Last Updated on July 17, 2021 by Arvino Voyage
Wadi Rum Desert in Jordan is indeed famous for its beauty. This desert is even the backdrop for top films such as Star Wars to the latest Dune. The Wadi Rum Desert itself is a desert located in the City of Aqaba, near Petra. Wadi Rum is located in the southern part of Jordan, about 300 kilometers from Amman, the capital of Jordan. Apart from Petra and the Dead Sea, Wadi Rum is one of the places most tourists who come to Jordan want to visit. We can also visit Wadi Rum after visiting the beautiful Gulf of Aqaba.
Petra is known as the crown jewel of Jordan. But for adventurers, Wadi Rum is the star. Starting from the red, pink and brown sandstone cliffs, it is only fitting that this desert has become the location of several famous films. For tourists, Wadi Rum also provides an opportunity for them to get to know the traditional culture in South Jordan.
Desert Valley covering an area of 720 square kilometers with the desert and its unique rocky hills since 2011 is one of the 5 places in Jordan on the UNESCO World Heritage list, wadi rum protected area.
The word ‘Wadi’ means valley, while ‘Rum’ means high or uphill. Indeed, apart from the expanse of desert, this valley is also filled with towering rocky hills with shades of a combination of red, orange and yellow. In this valley area there is a rocky hill called Jabal Rum, which reaches an altitude of 1,700 m above sea level. This hill is the second highest hill in Jordan. When photographed from afar, it looks like it is piled up with different color gradations, perhaps similar to the scene on the planet Mars. The red-rock desert scenes from Dune (2021) were mostly filmed in the mesmerising Wadi Rum in southern Jordan.
So, what can a traveler do here? Is Wadi Rum worth visiting? Here’s an interesting fact about the wadi rum desert ;
Transport to Wadi Rum
To be able to enter the Wadi Rum protected account, you will be charged a fee of 7 USD. After passing through the entrance gate to the area, you must first head to the Wadi Rum Visitor Center because there are many tour guide services available for tourists. The services provided are 4×4 jeep and camel rental. To navigate this desert you can use a jeep, camel, hot air balloon or microlight (a kind of parachute).
However, the location of Wadi Rum is quite strategic because it is close to Aqaba and the ancient city of Petra, two places that are also very busy with tourists. The road to Wadi Rum can be reached via the smooth highway that cuts through the desert.
If you are traveling from the Bay of Aqaba, there are many buses available to Wadi Rum. Bus fares range from 17 JOD / 24 USD round-trip ticket fee; a one-way ticket should be around 9 JOD / 13 USD. Another option is a taxi. The price is around 24 – 29 JOD / 34 – 41 USD.
Another alternative to go to Wadi Rum can be reached by Public Transport bus from Petra, which departs at 06:30, the official fare is 2 JOD / 3 USD which takes 2 hours to get to Wadi Rum. However, if you are in Amman, then first you have to go to Aqaba, because there is no public transportation from Amman to Wadi Rum.
The Valley of the Moon
Wadi Rum is called The Valley of the Moon because there is a unique contrast to the natural situation there. In the barren desert there are giant green circles that contrast with the surrounding area. The circles are a plantation area called Rum Farm. This area is devoted to the cultivation of plant-based products such as grains and fodder, including eggplant, cabbage, pomegranate, pumpkin, tomatoes and other foods.
From a height, Rum Farm looks like a rug with a circle motif. The flourishing of plantations here is inseparable from the irrigation system that drains water from the mountains in Saudi Arabia, which is located close to Wadi Rum.
The water flows from underground aquifers (layers of the earth’s crust) made to a depth of 30-400 meters. Agricultural land is made in a circle pattern, which can facilitate the irrigation process. This kind of system was actually used by the ancient Egyptians. Water that flows through a small pipe is poured from above at regular intervals with a wheel. Vegetables that are on the Jordanian market are mostly supplied from Rum Farm, which is located in this desert valley.
Apart from the barren desert areas and plantations, Wadi Rum is also an attractive place for adventurers who love rock climbing. In this area, there are rocky mountains that are challenging to conquer, you can even rent climbing equipment in this place.
Bedouin, Native Tribe in Wadi Rum
The Wadi Rum area is inhabited by the Bedouin Tribe, many of whom become tour guides as well as guides to rock climbing locations. This tribe, known as a nomadic tribe. Wadi Rum Bedouin Camp rents out tents in which there were already a bed and a small wardrobe, the rental fee is offered in the range of USD 40- USD 50 per night. They also sell various kinds of beautiful Wadi Rum souvenirs.
