Buses, Nepal

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    Tourist Bus!
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    Interior!!!
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    On Da Highway!!!
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  • into-thin-air's Profile Photo

    Tourist Bus, Kathmandu – Pokhara

    by into-thin-air Updated Dec 30, 2013

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    Tourist Bus at Pokhara Lakeside Tourist Bus Statio
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    There are several bus companies operating Tourist bus services between Kathmandu and Pokhara (As well as form Kathmandu to Sauraha) and there isn’t a lot to pick between any of them.
    They all leave at round the same time from The Kantipath from Kathmandu at 07.00 and from The Tourist Bus Station at Lakeside Pokhara at 07.30.
    In 2008 the price of a ticket was 300NPR in either direction.
    It is advisable to book at least a day in advance, then you get a better seat, I always try and get the seat behind the driver on the journey to Pokhara and the front seat next to the door on the way back, The views are better by doing this and the front seats have that little bit more leg-room
    They usually stop twice en-route, once for breakfast and once for lunch, however it is always a good idea to take along your own snacks as the stops tend to be at isolated roadside restaurants that have higher than average prices, No doubt the bus companies get a good kick-back for stopping at certain restaurants !!

    2013 update
    Like most things, the prices of tourist busses have gone up and this year a ticket between Kathmandu and Pokhara was around 550 NPR. There have also been some new companies entering the market and this year I used Debit Travels and was very happy with them – New Bus and Good Drivers !!

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    How do I get from India to Nepal overland ??

    by into-thin-air Updated Nov 8, 2011

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    The Dusty road to Kathmandu !!

    The most comfortable way of getting from India to Nepal overland is a train / Bus combo
    Take a train to Gorakhpur. Then take a bus or jeep from Gorakhpur to the Nepalese frontier at (Indian side) Sunauli/Bhairawa (Nepalese side, but also often called Sunauli). Journey time about 3 hours.
    Walk across the frontier, it's then a few minutes walk to the Bhairawa bus station. Take a bus to either Pokhara or Kathmandu

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    Nepal by Bus...

    by mamtap Written Sep 14, 2011

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    Tourist Bus!
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    The most ordinary type of traveling from place to place inside Nepal is by bus. Being a mountainous country, straight roads and highways are few in Nepal. There are three types of bus services: "Tourist bus", “Micro bus” and "Public bus". Tourist bus, run by private bus companies or travel agencies, are little bit costly than the public buses. However, they are more comfortable, faster and less crowded than public buses( no goats, ducks etc). "Greenline" is the most reliable company and has trips between Kathmndu, Chitwan, Lumbini and Pokhara.

    You can get tickets at any travel agencies at Thamel in Kathmandu. In Pokhara and Chitwan, just ask your hotel to book one. It is a good idea to buy your ticket a day in advance and reserve a seat. The benefits of taking a bus to any of your destination is, you will get the chance to see different parts of Nepal that you would be missing while flying and same time save a good amount of money too.

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    Local Bus

    by Robmj Written Sep 12, 2011

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    Local Nepalise bus

    You need to experience a local bus in Nepal once in your life, but make it only once in your life.

    Great fun, buses full of colour and jam packed full of people, produce, the odd livestock, people riding on the roof (and this is possibly the safest place for a quick exit!), people sitting in the aisle, people hanging out the door, people on your knee, all over the drivers area, of course the driver will be yelling to everyone on the road, talking on the cell phone and sometimes keeping an eye on the road with one hand on the wheel.

    As you go around incredibly steep or rough mountainous roads, you'll be wondering why you didn't climb on the roof so you can jump when needed. The longer trips never seem to end and the toilet stops are usually an open air affair for all on the side of the road.

    Often the local bus won't leave until its full or near full (although once you get going there always seems to be room for more), so be prepared to wait.

    Well worth the money as its so cheap, the experience is priceless!

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    Bus travel Kathmandu to Pokhara

    by Saagar Written Aug 6, 2010

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    The Greenline Bus service, very comfortable, plies the Kathmandu-Pokhara-Kathmandu route daily. Online booking possible. Guaranteed MINIMUM travel time to Pokhara (fast travel by mini buses and scheduled buses on this route are real killers). Seat booking, no overload, so be quick to book once you have decided to go.
    When I used it it was 12 USD, comfortable seat, drinking water. Pit stops en route, lunch possibility. Highly recommended, often full....

