Getting through the airport formalities in Kathmandu is quite simple: most nationalities can get a visa on arrival, for either 15 days (25 dollars, in 2014) or 30 days (50 dollars). Expect to queue up for a while, though - or else get a visa in your home country before you fly there. When you leav e it's a different story, although the airport is small and only has 6 gates, it will take a while to actually reach them - as there are plenty of security checks and bags screeened. You need between 1 hour and 1 hour and 30 minutes to actually reach your gate. Airport shopping is almost non-existent, so don't rely on it for last-minute presents.
Kathmandu airport is located around 6 kilometers from the center of Kathmandu.
It´s not the newest or cleanest airport i have been to, that is for sure, but it´s a charming old airport that looks like airports did in the 70´s when i was a kid and the emmigration there has to be some of the fastest i have ever encounterd in any airport around the world.
Kathmandu is served by many interbnational airlines such as Qatar Airway, THAI, Air Arabia and many others.
I flew in with Qatar Airways that flies several times a day between Kathmandu and Doha and that was very nice.
Getting to and from the airport can be done easy with taxi and there is a taxi stand where you can get a ride for a fixed price.
You can also go out in to the streets and hail one and that will probaply save yopu some money, but be ware that they will often try to drive you to another hotel than the one you want cause they are looking to earn comission.
And if you are crazy like i am then you can also walk from the airport and in to Kathmandu.
It´s only about an hour of walking and for me that was fine with my little backpack and i find that walking from the airport gives me a nice and slow introduction to the city.
Just be ware that there is quite a bit of traffic, but thats the way it is all over Kathmandu.Related to:
- Business Travel
Kathmandu Airport is small but busy airport. I have travelled to Kathmandu by using different airlines including including Qatar, Etihad, Thai, and PIA but I found Qatar airlines to be the best. The airport is elegant and surrounded by the mountains.
Emirates connecting with Flydubai
I used Emirates from Johannesburg and connected with Flydubai from Dubai to Kathmandu.
If you take this option, you should have at least 3 hours connection time, as you have to be transferred to another terminal by bus.
We arrived around noon in Kathmandu, and had absolutely wonderful views of the Himalayas!
A trustworthy travel agent
When I was preparing for my Nepal trip, I got into the dilemma of booking a domestic flight from KTM to Pokhara. None of the local airlines' websites had online booking and payment facilities, and if at all possible I didn't want to go through the hassles (and possibly greater expense) of booking only when I arrived there.
Lucky for me, I took in the tip of a VTer (into-thin-air) who recommended Nirmal Nakarmi , a local travel agent who booked me my plane ticket even before I got to see and pay him. He had his assistant deliver the ticket to my hotel, he only charged me the regular fare plus the taxi fare for his assistant.
Nirmal is the owner/manager of Himalayan Magic Adventures and he can help you arrange your travel needs within KTM and Nepal.
As he was recommended to me, so now I recommend him to you.
Flying out of Kathmandu
We had no view of mountains on our way into Kathmandu but sat on the left side of the plane on our way out and got fantastic views of the Himalayas. Unfortunately we did not have a window seat but we still managed to get a couple of pictures. I suppose it is just a matter of luck on how clear or hazy it is when you fly.Related to:
The Famous Mountain Flight: KATHMANDU
While in KATHMANDU, it is strongly recommended that one should take the famous Mountain Flight, which takes you to Everest and other famous peaks. It's a life time experience. Don't' miss it.
There are two to 8 flights operated in the morning depending on the no of passenger on a clear day. The first flight leaves from Domestic Airport at around 6.20Am Kathmandu time and the last one is at 7.45AM. There are two flights announced on at 6.45 and the other at 7.45 but they make extra trips if the no of passenger are more.
It costs USD$ 100 for this one hour long flight in a modern Beech craft turboprop 16 seater plane. Each person is guaranteed a window seat and with my experience I can only say every penny is worth of this money.
You can book the flight over phone to Buddha Air and also pay by credit card. They will deliver the ticket to your hotel and also bring the card punch manual machine. A real home delivery and nice way to win the customer. Please call Mr. Karn or Mr. Diwakar over mobile for any assistance!
They also give a certificate on return.Related to:
- Family Travel
Air India Flight: Pleasant Surprise!
