Americans safe to travel to Jordan right now?
I went all over Turkey a few years ago and it was a grand thing. It was Post 9/11 but pre-IRAQ-II, and no problems at all. Everyone friendly, secular government, wonderful hospitality.
I have been reading the experiences of travellers to Jordan on here, and they are all very very positive, but they are all somewhat out of date. (2001 or so). I am wondering if anything's changed since then, Jordan being geographically in the center of everything, but seemingly staying out of the fray. I am mainly worried about Islamic extremists targeting American travellers as a way to vent their rage in a personal and direct manner. Are there any documented cases of violence or harrasment in Jordan recently?
Do the Bedouins care about the situation around them, or are they indifferent?
Would it be advisible to have a Jordanian guide accompany me from Amman to the south regions?
I checked the US state department website, and there is no specific travel advisory. But in the general listing for Jordan there are the usual caveats. The ironic thing is that the warnings for Turkey are now a lot worse than Jordan due to the embassy bombings in Istanbul.
Thanks in advance for any advice,
I'd love to hear anything that you find out..I'm trying to do some digging around as well to find out about not only Jordan, but Syria as well.
My friend and I (both of us white females) plan to travel overland from Istanbul to Cairo via Syria and Jordan in late June and are debating whether to go it alone or if we might feel more comfortable/safe doing an overland truck tour for this portion of the trip.
One bummer: a visa to get into Syria needs to be arranged in advance from what I can tell and costs $100
And just in case you want to go to Jordan via Israel (and see a bit of Israel in the process), border crossings between Jordan and Israel, while slow and a bit intrusive, are open... the one in the Arava (near Eilat) being the easiest from what I can tell, and you can usually get a visa there on the spot, while to cross at the Allenby Bridge (near Jericho) requires getting a visa in advance.
If you are coming soon, I can recommend a four-day tour going in late March from Israel with a terrific Israeli archaeologist/guide (who will hook up, I believe, with a Jordanian colleague), offered by Archaeological Seminars in Jerusalem. If you are interested, their e-mail address is: email@example.com.
I feel much more at ease with the information she has given me,the media in the US will simply scare you out of visiting that country!!
I do realize that ANY travel can be unsafe, but obviously there is a bit of extra tension at the moment -- particularly now that the US government is beginning to hassle Iran as well.
We are going in late June, so thanks for mentioning the tour Suzanne, but it doesn't fit in with our timing. If you have any advice about how to find local guides for hire, I'd love to hear it. Since we have just decided on including this region as part of our plan I haven't had the chance to do a lot of research yet -- the books are on their way though...
I've heard wonderful things about Jordan and am less concerned about it than I am Syria . Perhaps a crossing to Jordan via Israel instead of Syria is advisable. I don't have a map or book regarding the region at present so I'm not sure what's possible.
Plenty of research I still need to do!
I made that suggestion because I live in Israel and happen to think it's really beautiful, friendly and open and everyone is welcome and should come here at least once! AND crossing to Jordan from Israel (and back again) is not that difficult, as long as you're not doing anything illegal or dangerous!
DO read travel books (guides, personal experiences and fiction) to give you a better "feel" and to gain specific and important information, of course. But people are people - and both the Jordanians I've met (along with the Israelis I know) are very friendly and helpful. People in Jordan do speak English, so even if you don't know the local dialect of Arabic, you'll have no problem getting around. It's good to learn a few words - yes, no, thank you, you are welcome, etc. - which will help make you and everyone you meet more comfortable.
As far as Jordanian guides go, I don't know any personally, but I'll ask my friend who is leading the tour I mentioned as he is connected with a group of Israeli and Jordanian guides who have been involved for some time with "cross-border" tourism projects (one day, I hope to be part of that group). I'll post some names or at least some companies and, hopefully, contact information here.
The main thing is to be watchful (yes) but not fearful and to go with an open mind and spirit and just ENJOY everything you see and everyone you meet.
And one more thing - report back! We will all want to hear about your adventure!
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