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    Getting to the trail heads – Dunche / Syapru Besi

    by into-thin-air Updated May 8, 2010

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    You can consider hiring a minibus !!

    If you are trekking Langtang then you need to get to either Dunche or Syapru Besi and the only practical way of doing this is by local bus.
    If there is a large group of you then you can consider hiring a Toyota Landcruiser or the like, but other than that you are stuck with the local bus !!
    The bus departs from the new bus station at Ring-road. The Bus Leaves at 6:30 or 7:30. And costs about 200NPR, Get your ticket at least one day in advance at the bus station at Ringroad to ensure that you have a good seat. The journey takes about 11 /12 hours to Syapru Besi, the road as far as Trisuli Bazaar is good but after that it is appalling !!
    From Kathmandu to Trisuli Bazaar it is quite good, Surfaced, narrow and steep, But the problems start to arise after Trisuli Bazaar, The road is just a dirt track, well more of a rock track, rutted with great big holes in it, massive drops off the edge. Edges crumbling and loose. Then you arrive at Dunche. After Dunche the road gets Worse and crosses a ridge on a narrow thread of a road that traverses a sheer rock-face, In the middle of this rock face is a chasm and the way this chasm was bridged is the stuff of nightmares as all they did was to make rock filled wire baskets and drop them in and the road precariously makes its way over the top of them – You Really have to see this to believe it ;-)

    My own journey was in February and we went though a heavy hailstorm on the ridge between Trisuli Bazaar and Dunche, the bus lost traction and slid off the edge of the road, Unbelievably everyone stayed on-board and the driver revved up, crashed gears as he attempted to get the bus back on the “road” – Alas this wasn’t to be and the bus just slid further over the edge and teetered there, at this point I jumped off !!! The bus was left teetering on the edge of the precipice and still 80% of the passengers remained on-board. The driver and crew then spent about an hour moving larges stones and jacking the bus up with a trolley jack and eventually got ready for another attempt to get moving, I stayed outside and watched – After much more crashing of gears and tumbling rock the bus hit the road and kept going – Myself and a few passengers then had to run behind for about a kilometre before the bus stopped to let us back on.
    This was Truly the Bus Ride from Hell and one I will never forget !!!
    Good Luck
    Rob

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    " Real " Luxury Bus Travel in Nepal ???

    by into-thin-air Updated Oct 13, 2009

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    Express Bus !!!!!!!!

    Yes I Know " Luxury " and Bus are words that Rarely appear in the same sentence in Nepal !! But Now you really can travel in Luxury by Bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara and return with " Golden Travels "
    When departing from Kathmandu your journey starts with free coffee before boarding the Bus, then bottled drinking water and small snacks are provided en-route, a lunch stop around half way with lunch included in the price then on to Pokhara and all for around $12 -- OK I Know that's expensive by Nepalese standards but what price a Comfortable Bus journey in Nepal !!??!!!!
    The seats recline and are comfortable and really Do have room for your legs too !!!
    I was so impressed that I also travelled my return journey back to Kathmandu with them !!!!!

    2006 -- This time I tried the Rival "Luxury Bus" company, "Green Line" -- I wasn't Impressed, So my recommendation for "Golden Travels" still stands 100%.

    2008 With the increased cost of fuel prices have gone up again, now the price of a ticket is around $15 / $18

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    Little Gem of a bus at Pokhara

    by into-thin-air Written Apr 23, 2008

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    Catch the Bus, especially if it rains !!

    If you are staying at lakeside you will notice the little busses that go up and down the main street, These are Great little buses and ply the route in-between Lakeside and Pokhara Bazaar, The route takes them passed places like the airport and goes close to the tourist bus station, The fairs are very reasonable, depending on where you get on the bus the fare can be as little as 12NPR from Lakeside to Pokhara Bazaar.
    If you are on a tight budget or if you want to go into Pokhara Bazaar from Lakeside then catching the bus costs a fraction of the price of a taxi !!
    The busses run regularly from early morning until well into the evening
    They do get a bit crowded but it is still a great way to travel !!

