Jordan

Firstly I would like to address a question that I was frequently asked during my travels in  Jordan.. “Is it safe and did you have a negative experience?” No. There was no point in where I felt unsafe or in danger. The people are extremely friendly, so please please don’t be afraid to visit!

This country is a place everyone should experience once in their lives! Im in so much awe of all its beauty and kind faces. Jordan has been on my bucket list for over a year now, ever since I first saw an image of it on Pinterest. It was an image of Petra, taken at the treasury with camels beautifully dressed standing so peacefully before it. It lit a small fire inside me, and from that second onwards I was going. One of my dear friends pointed out to me the other day that whenever kyle and I say we are doing something, we actually do it! I had never thought about it that way before, and it made me feel a small sense of accomplishment. When I want something enough I don’t let anything get in the way. I will make it happen! Someway or another!

Anyway I’m going off track now 😂 Recently I asked my readers if they preferred a day by day guide during our time in Jordan – or a more short and sweet write up with anecdotes in the captions. The votes were pretty close so I’ve decided to try do a little of both 🙂 I like to change up the structure of my posts to keep in different and interesting. Hope you guys approve!

DAY 1..

We had arrived in Amman from Athens the night before at 2am, where we had already arranged a hire car to be picked up upon our arrival. It seemed a little dodgy at first, making a debit card transaction in the Ammani airport car park at 3am, but shortly after we were on the road. ROAD TRIIIIIP! 😛 We booked 2 nights at Sydney Hotel whilst in Amman, which we were pleased about. Best location and reasonably cheap. We are actually thrown back at how expensive Jordan actually was! Over the 10 day period we spent close to $2000AUD between us. That included car hire, food, petrol, accommodation & entrance fees to sites (surprisingly most expensive part).

That evening we drove up to the Amman Citadel for sunset over the ruins. Up top there are incredible 360 views of the city (or should I say lego land). It literally looks like the city was build out of lego haha! We finished the day at a must eat at restaurant (more like street food style) called Hashem. Best falafels and overall experience! Oh not to mention dirt cheap.

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Absolutely LOVE this intimate moment I captured between this couple. If only there was someone spying on Kyle and I, capturing candid loving moments between us hehe.

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Like I said! Looks like lego land

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Don’t be shy to shoot towards the sun! Its something I love doing!

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DAY 2..

We were up early and heading south to our first stop Wadi Mujib and the Dead Sea. On the way we stopped into a grocery store in Amman to stock up on food for the week. We love eating supermarket food, much cheaper and you can cater more to your own diet. We loaded up on hummus (canned actually, you would be surprised its so good!), beans (foul medames, best thing everrrr) pita bread, cucumber, tomato, fruit, olives, and loads of water. Believe me when I say we literally ate pita pockets with those ingredients ALL week.

We stayed one night at the Dead Sea in the cutest little chalet (Mujib Chalets) backed right up on the water. The chalets are away from the tourist hot spot, and sit directly in front of Wadi Mujib canyon. A must do! We hiked the canyon when we arrived before checking into the chalets, which took around 2-3 hours. We went a bit slower, stopping and taking piccies along the way – so it might not take everyone that long. Make sure you take a dry bag for your camera gear and phone! There are points along the trail where you’ll find yourself neck deep in water and scaling waterfalls.

So funny, a girl recently commented on my Instagram post saying “how she wished she bought a spare pair of clothes for her photo”, thinking thats what I had done. When in actual fact I was head to toe drenched in most of these shots; which funny enough I momentarily panicked over, thinking it made me look like a drowned rat. Apparently not!

Our chalet was only a couple of steps from the Dead Sea, overlooking Israel in the distance. Swimming in the Dead Sea is the craziest experience! A crazy, salty and sticky experience. For those who don’t know, the Dead Sea is 300m below sea level, making it the saltiest sea in the world. So salty you can’t sink! We took most of our shots here with camera in hand whilst floating with no troubles!

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My first #followmeto photo. Was a little skeptical at first to post this, as it is seriously overdone on Instagram, but I knew I loved it still & so did everyone else 🙂

 

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Hahaha I was hysterically laughing at this point.. He looked so dumb

 

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One happy little Vegemite


DAY 3..

Our next day was spent driving up into the mountains towards the Dana Reserve. We decided to stay at a smaller and MUCH cheaper camp (Al Nawatef Camp) than the well known Rummana campsite in the heart of the Dana. I highly recommend doing this and driving down to Rummana for sunset. That is where you will get the best views! I love how mountain ranges can be so different. Almost all I’ve explored have had their own unique structure and look about them. The whole time we were there I saw about 5 other tourists. So peaceful!

