Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Swimming in the Dead Sea

When I saw that the Dead Sea was going to be the last destination in the day-trip we booked through Farah Hotel in Amman, I didn't want to swim. I thought I would just sit and watch the rest of the people do so. Moreover I didn't bring my bikini.

But Audrey convinced me that since we were already there, might as well take a dip. After all, not many people can say they have swam in the Dead Sea.

So I went searching for a bikini the day before our trip. After much bargaining and drinking coffee with a friendly Palestinian shopkeeper in Amman, I managed to get a made-in-Italy bikini and pair of shorts for JD 6.

After visiting Madaba, Mount Nebo and Bethany-Beyond-the-Jordan, we headed for one of the public beaches in the Dead Sea called Amman Beach Tourist Resort.

Entrance to the Amman Beach Tourist Resort is JD 15, which is freaking expensive. Moreoever we spent only 3 hours there. If you want to make your money's worth, spend an entire day there! But the risk is coming out looking like a prune, hehehe.


For the cut throat entrance fee of 15 JD, you also get to swim in a pool, and enjoy facililites like showers and changing rooms, which were quite clean.

Nice palm trees, don't you think?

The shore opposite is Israel. If I had the stamina I would have swam across the Dead Sea into Israel. But I would get arrested couse I wouldn't have my passport. And even if I had my passport, it's not valid in Israel :-) 

Now let's talk about swimming in the Dead Sea.

First of all, you've got to remember the 4 important instructions when swimming in the Dead Sea.

These instructions are extremely important that the authorities put them up at the entrance of the resort. Points number 3 and 4 are essential, trust me.

Because the salinity of the Dead Sea is extremely high, the water feels "thick" like sugar water - the kind that Starbucks serves in a small jug for you to add to coffee or whatever beverage you wish. 

You also can't possibly sink and drown. The only way you can drown is when someone holds your head down in the water.

If you have any cuts or open wounds, you will feel a stinging sensation.

And it's extremely painful when water gets into your eyes. If that happens, quickly come out of the water and shower. That is why I underscored Points 3 and 4 on the notice board - protect eyes and mouth from the water, and swim on your back.

That's me literally standing in deep waters. Only in the Dead Sea can I do that.

When I first entered the waters, it took me some time to get use to its thick consistency. And then I started wondering deeper into the middle of the lake (the Dead Sea is a lake, not a sea as its name suggests). Suddenly my feet couldn't feel the bottom and I started to panic!

But somehow I didn't sink. I looked down and could see that I was literally standing in deep waters like in the photo above. So imagine how salty the waters are.

Before we headed home I collected salt rocks which can be found along the shore. These made good souvenirs, and they are free. I always love free souvenirs!

The white powder are salt deposits on the shore of the Dead Sea.

Now I can cross off "Swim in the Dead Sea" from my "been-there-done-that" list.


khengsiong said...

I thought we can only float in Dead Sea...

Julie Lim said...

Hi Kheng Siong,

Initially I thought that too! Now I know I can literally stand in the Dead Sea. But "standing" requires some balancing skills :-)

melvin said...

swimming in the dead sea is a dream of mine haaay i dont know when that will happen.

Julie Lim said...


For budget travellers, travelling to Jordan is expensive because their currency is huge, almost equivalent to the Euro.

But better go now before it becomes unsafe like what has happened to some of the other Middle East countries.

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