First thing I learned from my other travel is that don't believe in taxi meter. I used taxi to get to a local town called Balaju. The driver was nice. I made sure we had a fixed price before we started driving. Balaju is not a typical tourist town but it is a great place to be. There was a local inn I found from one of my friend who visited there before. After I reached there I realized that the hotel my friend told me was closed because of some reason. I had to visit many other hotels before I found a cheap and a nice place to stay. On my second day I went to the local zoo. I know that is not the place many people go to when they travel to another continent. My main reason to go there was to visit the local people and get to know the great places in the country which most of the tourist don't know about.
Taxis in Kathmandu are the same as in a lot of other places in that none I saw had meters; you just pay what you look like you can afford. At least get a price before you get in--that goes everywhere. The rides are crazy and far from comfortable but that's the same for any vehicle attempting to drive in Kathmandu. I actually think the drivers are pretty darn good at what they do.
When taking a taxi in Kathmandu, you should negotiate the rate in advance with the driver as they do not run by meter.
The price for a taxi ride inside Kathamndu city should never sost more than 200 rupees (around 3 US dollar).
The taxis are mostly small white cars as aseen on the pictures and you should never have any problems finding one.
In fact they try and find you all the time and can be a real pain in the butt at times.
But at least it's a city where it'
s easy and cheap to travel by taxi as long as you make sure to arrange the price in advance.
It is not difficult to find a taxi in Kathmandu. Most taxis are small Indian made Suzuki Maruti cars.
All taxis have meters, but there are some taxi drivers who refuse to follow the meter reading while dealing with tourists. It is possible to contact the traffic police and complain about it, but my experience tells me that it is better not to create a fuss unnecessarily when you are in another country.
Once you have a clear mental picture of your distination, you can try your luck in pursuading the taxi driver to accept about 10-15 rupees per km. During one of the taxi rides, due to hasty interruption by one of my colleagues, we paid 120 rupees for one km.
Taxis are easy to find. You will have to negotiate! The first fare offered by the driver is usually extremely overpriced. The fare to and from the airport should be 300 to 400 Rs one way. We had drivers wanted up to Rs1000!
It might also be useful to enquire from your hotel as to how much a specific trip should cost. There are usually many taxis around, so just go to the next driver for a better fare.
Seeing around is the most important part of our travel and if you cant see in detil even after paying lots of money, it is only our badluck. In Kathmandu, most of the tourist either travel alone on foot, on bike, on Motorcycle or by taxi arranged either by hotel or by a travel agent. In most of the Kathmandu hotels they have a travel desk, who arrange taxi for us at a very high price. Though Kathmandu taxis are comparatively cheaper than our Kolkata taxi, but booking for the day costs very high amount. The travel agents will give certain fixed destinations at a very high price after taking a great cut from the taxi bill. Most of Kathmandu taxi and private cars are old or second hand. The first day we paid Rs 2000/-( or USD$ 40) per day. Next day I took a taxi from Kathmandu street and bargained for the day for Rs1000 (IC, USD 20 day) for more distance and more coverage. Bonus, if you treat the driver as your friend he will show you the most inner parts of the place or keep your extra wishes for free. We took Hari for three days and showed more things than we expected. At places he also worked as our guide!!!
Taxis in general are a little bit scary for someone who is not used to how Nepali's drive. The cars are small and generally run down and the drivers go like bats out of hell! Just hold on and you will be use to get to your destination.
Taxi drivers will always try to rip you off. Always make sure that you agree on a price before you get in NOT when you arrive. If it's too expensive, get out and try another driver.
Getting to the Kathmandu airport is relatively easy and quick although if you're not careful you could end up paying a lot of money (1000rs!!). If you're good at bargaining then try getting a taxi yourself, but if not, your hotel will be able to help you. We paid 300rs for a ride to the airport. Split between 3 people (we were all leaving at the same time) it's even better. It should take around 20 - 30 minutes to get to the airport.
I was sick that day (diarrhoea from earlier meals in Chitwan) and spent almost all morning in the hotel in Kathmandu. Feeling a little better in the afternoon, I insisted on seeing Bhaktapur, although it was getting really late.
So we rented a cab to take us from Kathmandu to Bhaktapur, wait 2 hours and then back to Kathmandu. The whole thing was 600 rupees, after a little bargain and jokes on the continuous rises in taxi fares around the valley.
We caught the rush hour traffic back to Kathmandu, so the 30 minutes ride to Bhaktapur transformed into an agonising hour on the way back (with me being still sick :-))))
From nearby the British embassy in Kathmandu north east of Thamel, the taxi to Patan was 120 rupees, 30 minutes.
For the way back to Kathmandu, I did not find any cabs as it was night and long after tourists ought to have left already. So I started walking towards Kathmandu, and within 200m, I caught a shared cab, “20 rupees for foreigners”.
After a long flight nobody is in mood to argue and negotiate with airport taxi touts, so I was glad to read about the “pre-paid taxi” option.
But be careful, as once you exit the area designed for passport & luggage control (there’re no such activities performed there, however) and after you get Nepali Rupees (Nr) in your hand, the first desk on the right is not the real pre-paid cab one, but some noisy touts pretending as such. The real pre-paid cab desk is the second one, and you manage to see it only after you refuse the touts offers.
Insist to go to the hotel of your choice, and do not accept "better alternatives", as they'll surely prove otherwise.
There are fixed fares from the airport to Kathamdu, depending on the destination in the city. A ride to Durbar square is 300 Nr, while one to Thamel is 350 Nr. Notwithstanding the above, you’ll probably end up giving a large tip to the driver (50 – 100 Nr), after having heard all his stories about his family, children, relatives and heavy traffic.
Not only are they original and an activity in its own for the first time traveler to Asia, but rickshaws are the cheapest and fastest option around Kathmandu, irrespective of time of day.
However, keep in mind:
1 - There’s a man cycling hard to get you there, so don’t choose rickshaws for long routes or uphill ones.
2 - While bargaining is a common fact, 10 rupees for the rickshaw man worth a lot more than 15 eurocents for you. On the other hand, if everybody auctions to the first price, budget travellers will have to walk in a few years......
A normal “tourist” fare for an average distance around Kathmandu should be less than 100 Nr, so it’s better to offer 50-60 Nr and agree on 80-100 Nr.
Taxidrivers know their way but a ride can be quit scary. In the crowded streets the taxis drive quit fast. I wonder why I didn't see any accidents.
If you are llucky the driver understands a bit of English, but don't count on it
If you're catching a taxi to or from both the international or domestic terminals don't pay more then 150NR during the day or 200NR early morning/night. This is if you're leaving or going to Thamel. The cab drivers in Thamel itself like to rip tourists off so your best bet is catching a taxi at the edge of Thamel on Paknajol. When you're at the domestic terminal say you won't pay more then 150NR when all the cab drivers approach you as you walk into the parking lot. Sometimes you'll get about 4 or 5 different drivers fighting over you, other times you have to wait a couple minutes till you can find a driver who will take you.