Wadi Rum is quite hot
The temperature in Wadi Rum is quite hot, reaching 38 – 45 (100 – 113 F) degrees, but at night it drops to 15 – 20 (60 – 68 F) degrees in summer. Especially in the absence of light pollution at night, star clusters can be seen brightly decorating the night sky.
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At Wadi Rum there is also an ancient temple built by the Nabataeans people, a tribe who also built the stone city of Petra. The narrow passage where Ancient Nabataean inscriptions dating back more than 12,000 years are well preserved on the canyon walls. The symbols and images of animals and humans are here considered to be one of the earliest letters created. There is also the Umm Fruth Stone Bridge, a rock that connects two rocky hills together. If you are interested and your physical condition is fit, you can climb the steep rock.
Wadi Rum Bedouin Camp
To stay in Wadi Rum, there is a beautiful dome-style inn located in a vast field. To get to know the traditional culture at Wadi Rum, visitors can also stop at the camp that is run by the community here, called Wadi Rum Bedouin Camp. However, visitors who do not want to stay in the camp provided by the residents of Wadi Rum, there is also a modern camp with air conditioning and hot tub facilities. The toilet is modern with a sitting WC in the tiled bathroom, complete with a shower.
Lawrence of Arabia
There is a kind of Lawrence of Arabia monument, which was carved into a rock while traveling. It is thought that this was where British officer T.E. Lawrence camped during the Arab uprising of 1917-1918.
Watch video: Jordan Wadi Rum Desert The Valley of the Moon
Becoming a Hollywood Box Office Shooting Location
Dune is a film based on a book by Frans Herbert. This film takes the background of Wadi Rum who was turned into the planet Arrakis. Dune (film 2021), which will be released on October 1, 2021, tells the story of a young man named Paul Atreides who has the talent to dream of the future. His dream brought him to Arrakis to get spices. Later, the Paul family will go to war with the native Arrakis. Then they will also face the Arrakis sand worm, which makes this film even more tense.
In 2019, Disney’s live action film Aladdin broke the Hollywood Box Office record. Not many people know, it turns out that the location of the Cave of Wonders is where the Genie’s lamp was stored before it was finally found by Aladin set in Wadi Rum.
Wadi Rum is also increasingly global through the Star Wars film. Four Rise of Skywalker, Wadi Rum became the location of the desert planet Pasaana. Then in Rogue One, Wadi Rum turns into a cold small moon named Jedha.
The Martian is one of those who successfully depicted Mars through Wadi Rum. The film begins with a depiction of the view of Mars, which is actually a desert in Jordan. This film is played by Matt Damon as Mark Watney, who is the main character in this science fiction film. Watney separated from the NASA team and eventually left on Mars. Watney was determined to survive in the barren desert.
Since The Martian was released, Wadi Rum has become increasingly famous as a tourist spot. There is a unique tour that is inspired by the film. Participants can feel as if they are isolated on Mars and witness how vast the desert is.
Prometheus is a science fiction genre film, which is a prequel to the film Alien. In the film, Wadi Rum transforms into a planet called LV-223. Uniquely, in this film Wadi Rum’s triumph is also highlighted through the scene of an Artificial Intelligence (AI) character named David who repeatedly watches Lawrence of Arabia.
In the transformers film, Wadi Rum is the location of a fierce battle between the Autobots and evil robots who are members of the Decepticons. This Wadi Rum is the place where the leader of the Decepticons, Megatron, died.
The youngest film ever shot at Wadi Rum is Lawrence of Arabia. This film, which was directed by David Lean, tells the story of the life of Thomas Edward Lawrence or T. R Lawrence, a British Army Lieutenant assigned to intelligence. Lawrence is known as the figure who pushed for the Arab revolt against the Ottoman empire in World War I.
In the film, Lawrence is depicted exploring Wadi Rum. Due to the film’s success, Jordan’s tourism took off. Many people are getting to know Wadi Rum through the film, which won 10 Oscars.
Wadi Rum, Jordan FAQ
Is Wadi Rum worth visiting?
If you are a true adventurer, Wadi Rum is a destination worth exploring. The hot air, the sand that often hits your face when the wind blows hard, and the steep rocks there are challenges that you must conquer. The unspoiled atmosphere of the Wadi Rum desert and far from human settlements makes it as if you are in a fantasy land full of magic.