My Trip to the Wadi Rum Desert

Published by Darron Toy on


Google Maps makes places look a lot smaller
than they really are! I have this terrible habit of viewing something that is small enough
for me to walk across from one side to the other, then I zoom out and think that, since
I can still see the thing I could walk across, that I’d still be able to walk from one
side of the screen to the other. Since it’s only twice the size of Plymouth, I must easily
be able to walk across Dartmoor. Or since the width of the Thames takes up a sizeable
portion of the screen, I could walk across London. Yeah why don’t I just walk from
Las Vegas to the Hoover Dam. It’s only next door. Obviously, I can’t do these things.
I only have to remember how inconvenient it is to have to the corner shop for milk to
know that places are a lot bigger than they seem when browsing Google Maps from the comfort
of my desk! You’d think I would have learnt my lesson
by now. But when preparing for my trip to Jordan, I checked out the Wadi Rum desert,
did my usual flawed analysis of its size and asked myself: is that it? It doesn’t look
like you could swing a cat there without hitting a road, camp or mysterious green thing.
But obviously, you can. Because it’s a desert. And it’s big.
We started our day in Aqaba, which is right by the coast. What separates this place from
the desert are these mountains. Judging them on Google Maps, they look like little more
than muddy hills! You might think you could walk over them in a matter of minutes.
But obviously, you see them in person and they’re actually really big and impressive.
What beautiful mountains they were! Jagged, cracked peaks and precarious boulders that
look ready to tumble down the mountain the moment you’re stood beneath them. Similar
to the canyon leading to Petra, I think the mountains you pass through to reach the Wadi
Rum desert really help to get you feeling like you’re going on an adventure… and
that maybe it was a good idea not to have walked there.
At the entrance of the desert is the Wadi Rum Village. Looks like nothing on Google
Maps, but approaching it looks like a tropical paradise from Assassins Creed or something.
It’s here that you sit in a small building and get offered a drink while you’re waiting
for your tour truck to arrive. Visit Wadi Rum and you’ll have a lot of
tea. Well I call it tea, but it’s nothing like that- it’s mostly sugar and spices,
in what looks like a shot glass. It’s odd to be drinking hot tea while in the desert…
but it’s got electrolytes! This desert is inhabited by the Bedouin. These
people have lived here for hundreds of years and are masters of desert survival. Lawrence
of Arabia stayed with their great grandfathers here, during World War 1. They have their
own unique way of life but are adapting to a modern world. They still keep (and love)
their camels, but now drive trucks, which has transformed desert travel. Perilous journeys
that used to measured in days can now be done for fun in a matter of hours! Vehicles are
jolly convenient for them. Their children are driven to the town for education. And
they have made tourism a large part of their life, hosting tours for visitors… which
is exactly what I was doing here! All of the guides know -and are related- to
each other. This is their lives. It’s a nice community and it looks like they have
fun, driving in formation around the desert planes! They’re the boy-racers of the desert.
We spent our tour in the back of a truck with 2 other couples, approaching landmarks, getting
out and being told we had X amount of time before moving on. There was a good supply
of cold, bottled water in the back, so there was no excuse to be thirsty.
This was the first- a spring, part way up one of the cliffs. We were told to climb it!
It wasn’t particularly easy, but I think nicely summed up what the tour was like. You
never knew quite where you’d be going next, or how much would be expected of you. The
climb wasn’t hard, but don’t expect steps and handrails. And do expect it to be hot,
with the sun beating down on you. We reached the top, where there was indeed
a small bit of water still coming out of this mountain after 7 months of draught. Then we
climbed down again, and headed on to the next place.
This was a sand-dune we could climb! If you’ve ever climbed one on a beach, you know what
to expect. It’s one step forward, half a step back, all the way up. I’m not a fan
of Transformers, but I notice they used this dune in the second movie… even if youtube
commenters, in their infinite wisdom, state otherwise.
And actually yeah, running down a sand-dune is super cool to do, it’s like you’re
running on butter in slow motion, or are jumping on the moon.
This canyon was a highlight for me. It’s not like you can do much there- you go along
a path until it gets too steep to carry on, but you can look through the gap at the seemingly
endless cliffs towering up either side, and the sunlight illuminating the entire canyon.
Pictures don’t do it justice, but it’s like something right out of Indiana Jones.
There are 3 arches. The first is this one, which the guide took pictures of us all on.
You don’t know when you’re stood on this one because it starts sooner than it looks.
The second you can’t reach- you simply see it far away up the side of one of the cliffs.
And the third is this one, which is one of the last places we drove to. It’s pretty
difficult to get up there- the passage is narrow and there’s a stream of people coming
the other way. A bit of advice (because I saw a lot of bad pictures taken here): don’t
use portrait and zoomed in- instead, zoom out, in landscape, and get the true scale
of it. Or take both, then discard the zoomed in one because I was right.
We also got to see Lawrence of Arabia’s house- though later were told it probably
wasn’t, since he tended to stay with the Bedouin people in their camps and stuff. There
are hundreds of stone cairns here, as well as another silly, busy climb you can do to