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    Election time bus services

    by Saagar Written Mar 28, 2008

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    I am in Nepal while I write this 29. March '08, and I get reports regarding the situation at the border. More people are coming into Nepal than crossing the border on outbound journeys right now because of the elections. I would assume that there will be more traffic on the outbound route after the elections, mainly Nepalese workers returning to India. Traffic flow is better than it has been in a long time, so it should be no problem now. However, after elections, depending on the satisfaction with the results from the maoists' side, it may or may not be easy to travel. Today there is a bandh (traffic and business closure) in the Dang district in response to political violence, but that is of temporary character. At the moment I would have no hesitation of travelling around and indeed I will be doing so myself. My qualified guess is that bus services and crossing the border to India will be ok.

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    from Lumbini to Gorakhpur (India)

    by josephescu Updated Mar 10, 2007

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    by rickshaw to India

    With an early rise in Lumbini and an expensive tasteless breakfast in our stomach, we jumped in a minivan to Bhairawa a little after 8 a.m., after a 10 minutes wait somewhere on the main road in Lumbini. From Bhairawa, we took a 100 rupees rickshaw to the Indian border, with the rickshaw man helping us find someone to exchange Nepali rupees into Indian ones, at a rate which proxied closely what we had in mind. Passport shown on the Nepali side, border crossing by foot, and we arrived in India….looking for the Indian border police, hidden between an endless array of stores and shops selling everything for everyone. Luckily some people showed us the kiosk of the border police, otherwise we could not have find it. We already had visas for India, but this did not mean we were exonerated from filling in some sort of application forms, sticking photos and explain where are we heading and which hotels will we be staying. Nevertheless, these bureaucratic procedures, out of place considering all the trade happening around us, were expedite, less than 15 minutes.

    There’re always some passenger buses waiting a dozen meters further, and most of them go as far as Gorakhpur. We jumped in the first bus we came across, paid 55 (Indian) rupees each and waited half an hour to get full. Arrived in Gorakhpur around 3 p.m. (i.e. more or less 3 hours later), just in time to miss the express train for Varanassi at 3,30 p.m.

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    Tansen - Lumbini

    by josephescu Updated Mar 10, 2007

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    We left Tansen just before noon, taking a bus to Butwal from the bus station in one of the town squares, 1 hour ride for 50 rupees. From Butwal, we caught the one hour bus to Bhairawa on the main road (25 rupees), simply by shouting our destination. From Bhairawa, frequent overloaded minivans make the journey to Lumbini in about one hour, because of frequent stops, and they cost around 10-20 rupees.

    Take into account that the distance between Bhairawa and Lumbini is very small (20 km or so) and that the map on the 2006 LP edition seems to wrongly indicate a much longer distance.

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    Pokhara - Tansen

    by josephescu Updated Mar 10, 2007

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    night stop, or
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    Now this route was a perfect example as to how much deceiving a map can be to an ignorant westerner mind. A comparative analysis of the meaning of the word “highway” in Nepal seemed to indicate us that the distance to Tansen should be covered in between 2-3 hours, and that there are many buses leaving to Tansen all along the day, until late afternoon.

    WRONG! It was winter time, and there were no buses leaving to Tansen after 5 pm. Nevertheless, “I have solution for you”…we were told by an old man selling tickets….”you take night bus to Tansen…leaves in one hour, at 7 p.m.”. What on earth can we do in Tansen in the middle of the night? “no, bus arrive early morning in Butwal…from there you catch bus to Tansen, veeery frequent”. This is how we arrived to a nightmarish ride….bus route Pokhara – Mulging – Narayangarh – Butwal, with the last 2 seats at the end of the bus (6 seats in a row in total), crowded like sardines in a cane with no space to move a single finger unless the whole row moved another finger, we began a 10 hours adventure on Nepali roads by night…with a decrepit bus barley holding pieces together…..bearing in mind the LP recommendation of “significant risk of accident” and “it’s uncommon to drive for more than one hour on any stretch of road without passing the burnt-out shell of a public bus crushed like tin foil into the canyon below”. Thanks god we had a 2 hours “sleep break” after midnight. The friend I was travelling with saw the bright side – “the only foreigner in the whole bus is a Japanese. He’s quite thin, his shoulder is pressing my ribs like hell, but I guess we can get some extra centimetres if I push him a little further against the window”. And so he did…

    Once in Butwal, it was easy enough to jump in the first bus for Tansen, where we arrived on hour later for the price of 50 Nepali rupees.

