Getting Around Nepal

  • Approaching Jomsom from Kagbeni
    Approaching Jomsom from Kagbeni
    by day-at-the-beach
  • The Museum in Jomsom
    The Museum in Jomsom
    by day-at-the-beach
  • View from the Museum
    View from the Museum
    by day-at-the-beach

Most Viewed Transportation in Nepal

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    Tourist Bus, Kathmandu – Pokhara

    by into-thin-air Updated Dec 30, 2013

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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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    Getting from Kathmandu to Pokhara

    by into-thin-air Written Nov 2, 2013

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    If you are arriving in Nepal and wish to head to Pokhara then under normal circumstances it’s best to spend a night or two in Kathmandu and Catch one of the daily tourist busses to Pokhara from The Kanti Path at 0700 (Reporting time 06.30) in the morning
    However, if your time is short and you are arriving in the morning or afternoon then you can either catch a micro-bus from where the road from Kathmandu to Pokhara crosses the Ring-Road, or a local bus – OR, if there are two or more in your group then consider arranging a private car and driver to pick you up from the airport and transport you direct to Pokhara, Costs are around $125 to $150 and the journey will take around 5 / 6 hours.
    There are flights from Kathmandu to Pokhara up until around 4pm, but obtaining tickets online can be problematic as the booking system for domestic air tickets is a bit archaic and involves you sending details of your credit card by open email – Something that, personally I wouldn’t do myself
    Good Luck
    Rob

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    Which is the Cheapest route to Fly UK – Kathmandu

    by into-thin-air Updated Aug 10, 2013

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    The cheapest way to get from London to Kathmandu is If you can be flexible with your dates to book an easyjet flight from London to Istanbul, Sabiha Gökçen Airport and from there a flight with Air Arabia to Riyadh and from there to Kathmandu – Prices start at around £400 Return Inc of all taxes !!!!

    The next Cheapest is by finding a cheap ticket to Delhi and then from there up to Kathmandu.

    Then there are various other routes, the most popular and hassle free ones are via the Gulf with airlines like Qatar and Etihad
    My last three trips (2010, 2012, 2013)I have used Etihad and by booking in advance I have usualy managed to get a good deal – These days Southall Travel seam to offer the most competative prices)

    Good Luck and Happy Flying
    Rob

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    Be Ahead of the game

    by into-thin-air Updated Aug 6, 2013

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    Be Ahead of the game and first through Immigration when you arrive at Kathmandu Tribuvan Airport – How ??
    Simple, Visit this web-site, Download your visa application form and fill it in before leaving home, then once you arrive, All you have to do is pay your visa fee, get your receipt and then present your Pre-filled in your visa application form with your photo already stuck in position and your passport, Your visa will then be issued and you will be heading to pick your bags up before the masses have even finished filling in their forms !!

    2008 update
    The government has revised existing tourist visa fee to be effective from Shrawan 1, 2065 (July 16, 2008). As per the new fee structure, US $ 25 or equivalent foreign currency is required to obtain Tourist Visa with Multiple Entry for 15 days. Likewise, Tourist Visa with Multiple Entry for 30 days can be obtained by paying US $ 40 or equivalent foreign currency. Similarly, Tourist Visa with Multiple Entry for 90 days can be obtained by paying US $ 100.

    Likewise, the government has also revised fee required to extend days of stay and visa renewal. As per the revise fee structure, Tourist Visa can be extended by paying US $ 2 or equivalent Nepalese currency per day. Likewise, Multiple Entry facility can be obtained only for the extension period by additional US $ 20 and visa fee for the extended period. Similarly, tourists can renew their visa by paying Nepalese currency equivalent to US $ 3 on the regular visa extension fee.

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    Transportation Options from Jomsom to Pokhara

    by day-at-the-beach Updated Jun 22, 2013

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    If your flight out of Jomsom is cancelled, you are going to have to look for alternative transportation. At the airport hours before our flight was cancelled, other people on the 4th flight had already made alternative plans just in case the flight was cancelled. This was really smart because they were quickly on their way as soon as we got word that the flight was cancelled. Those of us that hadn't made plans were then scrambling around trying to find a jeep to hire and people to share the cost. The available jeeps are going to go pretty quickly and if you don't jump on it, you will be out of luck. There are basically two options for transportation if your flight is cancelled: take the bus or hire a jeep.

    Pros and Cons:

    There are several buses from Jomsom for Ghasa. If you take the bus to Ghasa, depending on what time you get there, you might be stuck there for the night before the next bus leaves for Tatopani. Taking the bus to Ghasa is very inexpensive. I think it was about $10. However, every inch of the bus will be packed solid. There won't be enough seats and everyone is squished together. The "road" to Ghasa is not like a road anywhere else. It is like taking an "Indiana Jones" ride at Disneyland. As the road continues higher and higher, the cliff drop offs to the Kali Gandaki become scarier and scarier. Frequently, people get sick on the bus due to the severe and constant jostling. So, if you take the bus, you will save some money, but it will likely be the most uncomfortable ride you have ever had.

