“Sea of Death”, “The Eastern Sea”, “Lake Asphaltites”
12th of June, 2011
Jordan is not only about Petra. It has lots more to offer, and one of the greatest assets is the Dead Sea. Forming the border naturally with Israel just in the other side and completely visible from Jordan, is a once in a lifetime (hopefully more) experiences.
What you have heard that the water is really pushing you up to float, it’s all true. When you walk inside the water, and when the water is over your legs, then it’s hard to keep standing up right. Just let yourself float and enjoy.
To reach the nearest beaches, you have a handful of bus lines running from Amman from Mujaharin bus station to Rame, at the costs of 1 JD. Once you are at this bus station in Amman ask anyone to point you to the bus to Rame. There are many buses and can get confused, but people over there is really friendly and will help you. Buses leave once they are full.
The trip will take around 45 minutes, passing through great hill landscapes with olive plantations. Once you are in Rame a taxi to Amman Beach cost around 4JD. Negotiate with the driver that he waits for you while you bath, and then drive you back to Rame. It will cost you around 6JD per person.
Entering Amman Beach costs 15 JD. It grants you access to the sandy beach, towels and sweet water showers. Very important to remove the salt from your body. But, it is not mandatory that you come to a pay beach.
Of course you can access the sea from any other place, not from the many resorts and hotels aligning the area around Amman Beach. In fact, you will not experience the Dead Sea in full unless you choose to access any open beach.
All you need to do is pack at least 3 bottles of 2 litres each of tap water (yes you have guessed why) and tell the taxi driver to take you just a bit further from Amman Beach, then make your way through the rocks down to the beach. Notice all the rocks, wood from trees and anything is covered in a thick white layer of pure salt. Also, there is no sand. Instead it’s a thick layer of transparent salt, very hard, and painful if you are thinking in walking barefoot. You need sandals. Please remember, this is very important to have sandals.
You should not be inside the water more than 30 minutes. Otherwise the killer sun and the super salinity will burn your skin. Take special precaution no drop of water comes to your eyes. Don’t be silly by splashing water one each other’s. The Dead Sea is the last place you want to do that. If this happens come out from the water quick and rinse with sweet water. Also, not only the water itself, but your hands, if you touch your eyes the same will happen.
You don’t need towels, you dry almost immediately once you leave the water. Then take the bottles of tap water and water yourself to clear the salt from your body. You will have a guaranteed fun and laugh. But sometimes it’s much more fun to go on the cheap than on the easy.
As for the way back to Amman or the place you are staying in, if you got a driver to wait for you then he will take you back to Rame, from here wait on the main road for the next bus to come, and you will be again on your way back to Amman. Do never listen to the people who tells you there are no buses because whatever the reason, never, all they want is for you to enter their car and drive you back for a high fee. The bus will come in few minutes.
Now you are at the end of your Dead Sea experience, so plan something else for the rest of the day, as you only need half of the day for it.