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Views over Rummana campsite. Although we didn’t stay here it was awesome to capture.

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Jordanians really know how to make a good batch of tea! Taken at Al Nawatef campsite.

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The truck we took a ride in down to Rummana camp. You aren’t allowed to drive yourself down as it as a protected area. A beautiful one at that!

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You.

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Yes I had an outfit change 😉 I am a girl after all! Thats what we do!

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Views of Rummana camp from the top of the range

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This is Mohamed. He works at Al Nawatef camp and is the kindest man! This is his cat that sleeps with him every night. Besties.

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Do a little dance.


DAY 4, 5 & 6..

PETRA! I almost couldnt sleep because I was so dam excited! We booked a hotel close to the entrance of the site called La Maison Hotel, which was nice and reasonably priced ($143AUD for 2 nights). I recommend spending at least 2 days here if you want to explore the entire site of Petra. By chance we arrived on a Thursday, which was one of three nights in a week which Petra by night is performed. Make sure you time your visit around this as it as an unforgettable, once in a lifetime event. Do keep in mind the cost of the site is rather expensive, but totally worth every penny. Head over to the Visit Jordan Tourism to check out more information on prices etc.

I will always remember my very first glimpse of the Treasury, shining bright in all its glory as it peeped through the the canyon walls of the Siq. I had to stop in my tracks for a few minutes to just take in & really appreciate that moment I had dreamt about. Oh how mind blowing it was! No wonder it was listed one of the 7 Wonders of the World in 2007. With only a handful of tourists around, you can really admire the extensive and detailed work that was performed to create this masterpiece! I still get chills just thinking about it.

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Walking through the Siq in search for the Treasury

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We received a warm welcome to the Treasury by these cuties

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Petra by night. So surreal.

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For everyone that knows me, knows I am a bit of a klutz. Only I would accidentally sit practically on top of a lantern tipping it over and setting it on fire. Not to worry a local was quick to the rescue!

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First glimpses of the Treasury is a moment I’ll never forget!

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These guys hang around the Treasury all day, sometimes being ridden by tourists. I wasn’t too keen on riding them just being in their presence was great enough.

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Wearing Arnhem Clothing

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You can climb to this point from the Treasury, usually with a guide. We paid a local to show us the way and help us up. If you go alone it can be really difficult to find your way up.

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This was my favourite spot in the whole of Petra! You must climb to this point.

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This was taken at the High Place of Sacrifice. Hard climb from the Treasury but spectacular views up top!

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Mother daughter. These two shared a pretty special bond.

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We stopped to have a cup of tea with this gentlemen at his stall. He wasnt trying to sell us anything, was just super friendly.

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Made it to the Monestry! Never thought it was such a hike to reach, but its probably the most impressive of them all. Whatever you are imagining the size to be, triple it!

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Over the entire day, we clocked up over 20km with a lot of up hill climbs. My legs had officially turned to jelly by the time we arrived back home.

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DAY 6 & 7…

Wadi Rum! Straight from one amazing location to another! This desert is seriously like no other. I’ve visited the Sahara desert and can confirm that this was a entirely different environmental experience. I did a whole lot of research as to which camp we should spend our two nights with, weighing up the location, reviews, and price. As much as we wanted to stay at the Luxury Night Camp, we just could not afford it. In the end I chose Wadi Rum Life Camp as it had great reviews and offered an amazing price. I recommend!

Our two nights deep in the desert was unforgettable way of stripping our lives back to basics. No service, no phone, nothing but the incredible surroundings, home cooked meals and campfire chats with the local Bedouins. Out here you’ll hear your thoughts louder than you ever have before. So so peaceful.

Make sure you watch the sunset from a mountain top, enjoy a 4×4 jeep tour around the desert, drink lots of tea, get to know the history and the Bedouins, star gaze & wake up for sunrise to have the ultimate desert experience.

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Driving out to our camp in Wadi Rum

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Love this photo! Inspired by one of my girl crushes @hbgoodie

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Sunset rides into the desert. If I was to go back to Wadi Rum I would skip taking a camel ride. Just seems a bit to strenuous on the camels to walk back and forth in the heat.

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Giving the camels a much needed rest 🙂

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Spent our morning with a Syrian family that worked at the camp. They didn’t speak a word of English, but we sat with them, drank tea and photographed the free spirit of these adorable kids.

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Here is their little hide out up in the rocks where they spend most of their day away from the heat, resting and spending time as a family.

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Kyle shot this, and I think its my fav shot of these cuties!

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Such a simple but happy life

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Couldnt help but stop and snap this solo Bedouin wandering through the desert

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Probably nicest sunset I’ve ever witnessed!

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Planet Earth or Mars?