    You can hire a jeep in Jomsom that will take you all the way to Pokhara, or anywhere in between, but it is going to cost a lot of money. The road is the same - severe and constant jostling, hairpin turns and, at one point, travelling through a portion of the river and riverbed. But, this is clearly preferable to the bus.

    After our flight was cancelled, we joined with a few other people looking for a jeep to hire. Their guide found a jeep that would fit all six of us, but it was going to cost $900. They didn't have the money to share the large cost, so decided against that option. By that time, there were no other jeeps available, so we decided on the bus. A couple of buses came, but they were already full. Then, the bus company put several people in a jeep, but wouldn't let the two of us go in that jeep. (I think it was because we didn't have a Nepali guide with us that could speak on our behalf.) We were stuck and went to the Marco Polo hotel to use the internet and try to figure out what to do. The young man running the hotel was very helpful and started calling people he knew to try to get us a jeep. He found a man who ran a hotel in Muktinath who was willing to drive us to Pokhara in his jeep. His first price was $900. We finally agreed on a price of $500. We were pretty happy about it because we just didn't have any other options and needed to get to Pokhara that night. We left Jomsom at 3:30 p.m., made one short stop for a cup of tea and arrived in Pokhara at 12:30 a.m. The drive was beautiful while it was still daylight, but it was definitely a white knuckle ride. I was gripping the door handle so hard that I was afraid it would rip off the door!

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    Flights from Jomsom to Pokhara

    by day-at-the-beach Updated Jun 22, 2013

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    Many people opt to trek the Annapurna Circuit from Besisahar to Jomsom and then fly out of Jomsom to Pokhara, rather than continue the trek along the Kali Gandaki to Pokhara.

    There are some very important things to know about flying out of Jomsom. Jomsom is a tiny little airport serviced by prop planes. Since it gets very windy in Jomsom and the surrounding area, the flights leave early in the morning and are subject to cancellation. The airline typically books 4 or 5 flights, with the first flight leaving around 6:00 a.m. for the 15 - 20 minute flight from Jomsom to Pokhara. BEWARE! If you are booked on the 3rd, 4th or 5th flight, your flight is VERY likely to get cancelled due to weather. If your flight is cancelled due to weather, go to the airline office in Jomsom (it is in town, not at the airport) and get your ticket stamped for refund. You will have to take your stamped ticket to the place where you bought your ticket in order to get a refund. Now, if you try to get on the 1st or 2nd flight the next day, you are out of luck because those flights are already fully booked! You can take your chances trying to get a flight out, but you could be stuck in Jomsom for days.

    Jomsom isn't a great place to be - it is windy, dusty and there is nothing to do but use the internet or go to the little museum at the end of town to get out of the wind for a little while. So, you're probably not going to want to take a chance hanging around waiting for the opportunity to get on a flight in the upcoming days.

    We got to Jomsom the day before our 8:00 a.m. flight and checked in at the airline office in town. The clerk kept saying: "You are on the 4th flight." We didn't know what that meant and our guide didn't say anything about it. When I asked our guide if there was a possibility of cancellation, he said there would be no problem - the flight wouldn't be cancelled. Our guide and porter left the next morning on the 7:00 a.m. bus out of town and we headed to the airport for our 8:00 a.m. flight. When we arrived, we learned that the 1st flight (the 6:00 a.m. flight) hadn't even arrived at the airport for take off yet - due to rain in Pokhara. We stayed around the airport until 12:30 p.m. when we were advised that the 4th flight was cancelled. At that point, we began trying to figure out how we could possibly get to Pokhara that same day so that we could get our ride to Chitwan that was scheduled for 7:00 a.m. the next morning.

    Most important of all, book the 1st or 2nd flight out of Jomsom or be prepared to take action once your flight is cancelled.

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    The new jeep road to Chane (Near Ghandruk)

    by into-thin-air Written May 10, 2013

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    Particularly useful at the end of a Poon Hill or AMC Trek, There is now a the new jeep road to Chane (Near Ghandruk)
    (To try to avoid confusion, Chane is often Pronounced Charmay)

    I used this new jeep road at the end of my Mardi Himal Trek this Spring (2013)
    When you head south on the main trail out of Ghandruk, after about an hours trekking you come to Chane and this is where the new road starts (ends)
    Both buses and jeeps ply the route to Birithanti, Naya Pul and onto Pokhara.
    I opted for a shared jeep and negotiated what I considered a reasonable 900NPR to take both myself and my guide on the two-hour journey to Pokhara,

    Good Luck
    Rob

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    taxi To / From Tribuvan Airport

    by into-thin-air Updated Apr 18, 2013

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    2013 update – Taxi prices have again gone up a little – This March I paid 500NPR ($6) from the airport to Thamel, I walked into the car-park opposite the main entrance ignoring all the taxi touts and negotiated the price direct with the driver and it was Easy, The driver was Happy and so was I !!