get further up. It’s down below here in the tents where we stopped for a tea break.
We happened upon some wild camels, who seem to know that trucks equal food.
For lunch we drove to the mouth of a canyon, and were given a little packed lunch to eat
and 2 hours to relax. If you wonder where you pee in the desert, the answer is: wherever
you like. It’s the desert. But maybe go somewhere secluded, and not in a canyon cos
it does make the place smell, as we noticed in some parts of our visit. Not that you’ll
be peeing much in the desert. I don’t know where all that water goes. Now, it doesn’t
take us 2 hours to eat lunch. So we decided to explore- as this was the best opportunity
we had to do our own thing. We walked straight out of the canyon and across the desert. I
thought I saw some horses! And they were. We encountered 2 women and their guide, who
had been camped out here for several nights. They were out of dry shampoo, but seemed to
be enjoying themselves. Seems like we had only just scraped the surface of what there
was to do in the desert. We were told to keep an eye out for ‘Mark’, who was apparently
a free soul who had walked off and had spent the last few days camping out in the desert
alone. We never did find him- though everybody we talked to seemed to know about him. I wonder
if he did exist, or if he was just a dank meme of the desert.
As the we approached evening, the colours started to change. Shadows began creeping
across the planes. At one point we were dropped off and told to walk through a canyon and
to meet our guide on the other side, which was pretty cool. As we emerged, we watched
people surf down the sand dunes for a while. Our last stop was to watch the sunset. As
we drove towards our destination, we could see groups climbing to look out points, perched
in all kinds of weird spots, waiting for the sunset. We certainly weren’t alone!
But it didn’t matter. We were all there for the same reason. We got ourselves a wonderful
view, with the other people on our tour who we had grown fond of through our journey.
If I’m honest I think it was the worst sunset we had in Jordan… but it didn’t matter.
It was more about the vast expanse. The feeling of the unknown at what might be out there,
or just over the next mountain. I thought I had kept a good idea of what direction we
were headed all day, but realising we were facing West made me realise that at some point
in the day I must have completely lost my bearings.
I don’t know where we were. And you know what? I don’t want to. I want to preserve
that bit of mystery. I spend my life documenting and learning things. I live to transform the
mysterious into the boring and explained. And with it, there is a certain magic and
wonder that’s lost. So it was nice just to sit there, completely lost, and to appreciate
it for what it was. And to take lots of pictures. And, of course,
to have tea. As night fell, we headed to our camp. I don’t
know what I was expecting, but it was a lot more luxurious than I had prepared for! There
were flushable toilets. Working SHOWERS! Even charging ports for phones and cameras. It
was a lot more sophisticated than some of the places we stayed in Jordan! We went around
the back where food had been cooking beneath the ground all day. Then we went to an extravagant
food-hall for dinner. There were people from Italy there. Australia. China. People from
all over the place, of all ages. It makes you think maybe we weren’t being that adventurous
after all! I didn’t film the next bit, but we went
outside and sat around a camp fire and one of the Bedouin people talked to us about their
way of life. I won’t be able to do justice to what he said in this video, but we listened
to him walk about what life was like out there in the desert, what they thought of the rest
of the world and what they want the rest of the world to think about them. I think it’s
fair to say that the Middle-East doesn’t have the best reputation in Western countries,
but from our time in the desert- and in Jordan in general- I can say that it’s a real shame,
as we were made to feel nothing but welcome there.
If I had to sum it up- if you were to be randomly teleported to anywhere in the world right
now, you could do a lot worse than the Wadi Rum desert. The Bedouin people have transformed
this inhospitable place into somewhere safe and welcoming.
The camp was big, but the night was quiet. Being a place with low light pollution, it’s
recommended you have a look at the stars. I’ve already made a video talking about
this, so won’t repeat myself here. The next day, we had breakfast, then drove
back to the village. As opposed to nomads, who travel from place to place, the Bedouin
people of Wadi Rum have made this place their home. They have been here for countless generations,
and they respect and preserve it. I asked them a few questions. Now they had
vehicles, did they still have need for camels? They assured me that, unlike Lydia, camels
were good for more than just storage space and that they still had a valuable place in
their community. I also asked their thoughts on climate change- being in the desert I thought
they might have a unique insight into it. But they just assumed I was talking about
the seasons… which I guess in a way answers my question.
I also asked them how they made their tea cos it was some good shit, and they said the
trick was to boil the water with the sugar already in it, then listed all of the herbs
and spices that went into it. Which I have since forgotten.
The previous day, my girlfriend complimented our guide’s mats and asked him where they
could be bought from. He said she could have his! Nothing more was said about it at the
time, we thought it was just a nice gesture. But he remembered. And just before we left
for Petra, he hopped out of his truck and handed us the mat. My girlfriend was so happy.
I was mortified, cos we were travelling with Ryan Air with just hand luggage. We managed it.


