This service is an upgrade to the local buses. You pay 10 USD for a trip to Pokhara from Kathmandu or other way around. The quality is very good, considered it is not european. (buses is like a small 40pax line bus in Belgium)
Half way they stop at a beautiful place for food and tea. This is included in the price and because of the location it is worthwhile. (otherwise you would never stop here)
Good service, friendly, great food and for all : safe !
I took a bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara, and vice versa. The bus was " Royal Safari", from Kathmandu was at 300 Rs, From Pokhara 250 Rs.(after bargain)
From Kathmandu, buses start at around 7 o'clock on Kantipath street.
From Pokhara, buses start at 7:30 o'clock at a square, taking a taxi from Lakeside hotels costs about 50~60Rs.
The bus stopped 3 times for breakfast, lunch and WC-time.
the cheapest way to travel from one town to another is by bus.. but with the tiny road infratructure and rolling mountain ranges landscapes in nepal, a looooooong queue of traffic jam is almost a guarantee! this is especially true of the road going in and out of kathmandu.. we travelled the road twice and were stuck there for more than 2 hours (we were told that we were lucky, could've been worse) on each occasion because of accidents happening at the same spot on the road..
I did my travelling around by bus. All buses leave from the same place in Kathmandu, and more or less at the same time, which makes finding YOUR bus quite an achievement. The sheer activity before the buses leave is incredible... lost tourists, bagage handlers strapping rucksacks and various treasures on the roofs... street vendors with their teas and coffees for sale... an experience all of it's own.
When I was there (1997) all buses had to leave Kathmandu by a certain hour (7,30 I think it was). On the other hand they were not allowed to arrive at their destination before a certain our (for Pokhara it was something like 3pm). This was to stop buses with tourists going dangerously fast. As a consequence, all buses make a lengthy stop en route to use up unnecessary time.
The comfort factor is dictated by the state of the roads mainly. Bear in mind that these mountain roads get damaged badly in the annual rains. You can certainly rely on the fact that the journeys will be bum-numbing and your bottom teeth will frequently hit off your eyebrows!
The advantage? Aside from the price, and the chance to meet other travellers, there is the time to take in the countryside!
Bus tickets can be booked in agencies all over Kathmandu and other towns. Many hotels will also arrange for your bus seats to be reserved. You will be given a stand number along with your reservation. This should provide you with some clue to which bus is yours... but you may still have to ask your way. You are advised to reserve a seat at least a day in advance. Local buses are also an option, but can take over 10 hours to cover the 200 km between Kathmandu and Pokhara.
One of the best and extravagant ways to see Nepal is to travel on bus roof with local people and luggage. This opens a very interesting perspective and allows you to breathe fresh air. Beware of low hanging wires and hold tight. Avoid Maoist controlled regions - they like to blow up buses (http://in.news.yahoo.com/040116/137/2ay5a.html).
Buses are a popular and cheap way to travel around Nepal. Public buses, which are widely available at every cities and town's major bus stop or hub, can basically take you across the country at incredible prices. There are a bunch of bus services running from various cities in northern India to Kathmandu. "Tour companies also run services from Kathmandu to Lhasa, in Tibet. Buses from Kathmandu's main station, on the Ring Road, travel to Pokhara and the Terai, while those for the Kathmandu Valley and Arniko Highway run from the City Bus Station. There are also more expensive tourist minibuses, mainly to Pokhara and Chitwan." (from LP). Buses are the cheapest way to travel around Nepal, but there is always a down side to traveling by Nepali bus. One is that they are very crowded, so crowded that many people are even crammed onto the roof (as a little man on the bus makes his way through the aisles and room, collecting the fare). They can also break down very easily. If you are a fan on Nepali and Hindi music (the modern kind: Punjabi MC and the latest from Bollywood), than the bus should be a lot of fun, if not, you may be listening to it for hours.
Bus to Pokarah is Rs150 or Rs600 for better tourist bus for the 6 hour drive. Play 'Spot The Traffic Accident' for a little light entertainment.
Taxi from airport around Rs250. At the tourist info desk they will arrange a taxi & private room/shower/TV from ?7/$10 if you cant handle the 'stargate' experience on arrival.
The buses to Jiri leave from Ratna Park in Kathmandu & cost around Rs250 (?2.50/$3.25) for the 10-12 hours. They leave from 6am. The journey has been described as a journey from hell. "I would climb Everest again, but you would never get me on that bus again!" is one famous quote. I loved it! Best bus journey of my life. If you are tall like me, ie over 6', sitting inside next to the window is a nightmare. Take a padlock/chain & lock your pack to the roof-rack & sit on top, maybe on a sleeping bag inside a strong bin liner. Face forward so you can see electricity cables coming & duck! Dont let goats graze on our favourite fleece either!
Guys, this is Asia, this is 3rd world Asia at its best. The gruelling 24hr bus journey was less than pleasant but had its fun moments. Be prepared for delays, road blocks, police inspections, fines, bribary, corruption.
The group of about 20 of us were a little uneasy when the road we were travelling on was blocked due to the police searching for a man who'd run away after having been accused of murder and was out hiding in the forest. The villagers protested and blocked the roads.. All good fun..
I've reached Nepal through India. There were two options that I considered: the cheaper options- taking a bus from Verenasi to Kathmandu (about 2 days - nice view but long and scary sometimes),or a flight from Delhi. I chose the second way to arrive but I know many that went by bus. Both are good options, I guess.
We got everywhere by busses. the oly time we had to hitchhike - was to get to the beginning of the Annapurna trek (so we found some truck that will take us). I trust the drivers - they know the roads, and I would recommand to do the same. We did take motorcycles near Kathmandu. But they were in bad shape and 2 of them broke down. I don't recommand that for longer rides.
Bus travel is amazingly cheap here though not always comfortable. Deal with it, the locals do, and often from the roof might I add which can give some impressive views and some welcomed fresh air. If you're on the roof be careful for panic braking, and low strung wires which are looking to decapitate you around every bend in the road (depending on where you are of course).
Perhaps not the safest or most pleasant form of transportation, but riding the bus in Nepal is an experience. If you're sitting close to the drivers window the key is to close your eyes, after about 20 mins you get more used to the constant bipping of horns, and overtaking other buses on narrow stretches.
If you get the chance try the rooftop for an experience of a lifetime.
The most common and cheap way to get around in Nepal is by bus. However, you should have strong nerves to set out on these narrow and steep roads. Trust in the driver and all the Nepali gods. Normally the buses are not as crowded as in the picture, at least not if you take a tourist coach.
In order to get from one city or town to another, the cheapest way is to take the local bus but be prepared for a ride which is not so comfortable.
if you go trekking in the khumbu valley and you want to start at Jiri, please take the express bus, it'll take 8 1/2 hours. I once took the slow overpacked bus and they carried me off after 14 hours.