Is solo female travel in Jordan safe? ABSOLUTELY!
When I thought about visiting Jordan, the words “unsafe” kept roaring in my head. I was living in Israel when I visited Jordan so I gave it a try. It was a 6-hour bus ride from my former home in Tel Aviv. First, I spent some time in the Israeli city of Eilat where I visited some friends I met in Peru. I took a taxi to get to the border and it was pretty easy.
As usual, the Israeli border is very strict and this is probably the craziest check I underwent while living in Israel. Note that when leaving Israel by land or by plane, you will still have to undergo a thorough check. I was surprised to see that most of the border personnel in the Israeli-Jordan border were women. As soon as my backpack passed security, they asked me to take out the contents of my backpack. At first, I said “no.” Growing up, I was trained never to open my backpack/luggage in any airports as airport personel can plant something that may implicate me. It happens a lot in Asia. When I refused, the Israeli soldier pointed at all the cameras they have within the premises. She told me that the border is equipped with security cameras in all corners so I had nothing to worry about. Convinced with that state of the art system and the reputation of Israel when it comes to high-end technology, I obediently emptied my bags. It was a tedious process as I had a lot of things but in the end, they let me exit.
Philippine passport holders like me need a visa to enter Jordan. On normal days, it is very difficult for us to obtain a visa to Jordan (unless you are a Filipino with a resident visa in the Middle East) but I was sponsored by a tour company to come to Jordan. They were waiting for me at the border when I arrived. They needed to escort me as they paid a security deposit of $2,000 USD that they will get when I exit Jordan. If you are from the Philippines and needs visa assitance to Jordan, you can visit P.S. I’m On My Way’s Jordan Tours page. I can definitely assist you in getting a visa to enter Jordan! I entered Jordan from Israel through Aqaba (south) but there’s another border where you can go directly to Amman. It’s called King Hussein Bridge crossing.
I thought I needed to cover myself when traveling Jordan but when I reached Amman, I found out that I didn’t have to do that. Jordan is very modern and is very open to tourists. They don’t require female travelers to “dress properly” but you can do it for the experience. I am not saying you can easily wear sleeveless tops or bikinis in Jordan. You still have to follow an appropriate dress code. For most days, I wore pants and shirts with sleeves. However, I noticed that touristy places don’t really require this dress code so I had the freedom to wear sleeveless in Amman and Petra. Wearing swimsuit in public beaches like the Dead Sea was also okay. But in small towns and provinces, always make sure you have knee-length dresses/skirts and cover your shoulders and upper arms. Again, you do not have to cover your head with a scarf. This is deemed inappropriate for non-Muslims, particularly by the women of Jordan’s Christian communities who do not wear headscarves.