This week, KARRYON Founder Matt heads off on an Arabian adventure to the desert Kingdom of Jordan via Abu Dhabi. Is he excited? Put it this this way – We’re already sick of him talking about it in the office.

In these interesting times of ‘overtourism and global Insta ‘hotspots’ being eroded by selfie obsessed visitors, it appears that the crowds have unwittingly left Jordan off their hit lists (so far).

Which when you think about it, makes you scratch your head a little. Why is that?

How does a country that features some of the world’s most ancient and epic World Heritage sites including the incredible red stone carved city of Petra, the famed deserts and Mars like terrain of Wadi Rum that once saw Lawrence of Arabia (and Matt Damon in the Martian) journeying through them, or the super salty Dead Sea not get more exposure?

Traveller's Corner, Wadi Rum

Traveller’s Corner, Wadi Rum

Roman Ampitheater, Ammam-karryon

Roman Ampitheater, Ammam

Of course, being sandwiched between troubled Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Palestine, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Israel in the Middle East hasn’t helped, but still, this is a small country the size of Portugal that has continually proven its stability and safety as the acting ‘Switzerland’ of the region.

According to statistics site nationamster.com, Jordan was ranked only 54th in the world in 2014 for its crime rate with Australia ranked at #69 and the U.S listed far worse down at number 30, Brazil at #13 and South Africa at #6.

Which only adds to Jordans understated popularity case mystery even more.

The classic Dead Sea shot

The classic Dead Sea shot – It has to be done

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The ancient Greco-Roman ruins of Jerash

When it comes to visitors to Jordan today, zero crowds haven’t always been the case and it’s only eight years ago in 2010 that Jordan welcomed 1.6m visitors to sample its legendary hospitality and famous icons. In January 2018 meanwhile, visitors for the year were just over half a million.

There are healthy signs though that the country is on the bounce again with visitors to Petra increasing by 50% to in March this year versus 2017. This is the highest increase in eight years according to Jordan Tourism with international visitors making up 60% of the total.

Perceptions and confidence it seems, are beginning to change again.

Scenic also recently announced that Jordan and Egypt are back on the map for them as increased traveller demand has led to creating new itineraries for 2018/19 and National Geographic also named Jordan on their Top 10 places to visit list in 2018.

OUR HINT: Go there now BEFORE the crowds DO arrive.

The amount of movies that have been made in Jordan have also probably helped further Jordan’s recent case for more fan arrivals. The Hurt locker, Zero Dark Thirty, Indian Jones and the Last Crusade, Lawrence of Arabia, Prometheus, The Martian, Transformers: Revenge of the fallen and X-men Apocalypse to name but a few movies were all shot across the country’s arid lands.

Accessibility too from Australia to Jordan’s capital Amman is getting easier, with Etihad Airways connecting daily via Abu Dhabi and a three hour onward flight to get you there from around AU$1,700 return in total.

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The Louvre, Abu Dhabi

So how easy is it to travel in Jordan? I’m about to find out and I CANNOT WAIT to share my experience with you.

Over four days and three nights, i’ll travel to Amman and explore the ancient capital city before visiting the wonders of Petra, floating in the world’s lowest point on earth (and saltiest sea) – The Dead Sea (At 430m below sea level) and then travel on through the Greco-Roman ruins of Jerash, Ajloun and the desert and rock formations of Wadi Rum to go camel riding and 4WD driving through the dunes.

Phew.

My Petra aspirations...

My Petra aspirations… Look out Indy

I’ll spend the last 36 hours of my whistle stop trip back in Abu Dhabi where I’ll be checking out the recently opened Louvre and some of the UAE capital city’s other latest highlights before flying back overnight to Australia.

I’ll be reporting back on my journey throughout the trip so stay tuned across KARRYON and all of our Social Media channels for more along the way.

In the meantime, you can find out more at: Jordan TourismEtihad Airways and Abu Dhabi Tourism.

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What would you like to know about Jordan? Ask your questions below and I’ll share the answers.