Getting Around Nepal

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Getting Around Nepal

Domestic Flights There are now many airlines, offering frequent flights to several destinations include companies with beautiful names like Yeti air, Buddha Air and Cosmic Air. Destinations to and from Kathmandu include places such as Pokhara, Biratnagar, Nepalganj, Lukla, Pokhara, Simikot, Jomsom, Janakpur and Bharatpur. For bookings from outside Nepal, there are only two internet agents, NepalAirFlight [15] and air viva, who can make bookings, take payment (credit/debit cards/Paypal) and then send e-tickets. Other than this agent, tickets can only be bought on arrival in Nepal so if you are flying at short notice it is necessary to be flexible on flight times/dates as the planes often get fully booked in advance. Note that cancellations and delays due to severe weather conditions do occur. If you have time, just board the next plane.

Micro Bus has become very popular lately. They are 10-12 seater with very fast service. It has almost replaced local bus service given its fast service. However, apart from previous few routes, Micro Bus has come up with many other alternate routes and now has got good coverage. The fare is more expensive than the local bus. Tourists should be aware though that microbuses are often driven with great speed and very little care and have unfortunately been the cause of a large percentage of the road accidents in Nepal! Use microbuses with caution!

Local Bus - Although the system can be confusing they are cheap. They can be crowded at times both with people and domestic animals such as goats, ducks etc. Some buses will not depart until full to a certain quota.

Tourist Bus - Book a few days ahead at a Kathmandu or Pokhara travel agent (or your hotel will book for you). A few steps above local buses (no goats, everyone gets a seat) but not much safer. "Greenline" is the most reliable company and has trips between Kathmndu, Chitwan, Lumbini and Pokhara.

Rickshaw - Good for short jaunts if you don't have much luggage and don't mind being bounced around a bit. Bargain before you get in, and don't be afraid to walk away and try another.

Tempo - These come in two types. One is a three wheeled electric or propane powered micro-bus for 10-13 passengers. They run in different routes around the city and cost 5-12 NRs. The other type is a newer Toyota van running the same routes at a higher price and a bit faster and safer. Be prepared for a crowd

Taxis - There are two types of taxi -- "private", which pretty much run from the airport to your (upscale) hotel; and "10 Rupee", which don't leave until they are full. When haggling for fare remember that Taxi drivers have been hit hard by the petrol crisis sometimes queing up overnight to get 5 litres of petrol at twice the market price. So be sympathetic but don’t get ripped off! Offer to pay 'meter plus tip', 10% is more than enough.

Tram - The old-fashioned street cable-car that ran from Kathmandu (near the stadium) to Bhaktapur is currently closed due to 'non-existing maintenance' and the fact that none of the drivers paid for the power.

Custom or classic motorcycle - Run by a European couple, Hearts and Tears in Pokhara offer lessons, guided tours and rental of 350cc and 500cc Royal Enfield bikes. In Kathmandu, Himalayan Enfields (behind the Israeli Embassy on Lazimpat)sells/rents good bikes and does repairs. The official Enfield dealer in Nepal is in Balaju Industrial Estate off the Ring Road.

Local motorcycle - Another choice is to rent a small motorcycle. And it can be rented in the Thamel area. Again with the petrol crisis, motorcycle rental has become a costly choice, depending on availabily 1 litre of petrol will cost you 120-250 NRs on top of the rental fee (300-800NRs).

On Foot - although motor roads are penetrating further into the hinterlands, many destinations can only be reached by foot (or helicopter). See the section on trekking, below. 

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