100 Comments

Smiley the Smile · December 6, 2019 at 2:01 pm

I'm gonna try that sugar trick right now. I'll be back in a few minutes to tell you the results.

Back. Have to say, I'm not really feelin' it. Gonna try using a larger dose of sugar next time.

Bram iets · December 6, 2019 at 2:11 pm

you took the touristic route….. im pretty sure i had the better expirience :p

Warrensy · December 6, 2019 at 2:19 pm

0:34

Why the f*** did i never think of this. Big Brain move!

Nocturnal217 · December 6, 2019 at 2:21 pm

When you said google in the beggining my assistant instantly got triggered

Fire Hunterz · December 6, 2019 at 2:22 pm

Did you get the chance to eat mansaf, Jordan's local food unique only to them? I still remember my fond memories trying to finish eating it but to no avail. The lamb meat paired with laban makes you full in no time.

matt · December 6, 2019 at 2:27 pm

thanks 😘

Andro Gaming · December 6, 2019 at 2:39 pm

I swear you can make a video about anything, and It still will be very interesting to watch, great video!

UCCODER · December 6, 2019 at 2:49 pm

I HATE SUN

MegaFlecki · December 6, 2019 at 2:51 pm

Who fucking cares about Handsome Jack?!? I love Handsome kliks in pure white! xD

Matt Smith · December 6, 2019 at 2:52 pm

I originally came for the 3kliks videos, but these days I'm really loving the less klikky content. <3

• leva · December 6, 2019 at 2:53 pm

Damn dat music tho🔥👌

dafff08 · December 6, 2019 at 2:58 pm

i dont want to cut open wounds or something but you no longer with vexxsie?

Axel · December 6, 2019 at 3:03 pm

looking at the sun go down: I DONT KNOW WHERE THE WEST IS

I dont know philip, where could the west be?! All I know is the sun goes up from the east

Good video btw, loved it

Cinders Of Dust · December 6, 2019 at 3:15 pm

First pic, St Michael's Mount?
Been there beautiful place

Cyni · December 6, 2019 at 3:27 pm

underrated vid

null · December 6, 2019 at 3:29 pm

"the middle east doesn't have the best reputation in western countries"

There's a reason for that

Sierra · December 6, 2019 at 3:32 pm

I can tell you narrated this one at night. You're speaking softly so you don't wake up people.

