What We Learned From Visiting The Dead Sea

Back from the lowest point on land on earth (about 400m/1300 feet below sea level!), the Dead Sea, and both of us wished we could have stayed on for a few more days… We were excited about visiting the Dead Sea and the (way too short) stay met exceeded all our expectations! In our humble opinion, the Dead Sea should definitely be included as a “must-visit destination” for all travellers.

The salt deposits were visible from the Dead Sea’s shoreline

Hopefully the sharing of what we’ve learned from our visit to the Dead Sea will inspire others to plan a trip there one day 🙂

1.  Seriously, you float! As simple as that. Much as we knew/expect to be able to float in the Dead Sea due to its extremely high concentration of mineral salts, the mind takes some time to get around the fact that we can bob around in the Dead Sea like a cork with a sensation of weightlessness. No kicking of the legs or swimming techniques needed as one only needs to let go and start floating.

2.  The best way to enjoy the Dead Sea – relax. On my very first foray into the Dead Sea, I panicked and start flapping my arms around. This caused the extremely salt water to splash in all directions, including into my mouth and eyes. This was not at all a pleasant experience.

3.  The best position to be in is to cross your fingers behind your head, press your head against your open palms and straighten out your body horizontally as if you were lying flat on your bed.

4.  No pesky fishes.The Dead Sea is, yes, dead. Given its high density of salt, plants and animals cannot survive in the sea. As such, no worries about little fishes coming to nibble at your feet when you step in.

5.  The saying “No pain, no gain” applies in the Dead Sea. Odd? Given the high salt content of the Dead Sea, any scratch or open wound will sting and hurt when you dip yourself into the Dead Sea. Men/women who shave (and end up with shaving nicks) just before entering the Dead Sea will literally rub salt into their wounds. In my case, I kept repeating the phrase “no pain no gain” as the two cuts on my neck and foot smarted from the salt water.

6.  A picture paints a thousand words. Bring your camera with you. Apart from floating in the Dead Sea, capturing a photo of your experience will not only bring back a smile on your face as you recall the mind-blowing experience, it’ll also be a conversation topic when your friends see your photo on display at home.

7.  Props/gear. The walk on the seabed as you enter the Dead Sea can be rough so I would definitely bring along sandals or water shoes on my next visit to the Dead Sea. We also learned that props would be useful as we pose for our photos. We managed to borrow newspapers from a group of excited tourists that came with a bag full of “props” and managed to capture the quintessential Dead Sea photo.

8.  Pamper your skin with the Dead Sea Mud. Our skin was literally glowing after we covered ourselves from head to toe with the gooey dark grey/black mud. According to the instructions provided at the beach, here’s what one should do:

i. Swim and float in the Dead Sea for ten minutes.

ii. After swimming, apply the Dead Sea Mud onto your body conservatively.

iii. Wait 15 to 20 minutes until the Dead Sea Mud is dry on your body.

iv. Return to the Dead Sea and wash off the Dead Sea Mud.

v. Take a shower after you exit the Dead Sea.

vi. You can do this once or twice daily.

People watching while we were chilling out after our ‘swim’ in the Dead Sea

9.  Unlike other beaches, there’s only a limited stretch of the Dead Sea (in Jordan) which is available to the public. On the other hand, if you stay in one of the resorts, the stretch of the Dead Sea is only available to hotel guests making it an almost exclusive experience.  Our stay at the Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea was luxurious and given the lower cost of living in Jordan, the 5-star experience came at a very affordable rate.

10.  One can visit the Dead Sea from Jordan or Israel. The view of Israel from the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea has given me yet another reason to plan a trip to Israel next year.

So, have you been inspired? 🙂