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How to Travel in Nepal – 51 Tips for Travelling in Nepal – Must Know Before Visit
Nepal is a beautiful country with the gift of nature and because of the gifted natural beauty, Nepal has been able to establish as a tourist destination. Though Nepal is a landlocked country, the landscapes, as well as the beautiful natural structure, attract the tourists towards this beautiful country.
Traveling around Nepal is the beautiful, amazing and wonderful experience anyone can have because Nepal has a natural beauty all over. You can visit several places in Nepal through the several means of transport. It might be a little boring that since Nepal is a landlocked country, you cannot use the water means of transport. But the marvelous experience you will have after reaching the beautiful places will make you forget all those boring feelings. Therefore there are several means of transport to be used like road transport, air transport and so on.
Generally, road transport is mainly used by the tourist to reach the main places of Nepal and if you think that it is boring to use the roadways every time, then you can hike and trek in the short routes to reach that particular destination. There are other factors like cost, infrastructure development, and climatic condition of the place that also affects the way of traveling around Nepal.
So, the various means to travel around Nepal can be briefly explained as below:
How to Travel Around Nepal
Buses in Nepal:
Buses are the common means of transport in Nepal. The buses are available to travel almost every part of Nepal except in some of the place where the infrastructure of the road is not developed or let’s say the roads are not in good condition. There are several types of bus available to travel around different places of Nepal. There are a premium bus, tourist bus, night bus, microvans, and regular tourist bus available to travel around different places of Nepal.
There might be some problem associated with the buses in Nepal and that is road condition. The road condition of someplace is not good so the breakdown and flat tires are very common but the good news for all the visitors is that there are lots of fixing spot on the way to the problem is fixed quickly on various. The second problem might be that if the visitors visit towards the certain place through the local transport then the visitors might get delay because of the local pick-ups and take offs of the people.
Besides, tea break and meal break too play a role to delay the bus and this does not generally happen with the tourist bus. Bus parks are located in almost all of the big towns where the buses of different routes are available. If the visitor is not able to get information about the bus and their routes, then the local people or other people may help them with it.
Generally, tourist bus is believed to be the cleaner, luxurious and fast bus with the short meal breaks thus making the people reach the destination fast than another bus. Normally there are two types of tourist bus available in Nepal and they are “high- end” tourist bus and the next one is more “common” tourist bus.
High-end tourist bus:
the high-end tourist bus or generally known as premium buses are only available between Kathmandu and Pokhara. The next route might be between Kathmandu and Chitwan. These buses are luxurious one with their own stops to stop for the meal as well as for the other natural call. The compartment is available to store the luggage and if there is no a room available in the compartment, then the luggage can be kept in the roof too. Ticket prices are a little expensive but include lunch price too within the ticket. The service under this premium buses is Greenline, mountain overland and jagadamba but jagadamba charges high for the tourist.
Regular tourist buses: these regular tourist buses are the more common tourist bus. These are the old tourist bus which has already been old nowadays and offers no good air conditioning. These tourist buses are cheaper and commonly used by both the tourists as well as the local people too. The luggage is stored in the rooftop and is protected from the rainfall by the use of cover. The bus stops on the local bus stops for the meal as well as the tea break.
These buses leave from the bus parks of the town from their estimated time at almost half of the price of the express buses. The main warning on both of the bus is that it’s good to keep your valuables with yourself rather than keeping on the rooftop of the bus or out of your sight.
Other bus services available in Nepal:
Besides the tourist bus, there are other buses available in the country for the intercity traveling and they can be briefly explained below:
the next category of bus available in Nepal is a local bus to travel to the different place. Local buses are available at all the major bus parks and these buses also pick up the passengers from several specified stations. City buses and minibusses are major used buses by the local passengers as well as by the tourists too for short distance. Generally, local buses are more crowded and the local people or let’s say Nepalese people are used to in all this. But it might be quite awkward for the tourists to get a ride on such a bus. Therefore this option can also be considered for traveling around the country.
these are quite similar to that of the tourist bus and travel in the night time period. These buses leave the bus park in the evening time period or during the late night time period. They have their own timing to run and are generally not preferred by the people because of the not good service to the passengers.
these are the Toyota vans that used to run in the past periods and are modified in the current days as microvans. They are most widely used within the city for traveling from one place to another. By removing seat paddling and putting the benches, they are used extensively within the cities and are a cheaper way to travel. Not only within the cities, they are also used nowadays to travel from one city to the next city.