RlcZyro · December 6, 2019 at 3:44 pm

0:05 I've been there!

Night Killer · December 6, 2019 at 3:55 pm

Sounds like Philip got flashbacks to Unreal Tournament on the trip. Makes me wonder about what I am doing with my life.

Noodlz132 · December 6, 2019 at 4:03 pm

4:40 This bit looks almost exactly like Sinai Desert in Battlefield 1 :O

Lawless · December 6, 2019 at 4:04 pm

Philip needs to read me bedtime stories.

l.kr · December 6, 2019 at 4:12 pm

god i miss the place

Git R. Done · December 6, 2019 at 4:12 pm

Gothic 2 Gold Edition

M47HIASC330 · December 6, 2019 at 4:16 pm

Really entertaining

Jd Laurence · December 6, 2019 at 4:21 pm

I too loved my visit to Wadi Rum. Incredible experience. The People of Jordan are loving and open to visitors. Go ! You will never be the same afterwards. This American has had his view of the Middle East changed dramatically ! 🇯🇴❤🥳😊

Magicians Everywhere · December 6, 2019 at 4:36 pm

Some say that Mark is missing even to this day

Redeye · December 6, 2019 at 4:43 pm

With all the wars and politics surrounding the Middle East it's sometimes hard to remember that there are kind and generous people everywhere, despite what some people might tell you.

Toby noname · December 6, 2019 at 4:50 pm

lol I gad a deja vu on this video at the end

AnthonyWabo · December 6, 2019 at 4:52 pm

love this guy <3

Firewolf_Daimyo · December 6, 2019 at 4:54 pm

That 'we managed it' at the end with the pride in his voice had me gasping lol!

Fredric Mccub · December 6, 2019 at 4:54 pm

one of my bucket list places to go someday.

BattleNo0bFaiLTV · December 6, 2019 at 5:04 pm

Thank you for taking me on this journey… great video as usual

Gregory Whatley · December 6, 2019 at 5:08 pm

I'm not the only one who thought Lawrence of Arabia looks like Phillip?
Loving these holiday video diaries mate, strikes me as a fantastic way to save the memories. I've wanted to do it myself for a while but lack the motivation to edit it all together lol
Cause I can always do it another time right, and there are video games to be played now

I comment based on the title without watching · December 6, 2019 at 5:09 pm

Hey it's me, Marc. Just wanted to say hi.

OutOfNamesToChoose · December 6, 2019 at 5:10 pm

Eye of rabbit, harp string hum, turn this water into take Kliksphillip to Wadi Rum

General Skalinera // Neon Silver · December 6, 2019 at 5:17 pm

Ah yes. Wadi Rum.

I was there as well. A great experience, although our sleepibg arrangements were a bit more basic, or, more authentic, to be precise.

But, being a train nut, my favorite part was the reenacment of that one time Lawrence of Arabia stopped an Ottoman military train at Wadi Rum station, featuring a steam locomotive. Lovely stuff.

thefirst bushman · December 6, 2019 at 5:24 pm

luvly content on all the channels my guy

TheCapDavid · December 6, 2019 at 5:31 pm

This ray tracing looks amazing! 10:12

Sinisig · December 6, 2019 at 6:07 pm

THIS WOULD MAKE SUCH A GOOD LEVEL!!!

Michał Wójtowicz · December 6, 2019 at 6:17 pm

Absolutely loved The Cubicle Brothers soundtrack on the camels!

Mycornia · December 6, 2019 at 6:17 pm

Impressive video, especially the stars. Those alone are a reason for a visit

Adam Jenkins · December 6, 2019 at 6:23 pm

10:08 noice subtitles

Piggo's Alternate Account · December 6, 2019 at 6:23 pm

Extremely beautiful, I adore the geography of the region. Just a stunning place.

Battlefield 1's Egyptian maps (aside from the Suez) are highly inspired by the region and it shows, if only more games would be willing to take a chance and go somewhere very exotic like this!
Then again, not many gameplay opportunities apart from cars.

