One of the most interesting ways to get around the city is by rickshaw (apart from cycling yourself) whether it is a motorised type or a pedal type. There are now battery operated rickshaws that don't pollute the city.You can flag down a rickshaw or go to a rickshaw waiting area, but more than likely you will be asked if you need a ride by many rickshaw drivers as you walk the streets of Kathmandu. The rickshaw driver will also pick up other riders who are going in the same direction as you. Many rickshaw drivers hire their rickshaw on a daily basis so they will try to get a good deal from foreign tourists, most of who are unaware of the regular prices. Try not to bargain too hard because most of the rickshaw drivers are very poor, living around the poverty line. However always arrange a price for the ride before you get in as you will normally be charged over the going rate when you reach your destination.
There are many places in Kathmandu that have bicycles for rent, so take advantage of this, get some exercise and avoid dealing with the tuk-tuk drivers. You will be able to visit the Monkey Temple, Durbar square, Bodnath, Pashipatunath, Freak Street, and even Bhaktapur. You can also hire it for the whole week at a discount rate and make your way around the Kathmandu Valley. Cheap Chinese mountain bikes can be hired for around 200 rps a day while imported bikes will be double
Nowadays, you should consider biking in Kathmandu as OUT, it is simply too polluted and dangerous. There ae some good routes out of the city centre and into the surrounding countryside/ridges, but as a city mode of transport, forget it.
A rickshaw from Thamel asked me 200 ruppes to give me a ride to Pashupatinath, but we bargained down to 120 Nr.
During the 30 minutes ride in heavy traffic, most of it easy but nevertheless with some hard times cycling uphill, I was thinking at the irony of the whole thing – the rickshaw man was as thin as a stick, he only had sandals and not sneakers, and was working hard to earn his living, taking western fat-asses to see the place where, if lucky and his family will have 20 euros to spend, he’ll get cremated in the next 20 years or so. Needless to say, I felt guilty enough to end up giving 200 rupees to that poor soul.