Petra at its finest
Day 2 was about our trip to Petra.
Before we parted ways with our driver who drove us to Mount Nebo and Dead Sea we discussed to him our plan to go to Wadi Musa (where Petra is located) on the next day and asked him other ways we can go to Wadi Musa. He gave us two options.
Easiest and most convenient way is for us to take his service again and bring us to Wadi Musa
It will cost us 60 dinar for one way trip to Wadi Musa(It'll be better if you go by groups of four so that expense will be divided). Travel time would be 3 hours and a half.
If you take this choice there will be two options. First is to take the desert highway which is the path we took.
Next would be to take the King's highway which will take 8 hours (according to our driver) at the minimum. This will include going to different castles and ruin which are located along the route.
Next choice is to take a bus to Amman and then from Amman take another bus to Petra. Estimated time would be 30 to 45 minutes while the travel from Amman to Petra will take around the 3 to 4 hours. We did think about this choice for some time as this will definitely be cheaper than renting a car for us two.
In the end, we chose to go with the most convenient choice, we were first asked to pay 65 dinar for this but our good driver gave us a 5 dinar discount for renting him two days in a row.
The day started with us having coffee on the balcony of the hotel enjoying the early morning sun and the cold weather (around 9 degrees). Our driver arrived by 7:00 AM so we checked out at the same time and went on our way to see one of Unesco's World Heritage sites. The way to Wadi Musa was again an amusing sight filled with green pastures, astounding view of the mountains, Jordanian people going on around with their lives, the adorable herd of sheep and the busy marketplace with which we had a bit of slow down due to the early morning preparations of the market vendors and suppliers.
On the way to Wadi Musa, we stopped at a convenience store to buy food and while using the restroom I was surprised to see their toilet. It was a toilet with no seat on it and is placed on the floor, much like what I see from other Asian countries. Don't get me wrong, I have no issue with the toilet, it was just something unfamiliar.
Enjoying the view and falling asleep from time to time, we didn't notice the time and have arrived at Wadi Musa. Wadi Musa (which means Valley of Moses) unlike Madaba, was situated on a hillside and the houses are placed like in Baguio(if you've been in the Philippines) or a place in Mexico as seen in the pictures.
The place we stayed in Wadi Musa was Al Anbat Midtown hotel, we checked in then left our bags there because the room was not yet ready as it is just 11 in the morning when we arrived at Wadi Musa. We decided to take our lunch first before heading to Petra as our 2nd-day itinerary will consist mostly of walking. The reception in charge in the hotel suggested a place for us to take our lunch, we were looking for full pack meals as we want it heavy. The restaurant where we ate at (I forgot the place) serves Biryani rice with roasted chicken, which we're very much familiar as it is the same in Dubai. The difference is that they're serving lamb kebabs which are cheaper as there is an abundant number of lambs in Jordan. We were satisfied with the food and service as it didn't take long for it to be served because there was no one around eating at that time.
After eating, we started walking down the path to the Petra site entry. The view downhill was superb even after seeing it for the 2nd time. It was easier walking downhill as well because of the colder weather even at noon. We stopped from time to time to take pictures of Wadi Musa and enjoyed the stroll. We're still a bit early arriving around 12:30 PM at the front gate. Even at noontime, the place is buzzing with tourist and we had to wait for people to pass first so that we can take a picture at the front gate.
Inside the first gate resembles a town plaza, a water fountain in the middle, surrounded by different shops and restaurants selling souvenirs and food to the tourists visiting Petra. On the left side of the fountain is the ticketing booth where tourist can buy an entry pass to explore Petra. It will cost 40 dinar for day entrance, a different rate as well if you want to do a night tour of Petra. We went there to have our Jordan Pass validated, and found a long line of tourist waiting to buy entry passes. We approached one of their staffs as we don't need to buy passes because the Jordan Pass will serve as our entry pass to the site. It didn't take long for our passes to be validated and we didn't endure the long line just to get an entry pass which is why we highly recommend getting the Jordan Pass before going to Jordan.
