Magical Wadi Rum at night.

Spring travels brought me to the Middle Eastern country of Jordan on the days of May. Jordan is located between Israel, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, small but strangely charming. One of the most impressive and majestic place I’ve been to in Jordan was Wadi Rum desert which dubbed The Valley of the Moon — A must-visit destination of Jordan. So, what to do and how to plan a perfect budget trip to Wadi Rum Jordan (Wadi Rum desert) for the first-time? Let’s check out my Wadi Rum travel blog (Wadi Rum blog) through my field Wadi Rum trip with the ultimate Wadi Rum Jordan guide (Wadi Rum guide) from how to go from Petra to Wadi Rum, Wadi Rum what to see, what to eat and top things to do in Wadi Rum to find out the answer!

In Wadi Rum desert, I thought I was lost on Mars.

Closing my eyes, my mind was filled with a silvery color of sunlight covering the desert strip that had witnessed thousands of ups and downs. Jordan brings its own a beauty of the aridity, the fierceness of the sun, the wind, and the mystery of the past thousands years. We can only stand still and contemplate, engrave each moment in our souls and empathize with our fluttering hearts. More than anywhere else, I was lost between a civilization that had once reached its peak and wild nature. The two extremes seem to be opposites, but they are an unexpectedly harmonious entity.

Riding a camel in the vast desert is an interesting and unforgettable experience.
The experience of sleeping in a tent in the middle of the desert with all the amenities is not inferior to a 4-star hotel. | wadi rum travel blog

Wadi Rum travel blog: The Valley of the Moon

You should buy a full tour to explore Wadi Rum because it’s no road and difficult to navigate. | wadi rum travel blog

Wandering along the “King’s Highway” from North to South of Jordan, after a few days’ stop in the ancient city of Petra, I came to Wadi Rum, the “Valley of Sand” in Arabic, also known as the “Valley of the Moon”. Wadi Rum belongs to the southern desert region and was also my last destination. Every time I think about it, it’s not Petra but Wadi Rum that makes me miss Jordan so much. Therefore, every line I write to Wadi Rum is a hasty scribble, as if I fear the beautiful memories of this strip of land will be like fine sand flowing between my fingers and flying in the whirlwinds.

Wadi Rum is not a sand desert but giant sandstone mountain ranges intertwined on a background of multicolored fine sand. | wadi rum travel blog

Wadi Rum is unlike any other desert I’ve been to. This is not a faded white desert, dotted with dusty cacti. Not the golden sand dunes under the boring blue sky. I love this place because of its breathtaking, powerful and generous beauty, wild but gentle. The sandstone strips surrounding the valley in various shapes and shades, changing color according to the angle of the sun are the hidden secret to the charm of this place. Vertical cliffs, multicolored, as if rising from nowhere, majestic and mysterious. Interspersed with are long strips of sand in red, yellow, white, then yellow again, intertwined as if there was no end. Here and there, the patchwork huts of Bedouin nomads and a few camels huddled in the shadows of rare acacia trees, reminded me of human life in that quiet space.

Silence in the vast space of the desert. | wadi rum travel blog
Camels in the Wadi Rum desert.
The strangely shaped granite rocks are one of the attractions of Wadi Rum. | wadi rum jordan guide

Wadi Rum’s majestic and surreal landscape is frequently chosen by Hollywood filmmakers as a backdrop for sci-fi movies such as “Prometheus (2012)” by Ridney Scott, “Red Planet (2000)”, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)”… or more recently, “The Martian (2015)” with the acting of Matt Damon. But perhaps the most famous foreigner to ever mark this place is a British archaeologist, military officer T.E. Lawrence, the main character in the classic 7 Oscar-winning film “Lawrence of Arabia (1962)” which recreated his life and the Arab uprising of 1916-1918. Colonel Lawrence described a “vast, echoing, divine” desert, and 100 years later, Wadi Rum is still the same, making me unable to refuse.

Tour vans gather in Lawrence Spring, named after British Army officer T.E. Lawrence, who had been in Wadi Rum for many years. | wadi rum travel blog

If you look down from above, Wadi Rum is like a picture printed on an old postcard, you’ve seen it hundreds of times, then lost it all the time. Then one summer afternoon, I found that card in a book, curled, faded, and this time, with a picture of me standing in the distance. When we’ve traveled enough, we know in every destination we’ll find a meaningful something. Coming to Wadi Rum, I felt like I found myself.

Silently in the vast space of the desert, I felt like I was standing in front of myself.

