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Petra By Night

Petra - Wadi Musa, Jordan
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iWiebe wrote a review Nov 2020
Utrecht, The Netherlands1095 contributions256 helpful votes
Quite a long walk for a pretty poor experience involving a light show at the Treasury. Not really worth the money.
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Date of experience: December 2019
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Sebastian wrote a review Aug 2020
Zagreb, Croatia7 contributions
We had mixed feelings about it, since a lot of reviews said that it's overhyped. Boy were they right. You walk to the treasury, they sit you down with lit candles around, and then you have to listen to a guy playing random notes on flute for 15 minutes, followed by a made up story about the moon and the stars. That's it, you walk back home after that.
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Date of experience: March 2020
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Najwa A wrote a review Aug 2020
Amman, Jordan73 contributions45 helpful votes
unforgettable experience I would love to do it again the atmosphere is amazing the tea is delicious.
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Date of experience: August 2020
2 Helpful votes
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LegalRover wrote a review Aug 2020
1540 contributions147 helpful votes
I first wrote a review of PbN earlier in 2019 (“Magical but by a different agenda”). I attended PbN a few times from November 2019 through March 2020 and there have been some changes since my review in early 2019. Unfortunately, no process improvements. Some may wonder why I continue to go if it is not an activity I recommend. I am somewhat agnostic to it – go if you have the time and 17 JD (~$25) to drop. I go because it is the only time I can walk through the Siq at night (legally) which is a magical experience, especially when you are by yourself with no other tourists. Also, I go if I don’t have to fork out the 17 JD. If you want to walk through the Siq with minimal number of travelers, I suggest you go shortly after the program starts or leave as late as possible (when the event coordinators are pushing you out of the Treasury area). Walking through the Siq is incredible with the lit candles in the brown paper bags and the stars beaming through the Siq opening up above … or the light of the moon guiding you through the crevice. It is a very peaceful and tranquil experience when there is no one around. Unfortunately, that tranquility has eroded. Event organizers have added music. You will hear nature sounds (ocean waves, leaves rustling, birds chirping, river running, etc.) coming out of large speakers; the kind of music you hear in a spa. This is on your way to the Siq. Once you enter the Siq, you will hear Arabic music. It is loud and cacophonous. When you get to the Treasury, you sit on the ground where mats are placed. You can also sit by the café to your left where there are benches and tables. Many people stand in the back against the canyon wall since it gets very crowded. In high season you can have as many as 1500-2000 people. In low season it can be several hundred. In March 2020, there were about 200 people but I think that was because of COVID-19. A man will start talking and provide the history of the Nabateans and Petra. He will then play his musical instrument (if it is the same guy from 2019, the skill has not improved). A few men will walk around and offer you complimentary Bedouin tea (hot tea with a ton of sugar). When the show is over, people are allowed to roam just in the Treasury area (cannot go down the passage way towards the Street of Facades since that exit from the Treasury is closed at night). The lights shown on the Treasury alternate between green, purple, red, etc. and lots of people take photos in front of the Treasury. Security is not a problem as there is usually about a dozen Jordanian and Tourist Police present (most are sitting at a table at the café while a few others are in the police kiosk to the right of Siq opening as you approach the Treasury). Many people think PbN is owned and operated by the Petra Development Tourism and Region Authority (PDTRA) since it operates the Petra site. However, PbN is owned and operated by a private entity – a few wealthy families in Wadi Musa. The 17 JD fee for your PbN ticket does not go to Petra. Another reason why PbN is not covered by the Jordan Pass. Prior to November 2019, one could purchase their PbN ticket with a VISA credit card at the Petra Visitors Center. As a result of the contract renegotiations between PDTRA and the PbN families in mid-2019, PbN is no longer allowed to use the cashier windows at the Visitors Center. PbN is now in the outdoor hallway of the Visitors Center at a table. One can only pay in cash (no credit cards) and will receive a paper ticket. Once you leave the Visitors Center area and approach the turnstiles where you submit your ticket, keep in mind that you must show your Petra day pass along with your PbN ticket. If you are not using a Petra day pass (or multi-day pass) then you must show your Jordan Pass. Even if you only have a PbN ticket and no Petra pass, you will not be allowed to enter. There are several reasons for this but the main reason is to curtail people from entering the site at night through PbN, staying the night, and hiking through Petra the next day without paying the 50 JD fee. PbN is offered on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings. There are two showings each of those nights; first at 7 PM and the second at 8 PM. The 7 PM showing is to accommodate cruise ship guests who want the opportunity to see Petra at night and also to get back to the Aqaba port before their ship sails away. I was first made aware of this time change in November when I showed up at 8:30 PM which was the posted starting time. I was told I was “late” and the show already started (at 8 PM). Of course I was still allowed in as the PbN folks will never turn away another opportunity to make an easy 17 JD. That was when it was explained to me about having 2 shows; one specifically for cruise ship travelers. It would be nice if the websites like visitpetra.jo that advertise and post PbN logistics would update their websites to state the hours. Again, the hours were 7 and 8 PM when I went in November, December, January, and March. You should check with your hotel to be sure the times have not reverted back to only 1 show now that COVID-19 has significantly decreased the number of tourists going to Jordan and therefore it may not be cost effective for the families to hold 2 PbN shows if there aren’t many travelers showing up. A useful resource for taking photos at PbN is “A Photographers Guide to Petra by Night”. I can’t include the URL in this review so you will need to Google it. I was not aware of many of these photo tips and my pics on my first trip in late 2018 were really bad. I found the tips on this website to be very useful for my subsequent trips. Again, this is not an event I would recommend. My opinion is mainly based on similar events at other archaeological sites like the Acropolis, Giza Pyramids, etc. which are more technologically advanced and have better performances. However, if you are one of those people who will think “I wonder what it would have been like had I gone” after you leave Jordan, then maybe you should consider going.
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Date of experience: December 2019
2 Helpful votes
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PAolo wrote a review Jun 2020
Sicily, Italy8 contributions2 helpful votes
I fall in love with petra exactly the moment i saw it in the tv .. but reality was totally different i loved it even more
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Date of experience: September 2019
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