Mad Max's dried up sea is one of my favourite game worlds of all time and was highly inspired by this too

Ishwar Kothandaraman · December 6, 2019 at 6:25 pm

subs at 10:17 jabbing at his gf lmao

﴾ ﴿ · December 6, 2019 at 7:10 pm

very interesting place. great video

Kewlash · December 6, 2019 at 7:16 pm

You british people do really only think about tea dont you

Derp · December 6, 2019 at 7:25 pm

this is where JoJo crashed his airplane in season 3

Whoa - neo · December 6, 2019 at 7:27 pm

I know there's a lot of creeps and there are good reasons for keeping the privacy of your girlfriend, but damn I am so curious to see what the girl that klikphilips is dating and survives all the weirdness that must come with it.
Great video like usual!

nhan cao · December 6, 2019 at 7:33 pm

The stone arches look like a map from Battefield 1.

Telefrag · December 6, 2019 at 7:58 pm

How THE HELL did you survive a day in the desert walking in those timbaland-colorado boots?! Bet those were the swampiest boots ever.

Uosis Narvydas · December 6, 2019 at 8:44 pm

Brings me so many mermoies. I’ve been there last winter, amazing place. It isn’t as touristy in winter. And the temperature is great: hot in the middle of the day and kinda cold in the evening. The dune was one of my favourite places. I ran down at full speed in a steep slope and it was amazing. Unimaginable feeling. Felt like flying. Ypu feel that you are going to fall down, but you just get faster. Tried doing it for a secount time while filming with my phone, but I fell down and it was kinda painful. I also climbed a big rock next to the dune. Wasn’t easy even if i’m a good climber. When you do it you feel like on of the special people who did it. Wadi run and petra are amazing place for not professional climbing. Also because we were the few people of the dune it was much much better than it your video with tens of cars. Nobody bpmay read but i just love writing this because it brings me many memories

MondKatze · December 6, 2019 at 10:10 pm

2:34 jeep hittin a phat drift

Kappa · December 6, 2019 at 10:41 pm

does anyone know what camera he uses? It has really good footage.

WestHills Games · December 6, 2019 at 10:42 pm

The background music is just so good and appropriate for this video

ClashMasterLP noel · December 6, 2019 at 10:56 pm

Wow i would like to go there.

ClashMasterLP noel · December 6, 2019 at 10:57 pm

looks like zypern.

MyssleDissle · December 6, 2019 at 11:11 pm

Some say Philip's ghost is still uploading to this day.

motboy8 · December 6, 2019 at 11:26 pm

Great vid

nikolaj · December 6, 2019 at 11:49 pm

great vid

Tambles Jambles · December 7, 2019 at 12:31 am

I’ve been waiting for this… jk where the fuck is total war review?

Issac Coltman · December 7, 2019 at 1:17 am

I always pause my adblocker for philip, I always appreciate the ever innovating content. Never stay the same, because you're always good at everything you tackle.

I appreciate the sneak peak at elder scrolls 6, truly amazing.

max lannce · December 7, 2019 at 1:25 am

Read the captions at 10:05

memorydress · December 7, 2019 at 2:09 am

I really enjoy your vlogs, almost any of them.

If i'm honest now that i dont play csgo anymore, your vlogs are more interesting to me compared to your usual stuff in 3kliksphillip lol <3

I still watch them from time to time tho.

Dicc Chees · December 7, 2019 at 2:19 am

"if you were to be randomly teleported to anywhere in the world right now, you could do alot worse than to choose somewhere in the Wadi Rum desert"
If that happens, i'd probably just say that i'm Mark, would be alot easier to explain than being teleported there

CrappyContent Studios · December 7, 2019 at 3:39 am

I like these videos that go a little bit away from video games, and we get to see Phillip in a whole new area if work

CrappyContent Studios · December 7, 2019 at 3:45 am

It's nice to see Phillip – someone who does videogames and computers for a living – out and in the 'natural' world, breaking the stereotype that gamers dont do anything in their lives except sit and play.

