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Home / Asia / Nepal Tours / Transportation

Nepal Transportation

Nepal has connected itself with a number of countries by air routes, making it readily accessible for tourists. Domestic public transport facilities like buses and taxies can basically meet the needs of tourists. They can also travel round by rental bicycles, rickshaws or the unique Safa Tempo, which is similar to electro-tricycles.
How to Travel to Nepal
Air
Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu is the only international airport in Nepal. Facilities in the airport include souvenir shops, restaurants, Nabil Bank for foreign currency exchange, duty-free shops and post offices. Direct-dialing service, free local calls, insurance application and hotel reservation are also available. At present, flights from many countries are available such as Japan, the United Kingdom, Brunei, Germany, China, India, etc.
Train
The only train station is situated in Janakpur, a city in northern Terai. Visitors can travel by train between Janakpur and the Indian town Jaynagar. The train runs at a low speed, but it can be a funny way to appreciate pastoral landscape.

Besides, if weather and political conditions permit, tourists can enter the country through six land ports, five in India and one in Zhangmu, Tibet of China.
Domestic Transportation
Air
Aviation industry in the country is relatively developed and airlines operate a large number of domestic flights destined for cities such as Kathmandu, Lukla and Pokhara, but the aircrafts are usually small and only have a capacity of dozens. Tickets are not cheap. 60 U.S. dollars are charged from Kathmandu to Pokhara and it is hard to buy the ticket in high season. Besides, 110 Rs needs to be paid for domestic flights as the airport tax.

From Tribhuvan International Airport to the city center, only taxis are available and tourists can take one at the exit of the arrival hall. The cost is about 300 to 400Rs and higher after 9:00 p.m. Before taking a taxi, tourists are supposed to bargain with the driver. For those who go to the airport from downtown Kathmandu, commonly 200 to 300 Rs are required in daytime.

The Lukla Airport with an altitude of 9,380 feet (2,860 meters) is well-known as a starting point for Mount Everest hiking. More than 20 mountaineering teams challenge the Everest every year, making Lukla Airport one of the busiest airports. It ranks as one of the top ten dangerous airports and is called the "runway on the roof of the world".

Pokhara Airport only runs domestic flights between Pokhara and Kathmandu, Jomsom, etc. The flight between Pokhara and Kathmandu charges about 102 U.S. dollars, on which tourists shouldn't miss the chance to enjoy the landscape of the Himalayas. It is easy for tourists to buy tickets in the slack season, while they need to reserve the ticket four or six days earlier in the busy season.
Bus
Buses are the primary transportation tool in Nepal. With low price, it is uncomfortable to take a bus. Many bus routes are available and buses can stop anywhere, so it's convenient to travel by bus.

Tour buses are the most common inter-city transportation tools. They mainly run between major tourist destinations, such as Kathmandu, Pokhara, Chitwan and Terai. Luxury tourist buses like Metro In, Greenline, and Jagadamba all provide free Wifi and air-conditioner. Some long-distance buses even provide breakfast and lunch. Compared with normal buses, the ticket is much more expensive, up to 25 U.S. dollars per person. Tourists need to reserve the ticket one or several days earlier and each bus operates only once everyday.
Taxi
Traveling by taxis in big cities like Kathmandu and Pokhara is a good choice. Taxis with black license plate are equipped with a taximeter, but the drivers usually do not run the meter, so it's wise to negotiate the price with the drivers before taking a taxi. Taxis with red license plate are private and can be used for long-distance trip.

Car
It is impossible to drive by yourself in Nepal, but renting a car with a driver is permissible.

Motorcycle
Motorcycles can also be rented in Nepal. The renter usually charges 500 Rs for scooters and 1,000 Rs for dirt bikes. You are required to mortgage the passport, get prepared with the riding license and fill up the tank with gas. If you plan to ride a motorcycle, it is necessary to ensure whether motorcycle is included in the travel insurance, for many insurance companies list it as a dangerous vehicle and the claim is not accepted.
Safa Tempo (Tuk Tuk)
Traditional Safa Tempos using diesel have been replaced by electro types. They look like electro-tricycles and are operated on certain routes. Due to shortage of power supply and the fact that they are regarded as potential troubles for traffic, Safa Tempos have been banned. In some towns of Terai, people still use them to get around.

Bicycle
There are many bicycle rental stations in Kathmandu and Pokhara. Sightseeing by bicycle especially around Kathmandu Valley is both convenient and economical. Ordinary bicycles cost 100 Rs per day, bikes from China or India cost about 200 Rs at least, and other imported bicycles about 700 Rs each day. Children's bicycles are also available. 

Rickshaw
Rickshaws are commonly seen in the old town of Kathmandu. It is a convenient vehicle for short-distance tours. It can move flexibly in crowded and narrow streets. The price is negotiable.
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