This is a warning to those who doesn't smoke or who dislike smoke. Jordanians love smoking A LOT. Well in some places, where there are people there is smoke.
So I suffered badly from bus and restaurant. Well, I think most of the restaurents here don't have specific area for smoking, which is not good.
The thing that I really HATE about Jordan is the traffic condition in this country. Unlike their friendly people, they are extremely RUDE when driving. They play their horn everywhere, anytime as long as they like it. I am not sure if it's their way to greet people with it or not, bit for me, it's really irritating anyway.
If you want to walk across the street in Amman, just walk though it, no need to worry if there is a policeman or not, BUT make sure of your safety first.
Even if most of the time, the taxi drivers are quite nice, pay attention, you can find bastards everywhere. One time when going from the hotel to the center, the driver was barely speaking English.
He looked quite nice and I even tried to speak a few words of Arabic with him. My mistake, I didn’t pay attention to the presence of a meter (they should all have one)
When we arrived, this “akhu shermuta” (yeah I know this is quite strong but he really deserves it) asked “three-zero”. I gave him 3JD which would have been the normal price for this kind of distance but he didn’t look happy with that. After a while I finally understood he was asking for 30JD!! This is more than 10 times the regular price.
At this time, I was really glad to have a pretty good idea about what to pay. Yet it is not so easy to argue when you don’t speak the same language, I’ve finally left 5JD and went out of the car…
Few rules that may help :
- Always make sure you see the meter and it is switched on.
- Price within Amman should rarely be above 3JOD.
- Price from Amman to the airport should be around 15-20JOD.
Because Amman was built on seven hills, most streets are very steep. As a result it is not a very walkable city, except if one remains downtown at the bottom of the valley, or if one is walking downhill! Therefore, taking taxis is a must and fortunately, there are plenty of them. Attached is a photo of a typical steep street in Amman.
It is also hard to find ones' way -- due to those steep hills, most roads have to zigzag their way up to reach the top of the hills. Amman's streets are, therefore, as confusing as a bowl of spaghetti with seven heaps.
Travelling to Jordan is quite convenient, because most nationalities get a visa on arrival at the airport, so you don't need to get one at the embassy in advance.
It costs 10 Jordanian Dinars (JD) to get the visa stamped into your passport. And since they don't accept credit cards or other currencies, you have to make sure that you have that amount in local currency on you before you board your flight to Amman.
Of course there are money changers in the arrival hall but they are rip-offs. Thankfully I had 20 JD on me when I arrived so it wasn't that much of an issue for me.
Note: 1 JD is equivalent to approximately 1.4 USD.
If you are staying more than two weeks in Jordan, you will have to extend your visa.
This is free but if you forget to do so, there is a fine of 1.5JD/day.
The procedure itself is not difficult but I've visited 4 times a police station before getting my extension:
1. There is a police station on the citadel itself : this is the tourist police and they don't deal with visa (but are quite friendly).
2. The police station has to be in the district where you are staying.
3. Even if the police station is open, the required people don't work during the WE (friday-saturday).
4. Finally if you go during the week to the police station of your district, expect several visits between different offices. Each time you collect a stamps or a signatures and after 15-20 minutes, you are finally the happy owner of a visa extension...
We found Amman to be very safe and the people to be lovely and friendly. Security is tight within the airport and also outside. Taxis can be organised at the outside terminal. To not be surprised to see the army in force throughout Amman. Hotels also have strict security rules and it's usual for your luggage to be screened before checking into the hotel.
I wasnt sure whether to write in this part or not.
The only downfall I had in Jordan was in Amman one evening leaving a cafe, I was attcked by a man as we left a cafe early one evening. Luckily my friend got in there & between to 2 of us it was sorted pretty quickly & he ran off.
Not sure quite why it happened as I was suitably dressed. Just be careful & aware, its easy to forget you are in a capital city when everyone there is so friendly.
Do insist that taxi drivers turn on the meter. I must say, I only had a problem once with a taxi driver overcharging me.
Generally speaking, I did not find them to be too much of a problem in Amman. Although there are many taxis to flag down, it can be difficult in Downtown Amman, as it gets very busy.
I never felt unsafe in Amman.
The streets of Downtown Amman are very crowded and busy, but I never had any problems.
The people of Amman are very friendly and helpful.
If you go to the Dead Sea, Mt Nebo and the Baptism Site, carry your passport with you as there are a few check-points.
I never felt particularly uneasy at any time...you know, that 'sixth sense' that we all have when something just ain't right...I did take precautions though, and was alert to what was going on around me. Just stay alert, stay alive.
The biggest danger is the traffic which is horibble (even though this picture really doesn't indicate so).
You will probably end up in the Raghadan area, because this is where the Roman ruins are. Once you're done seeing the very exciting ruins, you may want to stroll around and check out the hundreds of tiny shops selling touristy stuff. Go ahead, but be forewarned -- this is the seediest area of Amman, and it is going to be here that you get your butt pinched or your wallet stolen. Travel in groups, dress conservatively, and keep a low profile.
there is no security problems in amman,you can walk outside night and day;but to say the truth,lonely girls should avoid being provocative; remember that the moslem-arab world regards western women as easy girls always ready for sex.
I advice you to be discret if you have an israeli passport, because I already heard in hebrew from a very loud voice in downtown amman : bo lir'ot ktzat po, ze nira tov le'ekhlol be makom haze (come here, it looks nice to eat here)
Be careful when filling petrol on your rental in Amman. The attendant filled the tank and before we could pay , they signaled us to move away from the pump and charged us over what we saw the total was, when we walked to the pump to see the price it was already gone. It was JD 4 over, and we just payed it so we could get on our way.We did not have this problem anywhere else in Jordan. I suggest you get out of the car and stand by the pump.
Beware of cheaky taxi cab drivers. They are all supposed to use meters to keep track of your trip but pretend to forget to reset it and then tell you "never mind" always insist on the meter and never negotiate the fare.