If there's any icon associated with Jordan and its history, it must be the stunning facade of the Treasury at Petra. We were fortunate enough to be introduced to the crown jewel of this ancient Nebataean city at night.
If you think the Treasury looks incredible in the light of day, check out what it feels like when lit only by the warm light of hundreds of luminaries (paper bag candles) laid at its base. Open the panorama below (and do it full screen!) to see for yourself.
360-Degree Panorama: Nighttime View of the Treasury at Petra
If you are planning a visit to Petra, we recommend beginning it with Petra by Night (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday nights at 8:30 PM, but double check times in advance). To walk the siqs, the narrow canyons that form the road to the Treasury, by candlelight is a work-of-art experience. Once you arrive at the base of the Treasury, you'll be treated to a visual that's nothing short of incredible.
After arriving, you'll sit on the ground, enjoy a cup of hot tea and hear two rounds of traditional Bedouin music — one played by a man with a rebab (a traditional stringed instrument) and one by a man with a flute who follows up his performance with a short story. We have to admit that when we first heard Petra by Night would include “traditional music” we cringed. Traditional music shows can often be cheesy and over-the-top. For Petra by Night, not at all. The performance was simple and very tastefully done.
You can buy tickets for Petra by Night (12 JD or $17) at the Petra entrance gate or at travel agents in town. Our advice is to arrive at the gates a bit early so you can get ahead of the crowd and secure a front row seat at the Treasury.
When you see Petra — its canyons, its history, its icons — in all its various lights of day after seeing it at night, you will be fulfilling a piqued curiosity.
More on that coming soon.