Yes, the architecture of the Nabaeteans is awesome and the desert sandstone backdrop amazing. But the experience of walking the Siq to the Treasury and King's Tombs is absolutely horrible. Every ten seconds out of your 3+ hour or so walking experience you are accosted by a rampaging Bedouin with an abused horse or donkey (and a few camels) and the screaming of 10 year old boys as they race the poor animals up and down continuously while beating the animals mercilessly. And this is against the backdrop of metal cart wheels clacking over the pavement walkway as other animals quickly pull fat tourists in carts up and down the Siq. Constant noise and having to move out of the way of senseless Bedouins every 10 seconds means that one has no way to walk, view and enjoy the sites and beauty of the place. The worst is seeing the way the animals are whipped by young boys who yell and scream constantly -- this is no exaggeration. The animal mistreatment is already well recognized as there is a large sign on the right side of the walk as you exit near the horse stalls that states "report mistreatment' and gives a web address and Minister of Tourism address. Yeah, like that is going to make a difference. The number of Bedouins and animals allowed should be drastically reduced - by about 90% on any particular day, and their treatment closely monitored. It is so obvious that these people know perfectly well that at the prices they charge they can work an animal to death, starve it, and simply and easily replace it to continue exhorting an ignorant populace of visitors. Had I known, I would have never paid the Kingdom of Jordan $55 for an entry visa plus the $200.00 per person or so it cost our tour to visit this place. UNESCO should be ashamed. Anyone who can't make the walk and instead uses the animals should be ashamed. The Bedouins need educating and alternative income sources, and the government of Jordan needs to undertake this.
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