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    Kathmandu - Pokhara

    by josephescu Updated Mar 10, 2007

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    The mountain road between Kathmandu and Pokhara is called “highway”, although it would not qualify not even as a secondary road as per other standards – average speed 30 kms/h.

    Pokhara being a major town and a favourite week-end destination, there are many buses between the two, leaving before lunch. There maybe some night buses as well, but cannot be sure, better ask for yourself. Hence, we simply got up early morning and around 7 a.m. arrived in Kantipath, the road from where buses to Pokhara usually leave. We didn’t even manage to get our luggage off the rickshaw when a typical “quarrel” started among the locals, as to which bus should we take and who should leave first, thus taking us as well. Knowing it will not make any difference to us, we simply waited for the drivers to decide our faith, and in no time our luggage was up on the roof of some bus. Now the decision was clear enough, so we knew we should jump in that bus.

    These being said, we arrived in Pokhara after 3 short stops and 5 1/2 hours later, for the price of 250 Nepali rupees each. Pretty straightforward, isn’t it?!

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    Kathmandu - Chitwan (Greenline buses)

    by josephescu Updated Mar 3, 2007

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    For the first bus ride in Nepal I opted for the more “upmarket” option – Greenline bus company, operating tourist destinations such as Kathmandu, Pokhara and Chitwan. A rip-off as per Nepalese standards (10 USD one way instead of 4 USD / 300 rupees), the ride proved excellent in terms of first contact with Nepali mountainous roads and driving customs.

    Secure a ticket one day in advance from the company offices in Kathmandu just outside Thamel.

    The old fashioned air con bus, clean and comfortable, with reserved seats, leaves Kathmandu early morning (7,30-08,00 a.m.), manages to negotiate its way outside the Valley within the first hour, and then slowly follows the road through a nice mountainous scenery, on the two lane “Prithvi Highway” heading west to Pokhara. At half-distance, an all-you-can eat brunch was served (around 11 a.m.) in a tourist motel just outside Mugling, then I changed the bus with a minivan, with porters carrying my backpack (remember, this was a “tourist” bus). The air con minivan and its 3 passengers arrived in Sauraha around 2 p.m., after passing through another piece of nice Nepali scenery.

    If you’re staying in one of the resorts inside the park, ask them to pick you up from the bus station.

    For more info, pics and tips on Royal Chitwan, visit my Chitwan page.

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    Kathmandu - Bandipur (via Dumre)

    by josephescu Updated Feb 11, 2007

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    landscape on the
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    The mountain road between Kathmandu and Pokhara is called “highway”, although it would not qualify not even as a secondary road as per other standards – average speed 30 kms/h.
    To reach Bandipur from either Kathmandu or Pokhara, your first stop is Dumre a town halfway in between. From Kathmandu, you can take any bus to Pokhara, and jump off at Dumre (or viceversa). From Dumre, there are several buses and minivans around noon, i took a minivan for 300 rupees & 4h instead of 5h by bus.

    From Dumre, jeeps to Bandipur leave from the main road. Just ask the locals, they will show you where. The 7km road up the mountain is done in 20 minutes, and a fare would be 20 rupees. From Bandipur, jeeps to Dumre leave from the main road or from the town square.
    In reality, the situation on the “20 rupees fare” is a little bit different – having timing constraints to catch buses for other destinations from Dumre, you won’t like waiting too long for the jeep to get full (10-15 passengers), so you’ll prefer to hire the whole thing. The driver will say “400 rupees and we leave now”. You have 2 choices (I’ve tried both): accept you pay the 400 rupees, and offer a free ride to the other people who will start jumping around from virtually everywhere (insist that the driver does not ask the locals to pay anything), or bargain down to 300 rupees and let the locals pay 20 rupees each.

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