan is a Muslim country and all the food here is Halal. However, you can find international food, mainly at hotels and resorts but in the towns or cities, it's pure Jordanian food which is really amazing. The local Hummus are a must try while the local grilled food is also recommended. But one thing that you must try is the Mansaf, which is the national dish of Jordan, made of lamb cooked in a fermented dried yogurt sauce and served with rice or bulgur.
Dead Sea Sunset Photo
Sunset at the Dead Sea in Jordan
For more information on Jordan, visit the official Jordan Tourism website which is branded as Visit Jordan. The interactive website has almost everything you need to know about this amazing country, even a section dedicated to food in Jordan.

Overall, Jordan is one of the best places to visit in the Middle East as it is very safe, great infrastructure and with many interesting places to visit. Many Europeans and Americans are seen around Jordan as it is part of their Middle East Tour and for Malaysians, there are many Malaysian students studying here in Jordan.
Map to Petra Jordan
Amman to Petra map showing how long it takes to drive there
I would personally recommend doing a complete loop where you start in Amman, head to Petra and spend two nights there, then to the Dead Sea for another night and back to Amman which can be done in five to six days. Alternatively, you can also head to the resort city of Aqaba from Petra, then all the way up to the Dead Sea and back to Amman. 

To book tours to Jordan, I recommend visiting the Matta Fair 2017 as you can get some really good packages and deals from those selling Middle East tours. Again, this article was written specially for Malaysia as many locals would want to know the best places to visit in Jordan for Malaysians.

0 comments