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
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 !!
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 !!
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 !!
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.
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..
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.
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
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!
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 !!!
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 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?!
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.
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 !
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....
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.