Here’s our last post about our trip to Jordan. Sanjeev and I really encourage you to plan a trip there. It may not be your beachy- relaxing vacation. But if you are someone who is interested in exploring the world, Jordan would be a dream come true. Plus, there is Petra, which is one of the 7 wonders of the world. In fact , the dead sea is quite a wonder in itself. 😛
Good and Bad About Makemytrip Package to Jordan
We took a 5 nights 6 days package for Jordan from Makemytrip. The total cost of the package for two persons came to be about 145000. Since we had gone with makemytrip packages earlier also, we trusted makemytrip to give us a good deal and paid for the package without thinking much about it. Later on, a few days before leaving, I checked the cost of the flights (30k per person) and the hotels for 5 nights (around 35k). So 60k for flights and 35k for hotels made around 95k. So we were charged around 50k for transfers in Jordan. I found it too high and mailed makemytrip about the same, but received no reply. Anyhow, we decided to proceed with the trip. But the minute we saw the flight as ‘Air Arabia’ we knew it was a cheaper flight, less than 30k per person, than we thought; which meant that we were charged 60- 70k for transfers in Jordan. To us, it felt highly unjustified. We could have booked taxis on our own and paid a lot less than this.
And the worst part was yet to come- the Air Arabia flight and the wait at Sharjah airport for the connecting flight. We have never had a scarier experience than that of our flight from Delhi to Sharjah and Sharjah to Delhi. Imagine a general ticket compartment in Indian Railway, full of labour class people. That’s the kind of flight with ‘Air Arabia’ that makemytrip gave to us. There were barely any women. The flight was full of men and that too uneducated worker class men. I couldn’t sleep the whole time, worried about Rati’s safety. While returning from Sharjah to Delhi, Rati just wrapped a scarf around her face.
There were mosquitoes in the Air Arabia flight and when we called an air hostess and told this to her (expecting she would do something about it), she said “yeah, of course” as in it was very natural to have a flight full of mosquitoes.
Sharjah is the most horrible airport we have come across. The crowd at the airport was mostly labour class (no offence to anyone but it got way too much to take with hundreds of men leching at you!). The washrooms though were clean but they were so badly kept. Women were washing their feet in basins before their ablutions. Some were washing their hair in toilets. It was a horrific sight.
The transfers in Jordan were very smooth however. We had a great driver named Ziad, who could speak English very well since he had lived for 15 years in US and who knew a lot about ancient history of Jordan and neighbouring countries. So he made our trip completely awesome. Also, the beautiful people of Jordan made us smile frequently. If not for beautiful country of Jordan and its beautiful people we would have seriously hated this trip. As it stands, we just can’t forget Jordan and its people.
So, in short, if you want to book a package, first ask about the flights and hotels and calculate their price separately on your own. This would give you a rough estimate about how much it is costing you for transfers. Then you decide whether it’s economical to go by package or on your own. For us, we would book our trip on our own after our next trip, which is also a package.
1 Jordanian Dinar is around 85 Rs. but if you try to convert currency here you’d get a rate of around 92 Rs. which would prove to be costly. For example to have 1000 Jordanian Dinar (JD) you should be paying around 85000 but you’d pay 92000 if you convert in India. So I took USD instead for a rate of 61.60 rupees, taking only 100USD notes. In Jordan (not at Jordan airport though because the rate there is too costly) I got exchanges which gave 70JD for 100 USD. So here’s the calculation. I got 70JD for 100USD for which I had paid 6160 Rs. in India. So 1 JD cost me around 88 Rs, a much cheaper rate than what I was getting in India. So take USD along with you guys and girls. 🙂 – Sanjeev
Regarding, what to wear. It’s a conservative muslim country but verrryyy safe. In fact if the kind of policing that Jordan has happens in India too, India would become a paradise. 😛 The only tip would be not to wear very short clothes. You can wear your longish shorts and dresses. Jordanian people only want their women to follow the clothing that Islam preaches. They are more than welcoming and super nice towards travellers. I miss hearing ‘ Welcome to Jorrrdaaann’. 🙂
For our package we always choose 4-star or 5-star hotels. This time, we got Dead Sea Spa Hotel which is on Dead Sea beach, Beit Zamman hotel in Petra. Both were extremely good and had a very good feel to them. The third hotel- Belle Vue Hotel– in Amman was the worst that hotels can possibly get. They did not provide complimentary water bottles, no tea or coffee maker in the room, the flush was not working properly, and above all, the room was so crummy that it felt claustrophobic.
Hot Air Balloon Ride
We got our hot air balloon ride at Wadi Rum Desert through Royal Aero Sports Club of Jordan. You can contact them at + 962 797 300 299. The one hour trip would cost around 130 JD (Around 11k Rs.) per person.
Phone and 3G
You’d not get a SIM for Jordan from Matrix or any other provider at Indian airports. We got a 3G sim card from Jordan airport only through Zain. It made our task of contacting our driver or other places very easy.
Ziad’s (our driver’s) Phone Number : 00795754141
You can also book him from Driver VIP
Hope you enjoy the video and some clicks I clicked from my phone. 🙂