After the passes were validated we went straight to a short trail heading to the main gate of Petra, our passes were scanned and were able to enter without a hassle. We were given a map of the whole so it is much easier to identify on which place are we as of the moment. English speaking guide will then approach you a few kilometers after you pass by the main gate offering horses to take you to the main attractions. We chose to walk instead as they're offering different prices for the horse ride, if you're not fond of walking I suggest you get one as the whole place is huge and it will take 1 hour at the minimum to arrive at the famous places.
The first 15 to 20 minute path will already be filled full of red sandstones, rock-cut architectures, Hellenistic designed temples, walls, tombs and water pathways. The route is consist of two sides, one for the guides with horses and on the other are the tourist who like us, chose to walk instead.
After walking for quite some time, we arrived at a smaller passage in the middle of towering rocks which will cover the sun rays and made the passageway a bit dim, they call this "The Siq". The way the rocks were formed inside the said pathway was really incredible and a thing of beauty. I was not able to contain my excitement as we walked along the carved stones. Since it is a smaller pathway you will be encountering the guides riding horses and carriages to bring tourist inside as well. It felt like we're seeing a glimpse of the past Persian Arabic way of traveling. I personally felt like I was in those movies about Moses or the Prince of Persia or the Mummy because of the ambiance of the place.
At the end of that small pathway was the most famous part of Petra (from my experience, as I always hear it being incorporated when someone speaks of Jordan) which is the Treasury. The end of the passage will bring you to a wider area again and from there you will see standing proudly was a huge temple made from sandstones. I can't help but admire the design of the Treasury and wondered how this was made by the people from the past without much help from machineries.
At the side of the passage, an exit was a number of food stalls and tables where the tourists can just eat and sit while admiring the beauty of Petra, we stayed for quite a while then decided that we want to climb up the staircase on the left to see a top view of the Treasury. On our way there we were again approached by Bedouins who live there and offered to guide us to the top, explaining to us that it is hard to find the way to the top and come back to the treasury area alone without the guides which we again declined.
Since we don't want to lose the way, we chose to take the path on the right where most of the tourist are going after spending some time and taking pictures at the Treasury. It led to another passage, a bit wider than the first path leading to the Treasury. From here on out, we saw Bedouins selling souvenir items at the side of the pathway, the horses which were bringing guest around the area was joined by camels and donkeys. We walked up to the entrance of stairs to the High Place of Sacrifice but decided not to go up as we just wanted to enjoy the view. We spent some time taking pictures at the "Street of Facades" and after that making the Theater our last stop. There are lots of places which can be seen around Petra (I know you will say that it's a waste that we didn't explore more but we're pretty much satisfied with what we saw in Petra).
We went back our way to the Treasury and stayed there a bit longer as there is a resting area in front of it and stores that will sell beverages and food to tourist. We sat and watched tourist flock in the area, watched their excited faces when they first saw the Treasury, talked to some Bedouin kids who kept asking if we want a guide to climb and see Treasury at a different view and ate ice cream while the cold wind brushed our faces. After resting and enjoying the ambiance at the Treasury at around 3:00 PM, we decided to finish our Petra tour and went back to the entrance of the site.
Petra is definitely a place to see, highly recommended, I felt like I was in a different world inside Petra. I will definitely go back here when I visit Jordan next time. It is a place full of history, ancient ruins, spectacular architecture and amazing structures. If you want to tour the whole place you should at least be ready to pay for the horse or the camel as the last part of Petra is really far. Make sure to wear the proper footwear and proper attire to ensure a delightful tour inside of the ancient city.
After the tour, definitely, you will be hungry. At the entrance of the site, across the ticket booth are restaurants and food stalls, we didn't try eating and instead made our way out of the place. Around Petra you will be able to have a variety of restaurants that you can choose from, we decided to eat at a pizza and pasta shop nearby the site.
After filling our tummies with food, we went back to our hotel to sleep and get ready for the next day.
If you like to read more about our Jordan experience, you can go to our next article below for our 3rd day, Jordan itinerary and travel tips for your Jordan travel as well.
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