I had the privilege to attend the Global Forum on Youth, Peace and Security in Amman, Jordan from August 21-22, 2015. The moment I stepped out of the plane, the song A Whole New World kept playing on my head. Everything was new to me: the sights, sounds, and food. Jordan will always be special to me, not only because it’s the first Arab country that I’ve ever visited, but because of the kindness and warm welcome I received from its people as well. After the forum, I decided to visit one of the places included on my bucket list – Jerusalem.
I started my journey to Jerusalem on the 23rd of August. I took Jett Bus from Amman to the border or King Hussein bridge for 10 JD. Posted below is the address of Jett Bus station in Amman, it’s written in Arabic by a staff of Jett office near our hotel, you can show this address to the taxi driver. Jett Bus has only one trip to the border everyday, be sure to catch it at 7:00 am, the trip is more or less 1 hour long.
Jett Bus Station Address – Amman, Jordan
Jett Bus Ticket to King Hussein Bridge
View from my window, Jett Bus from Amman to King Hussein Bridge
When I reached the Jordanian side of the border, I proceeded to the passport check area. Take note that small pieces of paper are available to write your passport details, give this to the officer together with your passport, the officer will not put a stamp on your passport but on this piece of paper. You also have to pay 10 JD exit pass fee. Your passport will be given back to you once you are already inside the bus which will take you to the Israeli side of the border (crossing King Hussein Bridge/Allenby).
Part of the Exit Pass
The same Jett Bus that brought you to the Jordanian side of the border will also take you to the Israeli side. You don’t need to pay for this trip if you have taken this bus from Amman, however, you need to pay for your baggage at 1.50 JD each. In my case, I did not pay the baggage fee since I only had a backpack.
When I reached the Israeli side, I lined up for the passport check. Afterwhich, I proceeded inside the building for a baggage check and another passport check. Right after this, the passport control followed where I was given a small card/stay permit that included my passport details. I am posting my stay permit below for your reference.
After receiving my stay permit, I went outside the building where transportation from the border to Jerusalem is available. Take note that there’s a money exchange booth located near the exit, so I purchased 62 Shekels for 20 USD, which I thought was not a good rate so I only got Shekels enough for me to reach Jerusalem. I took a shared taxi (it looks more like a big van) to Jerusalem for 42 Shekels, I also paid 5 Shekels for my backpack. The trip from the border to Jerusalem was more or less 45 minutes – 1 hour long. It brought me near Damascus Gate of the Old City. I left Amman at 7:00 am and reached Jerusalem at around 12 noon.
Tickets for taxi (42) and baggage (5) fees
I stayed in Jerusalem for two nights and left on the 25th of August for Amman, Jordan.
Going back to Amman, Jordan is easier. You only need to take the shared taxi/van going to the border. The shared taxi/van terminal is located at the back of Golden Walls Hotel, near Damascus Gate. The trip to the border will cost you 42 Shekels.
Ticket from Jerusalem to Allenby
In the Israeli side of the border, after the baggage check, proceed to the passport control area where you will pay 181 Shekels exit fee, you will also be given a small card/exit permit. Again, I am attaching a photo of my exit permit below for your reference. You may also exchange all your remaining Shekels to JD at the money exchange booth.
Outside the building, there are buses which will take you to the Jordanian side (crossing King Hussein Bridge/Allenby), this short ride will cost you 8.50 JD.
When I reached the Jordanian side, I proceeded to the passport control area. An officer will just check your passport and you do not need to pay anything. After this process, you may now look for a transportation which will bring you to Amman. There are taxis available for 30 JD (some would offer a lower rate), and to minimize my expenses I shared my taxi with another traveller.
I left Amman on the 26th of August but I felt the need to come back to Jordan in the near future for these reasons – the food, the ruins at Amman, Petra, and of course the Jordanian friends I met during my stay.
Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Note: God sends help when we’re lost and we don’t know what to do next in our journey. Hasan from Amman volunteered to keep some of my things which may be questioned when I cross the border. The Jordanian taxi driver gave me a cup of coffee because he said he knows a lot of Filipinos living in Amman. The Jordanian driver assistant spoke to me in Tagalog which he learned from his Filipino friends when he worked in Dubai. He endearingly called our driver “sira ulo.” I met Mei, from Beijing. She jumped for joy when she saw me because she thought I was from China too. We also met Frank, from the US, & is working for the UN. He gave us instructions on the process involved in the border, and assisted us in looking for a ride going to Jerusalem. A Franciscan friar from Spain at the church of the Holy Sepulchre tried to speak in English and introduced me to the Spanish-speaking pilgrims because he said I never left him when he started the Mass, despite the fact that I was the only one present when he started the liturgy. And lastly, Fr. Jean-Daniel Gullung, AA, welcomed me to stay at their community in the church of St. Peter in Gallicantu.
Thank you God for sending me these angels during my trip. Bless them always.