    I Thought that it would be Useful for Travelers arriving in Kathmandu Tribuvan Airport to know the going rate for a taxi into Thamel
    Maximum of 200 NPR as of March 2007
    Then when you have agreed your fare tell the driver that he must stay in the taxi when you get to your chosen hotel – Otherwise he may well tell the hotel / guesthouse owner that he “Brought” you there and claim commission – Then the price of your room WILL go UP !!

    2008 - Fuel prices are on the up in Nepal. March 2008 a litre of petrol was anything between 80 NPR and 100 NPR. So this obviously effects the price that you will pay.
    Typically a taxi will now cost 250 / 300 NPR

    2010 Update - Again things have gone up and now you should expect to pay around about 300 / 350 NPR, If you have just arrived and haven’t changed your money yet don’t worry as a $5 bill is equally acceptable

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    Toyota Landcruiser to Dunche / Syrupy Besi

    by into-thin-air Updated Dec 30, 2012

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    If you have just read the above tip you will be able to see why I didn't fancy catching the bus from Kathmandu to Dunche for my latest trek in Langtang – Well not both ways !!

    So I decided to splash out and go by Toyota Landcruiser, As usual I got my friend Nirmal at HMA to organise the hiring of one and as I had 2 other trekking companions to split the cost with it wasn't too expensive. To cut the costs down further I also placed a posting on here and Lonely Planet Thorntree's and got one other person, so we had four westerners + our Nepali “Staff” (3).
    The vehicle that Nirmal found us was Great, The Driver. Hari was competent and the journey went as smoothly as the road allowed and was a Much more Pleasant experience than the bus of 10 years before – and NO the road wasn't any better !!

    Cost in Spring 2010 was $150 inc so split four ways hardly excessive – I would recommend Anyone thinking of trekking in Langtang to opt for the same mode of transport, at least on your outward journey !!

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    Picking your Travel Agent !!

    by into-thin-air Updated Sep 30, 2012

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    When you arrive in Kathmandu you will see that there are literally thousands of travel agencies to pick from !! Most Hotels run there own little travel agency too !!
    My Recommendation would be to go and See Nirmal Nakarmi at "Himalayan Magic Adventures" He can sort anything out from a Bus Ticket (including direct busses to India) to an Air Ticket -- both national and international. Rafting trips (using his own rafts and experienced rafting guides) Overland Trips to Tibet, Guided Treks and Packages to Sauraha for Royal Chitwan National park. + many other things.
    Nirmal is a Gentleman and is 100% Trustworthy -- I have personally known him for fourteen years and ALWAYS use his services when visiting Nepal (Now seven times)
    Nirmal has the VERY BEST Recommendation from Me !!!

    Once again, on this my 7th trip to Nepal in 2008 I again used Nirmal and " Himalayan Magic Adventures " for All my internal travel requirements including a fully supported trek to Upper Mustang, Again he gave me the Best Possible deal. Like Many other travel agencies in Nepal he has suffered because of the general downturn in Tourism but I am Very Pleased to say that, at least for now he is still surviving :-)
    The latest news is that Nirmal now has an email address, I have tried to talk him into this for a few years now and am Pleased to say that he has now taken my advice – I Just hope that he keeps checking it ;-)

    2010 Update - I used Nirmal' services again for this trip, These included
    Hiring a Toyota Landcruiser to transport us in comfort from Kathmandu to Dunche.
    Hiring a Good Porter Guide (Two treks, Langtang and then Helambu)
    TIM's Permits
    Tailor made 5 night Bardia package including flight and car hire.
    Pokhara hotel and fight.
    Overnight stay in Bhaktapur including return transport.
    Stay at The Nepalaya Hotel in Kathmandu (Good Discount on web prices)

    2012 update
    Nirmal organised me my Arun Valley and EBC Trek including overland transportation by 4x4 to Tumlingtar, Guide and Porters, all permits and Lukla flight back to Kathmandu – It all worked out exceptionally well and as usual, I can give Nirmal the Very Best of Recommendations

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    Sending Packages Home – Large or Smaller

    by into-thin-air Updated Jul 27, 2012

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    On my 2012 trip to Nepal I changed factories for my Pro-Tectorenterprise and had to find a new shipping agent to get my order back to the UK

    I Chose Euresia Export and Cargo Pvt.Ltd (Worldwide Cargo Forwarder) who are based in Thamel in Kathmandu.

