Easily one of the most recognisable tourist spots in all of Jordan is Wadi Rum (the local pronunciation is closer to “Wadi Ramm”), also known as the Valley of the Moon. This is the biggest desert in the country as well as one of the settings for the classic film “Lawrence of Arabia”, a gorgeous spread of dunes, sandstone, and granite that provides some of the most impressive panoramas in the kingdom. There are no real inhabitants here save for the nomadic Bedouins, so the place is free of the usual clutter infrastructure brings: the few buildings that do exist are just around the main road and the fortress complex being used by the local Desert Patrol. Aside from those, the area’s structures come in the form of natural creations like granite mounts and huge, sloping dunes. This is the desert at its most dramatic, so be prepared to take dozens of photos during your trip.
There are quite a number of ways to get to Wadi Rum. The most popular way is through land transport, by taking the road ramifying from the Desert Highway that connects Aqaba to the capital. This road, also known as the Wadi Rum Turnoff, is approximately 40 kilometres away from Aqaba proper, and it leads you straight to the Wadi Rum Visitor’s Centre and Village. From there, it is just a short trip away to the tourist landmark or site of your choice.
There are dozens of places to go to in this desert. You can try looking at the rubble of Lawrence’s House (which is yet unverified as a true abode the T. E. Lawrence used). You can go to the Nabatean Temple near the Wadi Rum Village’s Rest House and explore the area around it for the numerous and beautiful petroglyphs dating back to centuries in the past. You might even visit such picturesque spots as the Red Sand Dunes, where the light and red sands mingle, or the Seven Pillars of Wisdom named after T. E. Lawrence’s Book.
There are several ways to get a look at these spots as well as to tour Wadi Rum itself. One of the most exhilarating methods would be to get a four wheel drive tour guide and take on the dunes that way. Alternatively, you can pick a camel tour courtesy of a Bedouin guide. Both of these methods requires advanced planning if you truly want to enjoy yourself: it is worthwhile to note that not all the Bedouin guides speak good English, so you want to do your research carefully and actually find someone who can give you a good description of the sites you are visiting. This shall make it easier to make requests too.
Alternatively, you can take on Wadi Rum from the skies. The Royal Aero Sports Club in Aqaba provides services for hot air balloon tours over the desert, and they even offer trips on a microlight or ultralight if you want something more fast-paced. These are great ways to truly appreciate the desert as it is laid out before you. Just be sure to book a trip with them in advance by checking out their contact details at http://www.royalaerosports.com/site/.