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The Bedouins are the craziest drivers! So much fun burning through the dunes

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Sunrise above our camp with not a soul in sight!

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Views over our camp

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Love how the colours came out in this shot! Its always fun when something edits so well so quickly.

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Giant sand dune we climbed on our Jeep tour

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Candid moments

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If you choose to do the Jeep tour you will visit this giant Arch! This was the most touristy spot we saw in the whole of the desert.

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DAY 7 & 8…

We were craving some salt on our skin after a huge couple of hot desert days, so we headed to the very south of Jordan, where lies the Red Sea. The shores of Aqaba surprisingly boasts a vibrant, colourful reef that is fantastic for diving and snorkelling. Jordan literally has it all!

We spent one night at a hotel (Red Sea Dive Centre) that was super close to the water & offers snorkel gear for all its guests. We literally swam 50 metres straight out the front of the beach and found some pretty amazing coral and sea life! I was astonished at how healthy the coral looked considering its location. The beach itself isn’t flash. You wouldn’t find me spending the day relaxing and sun baking on its shores. No way hosé; not with every male in sight staring your way. Ladies, pack a swim shirt and shorts if you want to deter a stare down.

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Right before I got bit right on the buttocks by an unknown creature. To the mysterious creature, thanks for the serious sting, and swelling of the ass cheek.


Seriously in love with this country and all the people! I hope that my story inspires more people to add Jordan it to their list. I sure still have it on my list of places to visit, wanting a double tick next to it someday.

Goodbye Jordan! Hello Oman!

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20 Comments

  1. Ayda @us.on.earth

    November 17, 2017 at 10:50 am

    These are truly impeccable images! I have now put it on my list, so thank you!

    1. haylsaway

      November 17, 2017 at 12:46 pm

      Yesss so happy I have inspired your to travel here xx

  2. Matt

    November 17, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    Wow, amazing! I follow your Instagram account and I am always impressed by these images! How do you do the pictures of you two? Drone or selfie or others? @motzitours

    1. haylsaway

      November 17, 2017 at 2:01 pm

      Thank you !! We use a tripod mostly to get the couple shots 🙂

  3. Ola

    November 17, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    This is so informative and inspiring! Thank you, Haylsa 😍👍🏻

    1. haylsaway

      November 17, 2017 at 4:58 pm

      Oh thank you for taking the time to read 😍😍

  4. Diana Huntley

    November 17, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    This is stunning!! There is something about the desert there that is do unique and beautiful. One day, I’ll go haha.

    1. haylsaway

      November 17, 2017 at 4:57 pm

      Thank you for reading! Yes you must visit 😍

  5. Sreya

    November 17, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    I love how amazing the desert looks & how gorgeous the architecture is. I’d absolutely love to go to Jordan one day😍

    1. haylsaway

      November 18, 2017 at 4:24 am

      Oh it is all soooo amazing!! thanks so much for reading xxx

  6. Scott

    November 18, 2017 at 8:28 am

    Lovely Post….What an intriguing looking country..

    1. haylsaway

      November 19, 2017 at 7:24 am

      Thank you 😌😌

  7. Emma

    November 19, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    Hey ! It is the first time I come to your blog and I a in love ! This Jordan pictures are so stunning, you are a super talented photographer ! I can’t wait to you more of your travels !

    1. haylsaway

      November 20, 2017 at 9:12 pm

      Aww thanks lovely!! Xxxx

  8. Akber

    November 19, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    Such a beautiful post. I love the pictures of Petra at night with candles. Can you give some tips on night photography? How did you manage to get the people so sharp- was it on a high ISO?

    1. haylsaway

      November 20, 2017 at 9:13 pm

      I used a tripod & had a longer shutter speed, I was lucky enough that everyone was sitting down and reasonably still so it came out looking good! Iso wasn’t too high 🙂

  9. @madolyniris

    December 3, 2017 at 8:18 am

    These photos are just stunning! This sounds like a once in a lifetime trip. Did you drive yourselves/self guided the entire time or did you join any tours? How did you find the roads and driving? It’s so lovely you got to meet some of the people. I work for Unicef and a trip to Jordan is high on my list.

    1. haylsaway

      December 5, 2017 at 3:01 am

      We drove ourselves around the entire time! the only tour we got was to wadi rum 🙂

  10. Ecuador in Munich

    January 9, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    Amaaaaazing pics guys!!! So how did you find the roads? I hate taking guided tours but I’m kinda afraid of driving by ourselves there. What did u think???

  11. Ashna

    March 11, 2018 at 4:31 am

    So informative! I have Jordan on my bucketlist too inspired by the exact same thing 🤗 I love this post and the pictures 💛
    http://www.lifeandash.com

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