    Ram the owner is a really nice guy and can arrange shipment of packages from Nepal to most destinations – This might well come in handy for visitors to Nepal who want to send a package home, or someone like myself who needs larger orders processed.

    Euresia Export and Cargo offers a Varity of services including Air Cargo, Air/Sea Mail. Freight Forwarding, Land/Sea Cargo, Custom Clearance, and Documentation, Packing and Moving.
    His prices are fair and his service is reliable so if you are looking for an export agent for either a large or a small order then go and see ram – You won’t be disappointed.

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    Air Asia flies to Nepal cheaply.

    by cachaseiro Written Jul 13, 2012

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    Since july 2012 Malaysian budget airline Air Asia has been flying cheaply between Kuala Lumpur and Kathmandu and they are worth having a look at if you are coming from South East Asia and want to go to Kathmandu.
    Air asia is a no thrills budget airline, but they are opne of the best budget airlines in the world and actually quite nice flying.
    So have a look at their website for any special deals if you plan to head to nepal from South East Asia.

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    Getting to the trail heads- Jiri / Shivala for EBC

    by into-thin-air Updated Jul 11, 2012

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    If you are trekking in the Everest region and want to start your trek in Jiri then the only practical way of doing this is by local bus. Jiri is approximately ten hours bus ride from Kathmandu. A new road is under construction to Salleri, the district headquarters, but this will probably be complete for another five years at least.
    I don’t know the current price of the bus ticket but suspect that it will be around 250NPR
    Buses to Jiri currently leave from the old bus park in central Kathmandu.

    If there is a large group of you then you can again consider hiring a minibus but other than that you are stuck with the local bus !!

    2012 update
    The road now goes as far as Bhandar but busses only go as far as Shivalaya – Still, if you are on a tight timeframe this saves you ½ days trekking from / to Jiri – There is at least one daily direct but to / from Kathmandu from / to Shivalaya

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    Getting to the trail heads – Flying to Lukla

    by into-thin-air Updated Jun 7, 2012

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    More and more people now fly both into and back out from Lukla when trekking Everest Base Camp / Kala Pattar , The big advantage of this is that you can then do the EBC trek in around 14 days.
    There are several airlines flying the route, Yeti, Gorkha and Nepal Airlines (Formally Royal Air Nepal) to name three,
    Personally I would go with either Yeti or Gorkha as Nepal Airlines has a reputation for being unreliable !!
    You can Reserve your flight at a Thamel travel agent like HMA and pay for the air-ticket when you arrive in Nepal or book your flights on-line, If you are trekking in the high season I would recommend that you do this, It is also advisable to book your return flight, leave yourself plenty of time to complete your trek comfortably when you do this as when you get back to Namche Bazaar you can telephone Lukla and try and bring your flight forward if you are ahead of schedule, as long as there is availability of seats then you will be able to fly out earlier, if there is no availability of seats you can have a couple of extra days around Namche which is a Lot nicer place to stay than Lukla !!
    Also if you are running late, Again you phone the airline office and reschedule your flights for the next available flight with spare seats.

    2012 update - Tips for flying out of Lukla

    1) I always try to arrive in Lukla around Mid-Day / Early afternoon the day before I am flying
    2) I choose to stay at “The Sunrise Lodge” as the lodge owner has a certain amount of “Power” with the airlines
    3) When the airline office opens myself accompanied by the lodge owner make our way down to the airline office to ensure that my name is on the list
    4) The next morning I head to the airport early, the lodge owner is at the check-in desk, I pay my 200NPR departure tax, my luggage is weighed and I am issued with a boarding pass.
    5) As long as the aircraft arrives I fly

    There are many things that can go wrong at Lukla, the most common of these are flight cancellations due to bad weather (Either at Kathmandu or at Lukla – Lukla might have clear blue skies but there might be fog in Kathmandu and visa versa)
    Backlogs soon build up and when this happens Lukla soon descends into Pandemonium with the guides in charge of the large groups exerting pressure on airlines to try and ensure that their group flies as soon as possible, and at the same time individual trekkers trying to bribe officials.
    Therefore most experienced trekkers allow several buffer days to try to cover this eventuality and in the worst-case scenario walk out to Jiri to avoid missing their international flight home.
    It is unlikely that things will improve in the future as Lukla can only take small planes, the weather will always be unpredictable and because of the recent air crashes in Nepal airlines are now a little more cautious than they used to be.

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    Car to Pokhara

    by KumarNeo Written Jun 5, 2012

    actually a car will be ok for you in my view, you can get around a car around $140-150 dollar for Kathmandu to Pokhara and staying 2 nights in Pokhara with air conditioned,
    and if you take a flight its cost around $120/person now and child can get little discount and if you are Indian, then its cost more cheap,
    please don't hesitate to reply and be in touch and if any more question please feel free to contact ...

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