Currently, some new microvans are introduced for the long distance traveling from one city to the next in replacement of the common tourist buses. The microvans that travel long distance are not as the cramped one that is usually within the cities. Rather they are expensive and very faster and also in the good condition than the microvans that travel within the cities.
Taxis available in the country:
the Nepalese taxis are mainly made up with that of little white Suzuki. Generally, the taxis are meant to run along with the meter but in reality, the meters of the taxis do not work and taxi drivers are to be paid as they asked for in the name of meter that is not in working condition. Metered taxis generally have black licensed plate whereas private cars that serve as the taxis for long distance routes have red license plates.
The taxis are small but yet they are used as essential means of transport during the period of emergency and are also preferred as the faster mode of transport. But the problem with the taxi is about the bargaining part where you have to bargain with the taxi driver regarding the fair price. So, it is necessary that you always fix up the price before getting into the taxi. Though the taxi drivers of Nepal try to take your luggage in and with the sweet voice ask you to enter into the taxi and might also say that we will manage on the way, always have in the mind a big NO.
You always have to fix up the fare price before getting into the taxi if you think the fare price of the taxi as said by a taxi driver is not reasonable. Since taxi offers the fastest mode to travel within the cities; many tourists prefer this mode of transport to travel. The tourists also prefer taxi for the sight-seeing purpose. Therefore, taxis can also be used to travel around Nepal.
Domestic flights of Nepal:
the next way to travel around Nepal may be with the use of the domestic flights. Several airports are built within the popular towns of Nepal to travel to the various places. Some places may not be directly reached with the flights. People have to travel by the local bus or may hire taxis to reach their specific destinations. Nepal has extensive domestic airlines for several destinations and domestic flights arrive and depart from the terminal that is adjacent to the Kathmandu airport within the Tribhuvan International Airport.
For the domestic flights, the tickets can be booked through the various travel agents that are in the cities or the tickets can also be booked through the hotel. The passengers might get a seat a day before you want to leave without any issues. The only problem associated with the flight is about the flight being canceled or generally being delayed and this all happens only because of the weather conditions. During the rainfall and full cloudy day, the flight generally does not take off.
So it is generally said that if you are leaving somewhere with the international flight from Kathmandu, you need to arrive at the Kathmandu a day earlier; just in case you might get into some problem. Therefore, the traveling around Nepal can be made through the domestic flights and after reaching the airport, local bus or cab might have to be taken to reach the desired destination. Nevertheless, domestic flights are also the mode of transport to travel around Nepal.
The flights are the easiest way to travel around Nepal. Not only the easiest way but also the fastest way to travel around Nepal. When you are monotonous with the long schedule of the bus, then you can spend a little more and take a flight to travel to various places around the country. As mentioned above, though the flight is the easiest way to travel, it moreover depends on weather condition and the canceled flights would be rearranged, redirected and rescheduled. This is the thing to be kept in mind while booking the flight.
Four wheeler drive vehicles, jeeps, and land rovers:
the most extensively used vehicles in the context of Nepal are four wheeler vehicles. Not only by the local people, generally are four wheeler vehicles preferred by the tourists also to visit many places. These four wheeler vehicles are preferred mainly by the tourists when they have to reach some trekking points or when they desire to have an overland journey from and to Tibet and also from and to the Tibet. Though tourists also prefer cabs and taxis for the sight-seeing purpose, it is also possible to hire jeeps as they are more comfortable than the private cars and taxis. But, the price is also in a way expensive than the cars and taxis.
Motorbikes and cycling in Nepal:
the tourists also have the opportunity to hire motorbikes and cycles if they want to get along with their family. There are various options available to travel around different places of Nepal.
Renting a motorbike in Nepal:
Since motorbike is widely used in Nepal, renting a motorbike can be the easy thing to do and is also quite popular in Nepal. Pokhara, the major tourist destination of Nepal has the most popular bike renting a place as in this place, tourist quite often rent a bike for sightseeing. Generally, tourists like to drive a motorcycle around the lakeside area in Pokhara and have the fun of the natural gifts.
Besides, the motorcycle can also be preferred to drive around the highway towards Kathmandu city. Motorcycle riding training can also be taken in Nepal and that is quite cheaper. For the riding of a motorbike in the country, you need to have the driving license. Apart from that, the helmet and the insurance are also to be arranged from the place you are renting the bike. Along with this, sometimes you may also face the problem of flat tires or the breakdown of the bike and in such case; you need to have the knowledge to arrange for all this.
