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whY go to Jordan?

klm597

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Hi All,

Long time reader of this forum and high time I contribute. So, what better way to introduce myself then with a trip report. First things first a few things about me.

I’ve just passed two years of working full-time since graduating university and have quickly learnt that travel will be a necessity to help me through being an “adult.” For the past two years or so I’ve been VA SG thanks to a well-times Coles Mastercard and Velocity Explore Gold offer.

I’m Brisbane-based and have done some travel (mostly Europe and the USA) over the years but other than 3 sneaky J flights around Asia everything has been in Y. As the title suggests I’ll be continuing this trend on this trip and keeping it real in whY.

Tour:

This trip is centred around an Intrepid hiking tour of Jordan (Trek Jordan). I’ve always wanted to go on a proper ‘desert’ holiday and Jordan is the most obvious choice with a bit of fantastic food and history mixed in. This will be my second group tour but my first with Intrepid and my first small-group tour (the rest of the trip I’ll be traveling on my own). Jordan will also be my first ‘adventurous’ destination (don’t read too much into that definition) and definitely won’t be my last thanks to this forum. My father spent a little time in Jordan nearly 30 years ago, so it already had my family’s tick of approval (always important).

IMG_TREK JORDAN.jpg

Flights:

BNE-xMEL-HKG (Virgin Australia) with 3 nights in Hong Hong

HKG-xAUH-AMM (Etihad) with 2 nights in Abu Dhabi and 9 nights in Jordan

AMM-xAUH-xHKG-xMEL-BNE (Etihad and Virgin Australia) with a 3-hour layover in Abu Dhabi and 10 hours in Hong Kong.

The VA legs to and from Hong Kong were booked way back in February during a Double SC promotion (big help to re-quality for SG this year :cool:) with a cheeky AUD520 return fare. The Etihad legs were booked a few months later for around AUD1100 when Etihad were offering free two-night stopovers on all bookings. Routing via Hong Kong not only earns me more SCs but was significantly cheaper than the direct Australia-Jordan bookings (well over AUD2100).

IMG_HK & JORDAN.jpg

Hotels:

Hong Kong – Only just booked the Eaton HK last week thanks to recommendations on this forum (AUD110 per night). I’m not too worried about travelling around Hong Kong but I am hoping getting into town from the airport will be easily when I arrive (Saturday night doesn’t have the best track record).

Abu Dhabi – Booked the Jumeirah At Etihad Towers for a grand total of $0 through the free two-night stopover Etihad were running a few months ago. I instantly gravitated to of the most expensive hotels they were offering (who wouldn’t). Current prices for my dates are over AUD350 per night so I consider that pretty good value.:)

Amman – The tour starts at the Art Hotel Downtown so I booked two additional nights there as I arrive in Amman on a Thursday and the tour starts on a Saturday. There were nicer options for a similar price (AUD135 per night) further out of the central area but I thought the convenience of being close too all the attractions and not having to move outweighed the ‘nice-ness’ factor.


This short two-week trip will be the first time I’ve taken more than 1-week annual leave in one hit (excluding over Christmas) so my excitement levels are through the roof. This will be my second visit to Hong Kong and Abu Dhabi but my first to Jordan obviously. I’ll try to keep this report as ‘live’ as possible depending in internet access in Jordan. Tips and trick are very welcome.

Kick-off is bright an early Saturday morning for the 6am BNE-MEL leg assuming I make it through the last two days of work. Thanks for making it this far!
 

drron

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Welcome to AFF klm 597.You have certainly booked a great place for your first "adventure".
We went to Jordan a few years ago and really loved the place.Looking forward to reviving a few memories.
 

Cossie

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Consider staying in Madaba, it's closer to the airport and is nicer imo. Lot's to see there as well. Not sure what's included with your tour, but a visit to Jerash north of Amman is very well worth it. It is possible to do it as a day trip from Amman.

 
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esseeeayeenn

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Looking forward to this report as I am hoping to visit Jordan next year!
 

klm597

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Consider staying in Madaba, it's closer to the airport and is nicer imo. Lot's to see there as well. Not sure what's included with your tour, but a visit to Jerash north of Amman is very well worth it. It is possible to do it as a day trip from Amman.
Thank you all.

For the last night of the tour we will be staying in Madaba. I've heard it's quite nice and the proximity to the airport looks very convenient so thank you for confirming.

I plan on doing a day trip up to Jerash before the tour starts, was learning towards asking the hotel about it in Amman when I arrive as day tours seem readily available.
 

VPS

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Welcome to AFF and looking forward to your TR
 

BriarFlyer

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Jordan's also on my radar, so I'm aboard for the TR (although sitting up the pointy end.) Thanks for sharing your adventure, klm597.
 

JohnM

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When at Petra, make sure to climb up to view the Treasury from above on the opposite side of the canyon. It's a less-hiked route than going to the monastery (make sure to do that too), but well worth it IMO. Best to allow two days in Petra to get the best out of it.
 

klm597

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When at Petra, make sure to climb up to view the Treasury from above on the opposite side of the canyon. It's a less-hiked route than going to the monastery (make sure to do that too), but well worth it IMO. Best to allow two days in Petra to get the best out of it.
Thanks JohnM. I have two nights in Petra so I'm hoping to do all the hikes and walks available.
 

klm597

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Uneventful jump down to Melbourne passing some very empty looking dams.

Screenshot_20191019-080227~2.png

No wifi on-board but the stream-to-device entertainment worked well. I'm always impressed with the effort Virgin put into their music library, including custom album introductions recorded by the artists specifically for VA.

Very easy transfer to T2 at Melbourne. Made it to The House lounge very quickly. This is a very nice lounge! Wish I had the time for proper table-service breakfast but only have 10 minutes until boarding.

Screenshot_20191019-094020~2.png
 

klm597

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VA representative walked around the lounge notifying everyone that boarding to HK has commenced. Looked like about half of the lounge crowd got moving at that point.

Screenshot_20191019-102015~2.png

Boarding commenced 2 minutes after I made my way to the gate so the lounge notification wasn't a true 'boarding now' situation but it worked out well. 5 minute wait on the jetbridge and I'm onboard. 10K is only one 0 away from being 1K :cool:

Screenshot_20191019-102010~2.png

By my rough scan it looks like this flight is about 50-60% full in the forward Y section. I also spotted a wifi bump on this bird :)
 

klm597

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Another uneventful on-time flight. WiFi was priced at $9 and $12 for an hour, or $25 and $45 for the full flight for the slower and faster speeds respectively. Decided I could cope without and just stuck to the IFE.

Screenshot_20191019-212850~2.png

Crew were very proactive with water and drinks, and the meals both tasted very good. Plenty of leg room in row 10 as well.

Screenshot_20191019-212859~2.png

Priority bags worked as intended with my bag appearing within the first 10 just as I got to the carousel. Straight onto the airport express and I was in Hong Kong / Central MTR station an hour after touchdown. The airport express is not stopping at any intermediate stations currently due to the demonstrations but that wasn't an issue as it was a quick jump back up to Jordan Station to find the Eaton HK hotel.

Screenshot_20191019-212922~2.png

The entire hotel looks like it's been renovated very recently and has this chic contemporary 70's feel. Room is a bit small but that's expected in HK and more than enough for my needs. The food hall below the hotel was very handy for a quick bite to eat and was extremely busy.

After an evening stroll Hong Kong feels just as busy and fun as when I first visited a few years ago.

Screenshot_20191019-212937~2.png
 

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