Source: The New PaperDon’t take any photos, and if you are stopped, don’t argue.Gold 90.5 radio DJ Denise Tan replayed these reminders in her head over and over as she crossed the border into Israel from Jordan on foot.And then her fears came true ‘“ she was stopped at the baggage checkpoint.“I cleverly bought about 2kg of spices the night before. And these spices were pungent,‘ she explained.“It looked like I was carrying a bag of suspicious powder.‘Tan recalled holding others up but she kept her cool.“You just try not to panic until you really have to!‘ she said.Other than that minor hiccup, all was smooth-sailing for the 37-year-old when she visited Jordan and Israel for 12 days in early February this year.She had embarked on the winter journey at a moment’s notice with a friend.Her first pit stop was Jordan, where she set off for the archaeological and historical city of Petra, known for its rose-red rock-cut architecture.She was particularly captivated when she saw the necropolis, the “City of the Dead‘.Petra, which is in the south-west of Jordan, houses tombs and burial grounds. It is half-built, half-carved into rocks and is surrounded by mountains.Tan, who will perform in the W!ld Rice musical Hansel&Gretel from Nov 22, recalled: “I’ve never seen such architecture, just civilisation upon civilisation. It has a very rich history and what I got was just a sense of it, a drop in the huge ocean.“It’s humbling, awesome and unreal.‘It was also here that she relived a childhood memory by riding on a pony.She also had the chance to take a dip in the famous Dead Sea.“(The sea) is very salty and it will ‘˜bite’ you but it was very therapeutic. It felt like my very own spa experience. It was also very cold, but just tahan lah (Malay for endure).‘She enjoyed the spread of Mediterranean food that was readily available and visited the local supermarkets for fresh produce, spices and nuts.The food lover said: “I am fascinated by food, I love exploring culture through it.‘She admitted making luggage space just to fit in the bags and bags of spices and nuts that she had bought.Surprisingly, the only challenge that she faced during the trip, was also food-related.How so?“It was difficult to stop after just one round at the buffet table!“We ate really well there, everything tasted so fresh andgood.Weate at one buffet spread after another.‘In all, her memories of Jordan and Israel were wonderful ones and it was perhaps, “the best holiday‘ she had ever been on.“Sometimes you read about places like these, places where people warn you of possible dangers. You want to see for yourself what it really is like,‘ she said.“This trip was less of a shock for me, and more of a fascination.“It was way out of my imagination.‘View the travel pics of other local celebs in the gallery below.