Wadi Rum is an alternating sequence of calm and intense. I was fortunate to be able to admire those shades. During the days I was there, the sun wasn’t as warm as one would expect. Wadi Rum in me is the storm. One afternoon, clouds layer upon layer, drawing pictures in front of each other. Thunder rumbled and lightning flashed, the tornado came and swept away the thin scarf, as if a thunderstorm was about to fall. But then in the blink of an eye, everything disappeared into nothingness. Another day, the rain really came. Rare drops of rain are pressed against the car window, brushing dust and sand in a stream. Then hail fell on the hut where I was staying. The ice cubes were the size of a chicken egg, pounding on the red sand. And suddenly, the dark cloud pulled away as quickly as it came, leaving me dumbfounded.

Thunderstorms brought to dark the sky, the desert raging in front. | wadi rum travel blog
A thunderstorm came over the desert, extremely wild and powerful. | wadi rum travel blog
A Bedouin boy plays with ice cubes that have just fallen from the sky. | wadi rum travel blog

Sunrise and sunset are the two most glorious moments of the desert. Amidst the rains, the setting sun descended below the last layer of clouds. The space suddenly lit up one last time, like a miracle. Warm pink, then red, quiet in space but strong in emotions.

The desert is splendid in the sunset, the colors of the rocks and sand were bright. | wadi rum blog

With weather like that, I can’t go according to any plan. The young boy Farar led the way, taking me to shelter from the rain at his relative’s hut. Between the two tornadoes, he told me to climb a mountain to take advantage of the view, then quickly called me down when another tornado suddenly hit. The inhabitants of Wadi Rum are only a few Bedouin tribes, everyone knows each other and everyone seems to be cousins. Farar belongs to the Zalabia tribe. He proudly led me to the source of water where many years ago, his grandfather first set up camp and since then he had settled down. I love listening to him tell stories about the life of a nomad along with a cup of tea with herbs. Bedouin tea is totally different from Moroccan or Turkish mint teas. They boil black tea with fragrant leaves available in the desert. Most are sage leaves and thyme, mixed with a little sugar, slightly sweet and fragrant. In the middle of the desert, the dry grass splintered under the teapot, sending red embers into the dark night.

Light a fire, making tea in a deserted place, in the desert of Wadi Rum. | wadi rum jordan guide
Sipping tea in the middle of the desert when night falls is a very interesting experience. | wadi rum blog

In the night, I heard the echo of the desert as clearly as if it were a reflection of my soul. The surrounding is completely quiet, the sand lies quietly. Everything was so quiet that, if this weren’t a desert, I might have heard the plants sprouting. Then I jumped into the old car with no headlights, hummed, and plunged into the deep night.

Tours in the Wadi Rum desert are taken by old cars, without headlights, and of course no cooling systems. When the engine is too hot, they will be poured with bottled water into it. | wadi rum blog
Bedouin man smoking shisha in the desert while waiting for sunset. | wadi rum blog
The sunset just went off in the Wadi Rum desert. | wadi rum blog
Magical Wadi Rum at night.
| wadi rum guide

Wadi Rum Jordan guide: How to go from Petra to Wadi Rum?

Mini Bus

Wadi Rum is majestic and powerful.

The mini bus from Petra to Wadi Rum runs at (approximately) 6 am. You should ask the receptionist to book a car from the day before, then in the next morning you go to the hotel door to wait. The car will go through all the hotels booked to pick up guests. This ride has a fare of 10 JOD/person.

The bus will only run when it is full, so if you should spend time to wait the bus to avoid rush.

Taxi

From Petra, you can easily find a taxi to Wadi Rum for about 40 JOD / 1 trip for 4 people.

Wadi Rum blog: How to buy a tour in Wadi Rum?

Interesting rock formations in Wadi Rum. | wadi rum blog

Wadi Rum is the desert region of Southern Jordan, with breathtaking scenery. Although it is not very large, it is completely wild and has no roads. Therefore, you should buy a tour from a local to avoid getting lost. Tours usually start at 9-10 am at Wadi Rum village, ranging in length from 1 to 3 nights. You should choose tour agencies that have tents located in the valley for convenient transportation and watching the sunrise and sunset as well.

The 2-night tour costs about 120 JOD/person. If want to add a camel ride of about 1 hour, then pay an additional of 20 JOD / 1 person. You can book the tour via Rum Star (http://www.rumstars.com). Read our previous article to know how to book, price and joining a Wadi Rum here.

The camp for tourists in the desert is very reasonably arranged and comfortable. | wadi rum jordan guide
Wadi Rum has absolutely no any road, even if you want to go on your own way, you also don’t know where to go. We are completely dependent on the guide. | wadi rum travel blog

Read more Petra guide here and Jordan travel guide here.

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