Regan · December 7, 2019 at 3:45 am

Wen will we cee a baby Philip

Eu Suh · December 7, 2019 at 5:07 am

Dank ass sandboarding at 7:05 son

George Henson · December 7, 2019 at 5:08 am

There's something about your perspective that I just love. You're always so introspective on things, willing to think about the real world and ask questions that might be difficult to answer. In trying to understand the Bedouin people, I think you've elevated this from a tourist trip to a real experience that means something. I really appreciate your videos like this.

Húginn · December 7, 2019 at 5:21 am

Cubiclecamels

Etka Mutlugün · December 7, 2019 at 5:43 am

ahh Philip, I love you

W;P · December 7, 2019 at 5:58 am

You seem to like deserts

Blythus · December 7, 2019 at 6:26 am

Hey Philip, I know you probably won't see this, but I was wondering what music track you used starting around 7:30. If you or another commenter could tell me, that would honestly make my week. Thank you for your amazing videos <3

Sam Cousins · December 7, 2019 at 6:33 am

Your videos absolutely don't get nearly enough attention. These are quality, well thought out, entertaining but just educational enough to be interesting while not being boring, videos and I can't stress enough how much I appreciate them. Keep it up!

Suniz · December 7, 2019 at 7:10 am

The subtitles at 10:07 Really philip?

Miles d0t exe · December 7, 2019 at 7:42 am

Loved it as always. Love you too

Gert Olivier · December 7, 2019 at 7:43 am

Thanks again for really amazing videos! Truly a great story teller

ِ · December 7, 2019 at 7:43 am

'its like ur running on butter in slow motion'
… ya?
'or jumping on the moon'
oh, ya, u know, as u do

kovar · December 7, 2019 at 7:59 am

damn i needed video like this right now. Thanks

Alice Alysia · December 7, 2019 at 8:18 am

"maybe I could just walk from las vegas to hoover dam"
Look, if you wanna do that, just make sure not to pick up any courier jobs.
Trust me, they're a real kick in the head.

Alice Alysia · December 7, 2019 at 8:31 am

Regarding climate change, I'd say these people are the best equipped to surviving it. They'd be far more resourceful than most.

Ian Marsland · December 7, 2019 at 8:36 am

Why did boss music start when the camels approached?

Sahendra Mallick · December 7, 2019 at 8:44 am

Dude I love your travel videos

qwuzzy · December 7, 2019 at 8:52 am

One of Philip's best videos! This was great

Axel Erlandsson · December 7, 2019 at 8:56 am

0:30 only some really good delivery service can do that!

Mad Mood · December 7, 2019 at 8:57 am

Saying that you are my absolute favorite youtuber is an understatement.
Many greetings from Iraq to you Philip <3

Carlos Uzaier · December 7, 2019 at 9:03 am

Please narrate my school's weekly Monday assemblies. There's no way it could make it any more boring

oli · December 7, 2019 at 9:04 am

kiss me

Harry Blood · December 7, 2019 at 9:50 am

this game is so realistic

Raffi Gilraldy · December 7, 2019 at 10:08 am

I loved this kind of stuff

onigk61 · December 7, 2019 at 10:11 am

you get out and about quick a lot

Suck a Bean · December 7, 2019 at 10:15 am

dont care. also ur white.

Commander Boreal · December 7, 2019 at 10:17 am

The ending of this video is the quickest best wholesome anticlimactic climax I’ve ever seen.
Man they seem like such Good people ..

Andrew Aquilina · December 7, 2019 at 10:37 am

thanks for these videos 🙂

Stashmaniac · December 7, 2019 at 11:04 am

What is the name of the song that always plays around the end of the videos?

Hoffedemann · December 7, 2019 at 11:47 am

It is not a friendly gesture to gift stuff that you got a compliment for. It is a common mistake that westerners compliment (sadly it means that you want it, so you'll get it)
Westerners don't know that you are socially forced to gift it.

DankDungeon · December 7, 2019 at 12:04 pm

why are the houses at 9:52 black? that seems odd as black keeps heat best right?

Prids_ · December 7, 2019 at 12:22 pm

Did you take pics for textures while you were there?

MattStormage · December 7, 2019 at 12:28 pm

10:07 unlike Lydia

Michal Turcel · December 7, 2019 at 12:49 pm

you certainly can reach the second arch, valve please fix!

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