Jewels of Jordan – the Hidden Gem of the Middle East

Every year I take my parents to a new destination and last year, I wanted to step aside from the rest and engage in something exotic. After considering visa formalities, cost, duration and pace of trip, I finalised on a Holiday in Jordan and just went ahead and booked the tickets – without even consulting my family! When the time came, all three of us took off excitedly to explore the visual grandeur that was about to become a jaw-dropping experience.

I made sure that I have taken travel Insurance for Jordan for the entire group and also procured forex card for Jordan so that there were no last minute hassles.

After landing in Jordan, the visa was on arrival and very quickly processed by the officials. With our bags, we left in the car I had booked from Amman airport to our hotel and kick-started our holiday.  There are so many places to see in Jordan that we wanted to make the best use of our vacation time in Jordan

A smooth check-in and a good night’s rest later, we headed to the famous Mount Nebo and Madaba to visit the historically stunning mosaic work of the Old Testament Era. Driving through the sandy golden landscape we reached our attractions and really enjoyed their beautiful characteristics.

Next off, we went to the famous Dead Sea – an experience never to be forgotten from our memories. There we floated in the sans aquatic life waters while getting authentic mud packs to invigorate our skins. I highly recommend the Movenpick hotel for this experience. Tired and fulfilled, we went back to our hotel in Amman, had a delicious local meal on the way, and eventually called it a night.

Well-rested, we headed to our breakfast restaurant at our lovely hotel and packed in some cabs for the cardio that lay ahead of us – Petra. Yes! One of the new wonders of the world, I was extremely excited to visit. Once there, I cannot begin to express in words the sheer size, sandstone finish and intricately carved canyons that I walked through. Up until the treasury, it was absolutely marvellous. Even after, as I trekked along the uneven rocks while learning about the history of this place, this history buff inside me was satiated and also imagining life back then – a whole bustling city wiped out in the previous century. I even went back at night for the candle light vigil and that had a charm of its own.

It is safe to note that people with knee issues, health problems and general old-age should not venture too far. There is a lot of walking and the horses only go until the treasury.

What was to follow in the next few days was the beautiful camping at Wadi Rum, where we stargazed into the night, the stunning Red Sea at Aqaba, a walk amidst Jerash and a city tour of Amman. As I had made Amman my main hub, I ventured into downtown which I didn’t quite love but the Citadel and amphitheatre were magnificent. Even Rainbow Street is a must-visit to indulge in world cuisine restaurants and locally made cute ice-cream candy shops all over.

Not many people consider Jordan as a historical tourist destination, but I would highly recommend it. It might it a tad tedious for vegetarians but for us carnivores, the meat is delicious. One of the most exotic countries I have experienced with so much to offer, Jordan is a mandate for travel buffs.

The Most Significant UNESCO World Heritage Sites Japan

Japan is actually a country that has varied culture, natural beauty and amazing heritage. If you look up on internet you will find several big, small and significant ones. Ideally there are 21 such UNESCO world heritage sites Japan out of which four are natural. Out of all these, the beauty of the Himeji Castle seems to surpass them all. This reflects the Hyogo Prefecture which is a mark of historic architecture. It was declared as a World Heritage Site in 1993 in which the main castle tower that you can see today is just the one of the 12 built originally.

Historic Monuments of Kyoto

If you visit Kyoto, a more traditional destination for the tourists, never miss the historic monuments of this ancient city. One of the most significant monuments is the Nijo Castle which was declared as one of the UNESCO world heritage sites Japan in 1994. This site actually comprises of 17 different sites spread over different locations in Kyoto. These sites include Kinkakuji, Ginkakuji and Kiyomizu Dera. All these are popular destinations that played a significant role in the history of Kyoto. You will be amazed seeing the breath-taking artwork of the Nijo Castle that holds over 400 years of history.

Mount Fuji

Then of course is the symbol of Japan, Mount Fuji. Amongst all other different famous icons of Japan, this is perhaps the most important symbol. It will feature in about all introductions of Japan. It is also included in different artwork of Japan all through its history. Fujisan, the sacred place here is a true source of artistic inspiration. This was declared as a World Heritage Site in 2013. You can admire its beauty from different points around the mountain or go close to it by taking a bus to the Fifth Step of it.

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