My Kathmandu page will be incomplete, if I do not write about my experience in this Air India flight no IC 747. Last time the aircraft was old and the service was bad without any smile. But this time I was in for pleasant surprise. The aircraft IC 747 an Air Bus 320 was brand new fitted with 6 channel movie, GPS, nice clean sheet. The food was excellent though only vegetarian and given with smile. Not only this when I told the hostess that if she can provide me little more, she not only went to the business class and got me one more plate but she wanted to make sure if I am still hungry!
This is where the difference lies. On return too the aircraft was little old but the food was great with great service. Surly, The Air India flight to neighboring country has improved a lot.Related to:
- Family Travel
Easiest way to reach Kathmandu.
You can reach Nepal or Kathmandu in all three ways, by Road, by Rail upto Raxaul ( India border) or by Air Plane from Kolkata, Delhi, Bangkok, Singapore, Karachi, London, and many other destinations from Asia and Europe. Kathmandu airport though small but quite busy.
We travelled to and fro by air from Kolkata( Indian Airlines). For Indians no visa required but valid Indian ID such as Passport, PAN Card or Voter's ID is required. For other nationals valid Vias and Passport is required.
Indian Airlines operates daily flights except Friday to Kathmandu from Kolkata. Return Fare is Rs.10705/- per person 0r USD$ 220. There is a chance to get promo fare also if you book in advance using net. The Indian Airlies flight uses Airbus A320 and is quite efficient but the crew are from 40+ age group??? Food is just okey and they give only vegetarian food in this one hour flight. Reason, they have reduced the fare to remain competitive.
From Kolkata there is also direct train to Raxaul everyday. It takes about 14-16hrs from Howrah to Raxaul.Related to:
- Religious Travel
- Family Travel
Shipping small things out of Kathmandu - DHL
Sometimes, especially when working or studying or on an around the world you may want to ship some papers home. For this you do not use the postal system, it may not be reliable or fast enough. DHL is the thing, and they are well represented in Nepal. Even from town to town in Nepal you can use them. Expensive, naturally, but reliable.
Very conveniently, DHL has a Thamel office in addition to the country office up in Naya Baneshwor.Related to:
- Business Travel
- Work Abroad
- Study Abroad
Hire car with driver
For longer trips, out of the city, a travel agent could organise a car and driver for you. Do try more than one agency to get the best deal. Also be clear as to what is included and what not before payment.
We used this mode of transport for a trip from Kathmandu, to Nagarkot, then to Bakthapur before returning to Kathmandu.
These rickshaws can mostly be found in and around the tourist area of Thamel. Negotiate on a price before you get in and be sure the driver knows exactly where you want to go.
You will also be hassled a bit more by these cyclists to take a ride around Thamel during the evening, for a negotiated price.Related to:
- Budget Travel
We flew from Johannesburg to Kathmandu via Doha, with Qatar Airways. All flights on all four occasions were delayed (about 35 min to 1h30min).
Food served was good and legroom was very good in economy class.
In-flight entertainment was OK.
Doha airport is rather unexciting, so try not to have a long transfer.
Kathmandu Tribhuvan airport.
When landing at the airport on your way into the country, if possible sort your visa out from the embassy before you get there, if not, at least have your forms filled out and ready to process before you land with the correct money and a passport photo attached, and then as soon as you get to the immigration desk ask for the immigration form off someone so you can fill this out before you get to the front of the queue.
This will save you lots of time otherwise you get to the front of the queue and then have to spend more time sorting these things out.
Secondly, when leaving the airport just mind the many men waiting to give you overpriced taxi rides or to just follow you back to your pre arranged lift and then even just touch your bags, let alone actually carry anything, and then demand money for helping you. They are not easily satisfied with a small amount of money either!!
Lastly, if you are looking to change money, i got a better rate in the city than the desks in the airport. Although not much, it was about 2 rupees better in the city.Related to:
- Mountain Climbing
Luxury Bus from Pokhara
After our painful travel to Pokhara, we decided that the Greenline Bus looked a better option. It was. A lot more leg room, the headrest was even at the right height. If you get the back seats just watch your head on the metal grill covering the fan. This journey was quicker than the tourist bus, less than 7 hours. Stopped for Buffet lunch at River Side Springs Resort (which doesn't look like it's worth $60 a night). Cost $15 for this bus. We booked it through Wayfarers.Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
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