Our tour agency organised a taxi to pick us from our hotel in Jerusalem to travel by road to Jordan through Jericho by King Hussein Bridge Border Crossing. There were two security checkpoints – first at the border of Israel and second at the border of Jordan.
The checkpoint at the border of Israel seems to be much more stringent. Besides having our luggage scanned, our poor taxi driver was not impressed at all as his taxi was almost “stripped”. His vehicle seats were removed to check for anything illegal.
P.S. It is time to get used to taxis without air-condition if you are intending to hail one in Jerusalem.
The Jordanian security officers do not seem interested in our luggage but took an interest in shaking my camera lens like a cocktail shaker. My tour guide jokingly offered it for sale at USD100 and they released my camera lens and ushered us to move on.
A common sense tip: if the customs officers want to check anything even if you have nothing for them, let them. Aggression or arrogance get one nowhere except further scrutiny.
Traveling from the Border to Jerash was quite a sight as we descended from hill to valley. Two points to note about Jordan –
- security checks such luggage x-ray and walking through metal-detectors are norms; and
- Jordan’s water scarcity – tap water are not drinkable. Restaurants in hotels rarely provide glass of water free of charge. Other beverages are cheaper than water in restaurants.