Motorcycle taxis in Nepal:
motorcycle taxis are the transport that is generally used to travel intercity but are not usually the official forms of public transport. But the fact is that you need to be comfortable about being a passenger on the motorbike ride. The traffics of Nepal, zigzag roads along with the dust and dirt enraging the pollution might be the reason for suffering but gradually this becomes a habit.
It is not that the roads of every place are the same or not in good condition, but some of the roads are not in good condition. Nowadays, some of the youths of Nepal have also developed the app related to the motorcycle taxis. You can use the app and call for the motorcycle so that you can have a ride around the valley and pay as per the kilometer you have traveled. Since this is a fast service, you need to pay a little more; let’s say like in the case of cabs.
Renting of the bicycle in Nepal:
The next option or the mode to use for traveling in Nepal can be the bicycle ride. It would be a quite nice experience. The beautiful tourists’ destinations like lakeside of Pokhara or around sauraha in Chitwan are the place where there is less traffic than Kathmandu and the cycling experience may be very much wonderful.
Here also, you need to be very careful about the road condition of that specific place you desire to travel and also the traffic of that place. Because of this reason, your experience might not be as good as you expect. Besides these, you will have the amazing experience overall. Shops in Kathmandu and Pokharamake you available with renting bicycles.
Besides renting the bicycle, one can travel on his own bicycle too. At present, mountain bikes are generally preferred to have the ride for longer distances as well as the steep ways. Mountain bikes place the people who ride it in great comfort. Mountain bikes could be bought or rented as per the demand of the customer. The problem of breakdown of mountain bike too is easily solved with the repair shops established in several numbers in the subways and main ways.
Rickshaws in Nepal:
this is also the next option and commonly used mode of transport to get around Nepal in different places. The category of rickshaws that is extensively used can be briefly explained as below:
These motor rickshaws are very few in the case of Nepal but these used to be plenty in the past years. Because of the high pollution and dirty damaged roads, the motor rickshaws are not available on the roads of Nepal nowadays.
the cycle rickshaws are also used quite extensively in Terai region of Nepal. In another region, they are used rarely to travel a short distance. These cycle rickshaws were very popular in past years but now these have become very old and rarely used by the people. This mode of transport might be quite slow and also may be awkward. These are generally used for short distance or short journeys and also can help you during the days of strikes or bands.
Walking around the main cities of Nepal:
It would be a very amazing experience to walk around many cities in Nepal. Many of the tourist zones, if you visit, you see people walking and enjoying the sight-seeing rather than the ride of any bus or cars or any other mode of transport. It is possible to walk around many of the places in the main cities of Nepal. Tourist zones are best seen walking on the foot as there are lots of interesting side streets and buildings with cultural and historical importance to grab your look for the few minutes of your precious time. But when you walk through the streets you need to be cautious about few things which are mentioned below:
There are few street names:
There are very few signposts or the names of the street around the country. If the street is named also, then tackling with the name might be quite challenging if you are not used to with it. Apart from this, even though the people give you the direction of the specific place then you might not get it because of the unknown landmarks you are not related with and it may be challenging to reach to your desired destination. So you need to be very cautious while walking on foot in the streets of Nepal.
The streets are damaged to travel:
The next reason to keep in mind while walking on the streets of Nepal is the road condition of Nepal. It might be that the roads of major tourist destinations are good and not much damage. But the fact cannot be denied that the many of the roads are not found in good condition. On the top of that if the weather does not favor your walk, then for sure you will get in trouble. The natural disaster like flood, landslides during the rainy season may get you into the trouble and during the summer season, you may have to suffer from the dusty and polluted road condition.
The roads are often very congested:
It is very much clear that the road or streets of Nepal are congested. A large number of taxis, bicycles, motorbikes, old rickshaws, stray cows dogs; you won’t get a way to escape from these all.
It can be seen in the country that various pathways are built for the pedestrians but the pathways are generally captured by the hawkers and also the beggars. Not only these people, even the local period starts disposing the waste of their houses on the pathways. And in some of the places, pathways are broken and can be found in many divisions. So this is the matter to keep in mind while traveling on foot in different places.
