Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Damascus to Amman by Bus

Travelling from Damascus to Amman by bus is an economical option for budget travellers who are planning to travel between Syria and Jordan. The journey is approximately 3.5 hours long with hardly any hassle at the border.

Tickets must be bought one day in advance from Al Qadam station which is a short taxi ride from Damascus Old City. I don’t think we could have walked there as it looked quite far from Damascus Old City.

A one-way bus ticket from Damascus to Amman costs SYP 500 and we had to show our passports when purchasing them.

There are 2 buses to Amman in a day: 8.00am and 2.00pm. We chose the 8.00am bus cause we wanted to get to Amman when it’s still bright to navigate our way to Farah Hotel where we had reservations.

Al Qadam bus station

The next day we left Al-Kindi Hotel (where we stayed throughout our stay in Damascus) at 6.45am and took the cab to Al Qadam station. We were early and goofed around while waiting for the bus to arrive.

The bus arrived pronto at 7.30am and after loading our stuff into the luggage compartment, we were on our journey by 8.00am.

The bus that took us from Damascus to Amman 

At the Nassib Immigration Passport Centre, we got off the bus to fill up some forms; the usual stuff required at most borders.

Nassib Immigration Passport Centre at the Syrian side

All travellers had to pay SYP 500 for the Departure Coupon. I didn't have enough cash because I didn't expect to pay anything at the border. Didn't do enough research, I guess!

But thankfully Audrey had some Syrian Pound left and we managed to dig up enough to pay for the coupons.

At the Jaber Border (Jordan side), we had to get off the bus again and complete the usual border procedures.

My ticket agent said Malaysians usually don't have to pay for any visa upon entering Jordan. But he was wrong cause we had to pay JD 10 for a Visa-on-Arrival. Damn my agent!

Thankfully there were a few foreign exchange booths beside the immigration office where we changed our US Dollars into Jordanian Dinars.

In Amman, the bus dropped us off at a bus station that was under renovation. There were hardly any signages, so I can't tell which bus station it was. And we were too tired to ask around.

When we exited the station, a gentleman (whom we assumed to be a taxi driver) approached us and asked if we needed transport. He offered to take us to Farah Hotel for JD 1 each.

When he lead us to his car, I thought he was gonna rob us or something cause it was not a proper taxi but a private car. He could sense the confusion and informed us that he's a licensed tourist guide who's been licensed to ferry tourist from the bus station to wherever they wanna go.

Whether he was telling the truth or not, I don't know. But we arrived at Farah Hotel safely, and that was what's important.

Important to Remember ...

If you’re travelling from Damascus to Amman by bus, you’ll need to take note of the following:

1) The bus from Damascus to Amman leaves from Al Qadam bus station in Damascus.

2) A one-way ticket costs SYP 500 and must be bought one day in advance. You’ll need to show your passport and/or other travel documents to the ticket officer.

3) There are 2 buses in a day: 8.00am and 2.00pm and the journey is approximately 3.5 hours long.

4) There is a Departure Coupon (by Sea or Land) that you’ll need to fill up at the Nassib Immigration Passport Centre at the Syrian border, and you'll have to pay SYP 500 when you submit it to the officer.

5) Visa-on-Arrival at the Jasber Border in Amman costs JD 10.

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