Therefore, with certain things keeping in mind, people can travel around the country in several places. Walking on foot and enjoying the sight-seeing is a good experience to have. Mostly in the mountainous region, you can travel to different places on foot only as there are very few vehicles and you may not find any vehicles at all. At some of the places, lack of vehicles offers the greater experience of trekking and hiking along with the opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty of the country.
Hiring a private vehicle in the desired destination:
Cabs and taxis are considered as the easiest and used extensively during the urgency or the emergency period. Renting a car is easier and easily possible way in Nepal. In the country, with insurance, road condition which results to have stressful driving and because of this, people may generally hire a driver for their private cars.
Since because of the payment in installment rather than in lump sum payment, the rule has made easier for the many people to buy a private car for themselves. When you have your own vehicle then it is quite easy for you to visit anywhere you want. Besides, own cab and taxis, you can also hire private taxis via the travel agency or your hotel or by any applications. You can hire a taxi along with the driver for the certain period of time and pay the fare charge with some advance payment.
Many hotels in Nepal can make the arrangement for their customers with the private taxis with the driver to visit many places. In such case, the payment can be made through the receipts of the hotel only.
Helicopter services in Nepal:
the other way to travel around some places of Nepal may be through the helicopter. Several companies offer the services of chartering helicopter as per the demand of the customer. Generally, helicopter chartering service is taken by the tourists or the people who like to have the trekking in high altitude region. Companies charter the entire aircraft but in practice, if the helicopter is returning empty from the trekking point then the helicopter may take individual passengers the same price for the whole aircraft.
Tempos in Nepal:
the next mode of transportation in order to travel around Nepal is the tempos available here. They are the outsized auto rickshaws that normally run in the fixed and prescribed routes. In the past years, Vikram tempos were available within the city to travel and visit different places of Nepal. But now these tempos do not exist anymore.
The polluting diesel tempos were replaced with the gas-electric tempos i.e. safa tempos. Moreover, nowadays safa tempos are introduced in order to travel to different places. Safa tempos pick up the passengers from their stations as prescribed. If you want to stop on someplace you can tap on the roof of the tempo. These tempos are considered as easiest and fastest mode of transport. Some place may not be accessed through the tempos but many places are accessed.
In case of tempos, no student or any card discount is given; full payment of fare price is to be made. Therefore, local people prefer tempos rather than another mode of transport as it is the easier and faster mode to visit the places.
It is a known fact that Nepal is a beautiful country and is famous in the world with its natural and panoramic beauty. Because of this person from all over the world visits the country to enjoy the vacation and holidays and also to relax. Kathmandu, the capital city is also visited to enjoy the different activities. Mountain flight is also one of the fun activities that can be enjoyed by the visitors. The fact not hidden from anyone is that the most of the peaks above 8000 meter lie in the beautiful country Nepal.
Eight out of fourteen peaks above 8000 meter lie in Nepal and this has been the boon for the country Nepal. It is said among the international tourists that no trip is completed to Nepal without having the fun of exciting mountain flights. Through the mountain flight, the visitors can enjoy the magnificent and spectacular views of the mountain and the high Himalayas. It is a good opportunity to take a mountain flight to observe the mountains and Himalayan range from the window seat of the flight.
If the visitors have the tight schedule for the vacation and holidays and you are not able to trek over the Everest and Annapurna region because of the time restriction then mountain flight is the best option to enjoy with a mountain peak. A one hour flight can fit the tight schedule of the visitors and relax the visitor’s thirst to enjoy the natural beauty of snowcapped mountain in the favorable weather condition.
This is the best way to tackle if the visitors have deep craved to have a good view of Everest as well as other mountains and peaks. If the visitors have the time restriction to trek around the various beautiful mountainous regions, then obviously this is the best option to carry out. The visitors also have the option to choose the charter companies that offers a flight for the purpose of mountain flight or may also choose the helicopter ride to Everest peak region, Annapurna range region or also towards the Kanchenjunga region.
These are all the peaks that are above the 8000 meters high and beside this additional five Himalayas above 8000 meter lies in Nepal among 14 such high peaks of the world. If the visitors do not have the adequate amount of time, then this is the fabulous way to have fun in the Kathmandu valley. Therefore, the next mode of transport to travel and enjoy the natural beauty of Nepal is to have the booking for the mountain flight.
the next mode of transportation is the green colored long bus known as sajha It is the bus run by the government and very different from other local buses. It is the big green bus that generally runs on the regular schedule. The stations are set up in the different places of the valley. The bus is quite easy to recognize and the visitors from Nepal as well as from the other countries too prefer this bus. The bus is preferable as it is clean.
There are a driver and helper in the bus. The helper of the bus collects money with the ticket. The fare of the bus is not so expensive and is affordable for every person. You are allowed with student discount if you possess a student identity card. Generally, the fare is paid when your stops are near or when you get exit from the bus. Since the bus has the routes that reach towards the tourist destinations like Bhaktapur, airport and so on, therefore nowadays local people, as well as other tourists, prefer sajha bus.
So this mode of transport can be used to get along the destinations you generally desired.
Now, after knowing about the modes of transport you need to use while traveling around Nepal, you also keep in mind about something regarding the beautiful country Nepal. So these are the things that you need to keep in mind while traveling in the country Nepal.
Culture and tradition of Nepal:
the first thing that you need to keep in mind while traveling around Nepal is the culture and tradition of the several places. It might be little annoying that Nepal since is the country with several numbers of caste and creed, but if you just know the basic culture like let’s say the greeting part only, then also local people would be happy. Even a Namaste from the international tourists makes the local people happy.
If you accept the local culture of the different places, then it would be very easier for you to get along or travel around the different places of Nepal. If you are invited to the home of any people, then you need to remove your shoes prior to entering the main door. Similarly, washing hands prior to and after having a meal; these are all the basic culture of the people. Knowing these basic cultures will definitely make you feel special by the local people and it would be really easier with the help of local people to travel and explore the different places.
Experience of adventure:
Since Nepal has beautiful landscapes, mountains, and long Himalayan range; people also prefer to hike and trek in these altitudes and landscapes. Trekking through remotely isolated ethnic and cultural villages situated in the foothills of the mountains and traveling to regions offers a unique perspective on both natural and cultural prospects of the country. Trekking in Nepal is the most popular activity, therefore a huge variety of options is available in the country for the people of different ages and capabilities to attempt a trek in the country.
The plan also can be made to trek through the wild and lofty place, which few would dare to attempt. While, without planning also, the trekking can be started from Kathmandu valley and be on a trail for the few days. Various trekking hub is opened along the street of Kathmandu valley through which people can enjoy the trek.
Similarly, trekking within the beautiful city Pokhara, an also be carried out; organized with guides, organized tours and gear for sale or rent. People may perceive trekking as wandering through the uncharted wilderness, but it is not necessarily the same. As the trekkers walk through the marked trekking paths, they will discover local people passing by as the people have to manage basic necessary items for their family.
The trekkers do not necessarily need to walk continuously, the trek path also comprises of small villages and tea shop, which allows the trekkers to have the good advantage of taking rest and recover. Despite all this, you also require a trek guide because you do not really know the environment about the way you are trekking and here you need the help of a guide. You also need the knowledge about the dress and altitude sickness. Therefore you need to care about all these risks before having an adventure experience.
Safe water in Nepal:
Generally, the water from the tap is not safe to consume. Therefore, you need to carry the boiling water with you or you also can go for the bottled mineral water, which is considered safe. The thing is that don’t consume the water from anywhere, better carry with yourself in the bottle or you can also depend on the mineral bottle water.
The next thing is to avoid having junk food so that you can be healthy all over your traveling. You can have delicious and tasty traditional dishes in Nepal. So bring the appetite but avoid junk food.
Traveling around Nepal can be somewhat challenging as the traveling or visiting particular place depends on several factors like weather condition, consequences of a natural disaster like flood, landslide etc. and of course the condition of the modes of transport you choose to travel with. But ultimately you will be reached onto your desired destination. Beside this, above listed some of the points should also be taken into the consideration so that your visit and travel around Nepal be an amazing and fantastic experience. Therefore traveling around Nepal is a fun and beautiful experience.
1. It’s very important to predict the time before we travel to some new places.
2. If we do so then the difficulties that may have to face with them go erased.
3. The problem comes with solutions but the solutions do not lie with everyone.
4. If the habits of doing the insensitive work done it regularly then it will be bad and can make you ruin.
I am Jitendra Sahayogee, a writer of 12 Nepali literature books, film director of Maithili film & Nepali short movies, photographer, founder of the media house, designer of some websites and writer & editor of some blogs, has expert knowledge & experiences of Nepalese society, culture, tourist places, travels, business, literature, movies, festivals, celebrations.