GETTING BETWEEN KATHMANDU & POKHARA
Travelling between Kathmandu and Pokhara by road is a nightmare - you’ll only ever want to do it once, if you're wanting to hike in the Annapurna mountain range from Pokhara, you'll have to do it at least twice. The journey is only supposed the take 5 hrs, but with long traffic jams and atrocious roads, it takes ALOT longer.
Yes, there are flights, however if you’re on a budget - by bus is far cheaper.
SHALL I TAKE THE LOCAL BUS?
Local buses are the cheapest (less than $5usd for the entire journey) but can take 15 - 20 hours as they stop often and will wait to be filled up. If it’s busy season, you might be requested to put your bag on top of the bus which isn't always safe (for your belongings).
WHAT'S THE TOURIST BUS?
Tourist buses range in price from 700 - 3000 Nepalese rupees ($7-$30usd) depending on whether you want breakfast and lunch included or not - and if you want air-conditioning.
Some buses also have wifi but don’t expect it - even if they’ve got a massive sticker on the back window saying FREE WIFI.
The journey by ‘tourist’ bus is the most efficient to get between Kathmandu and Pokhara.
The journey ranges from 8-12hrs depending on traffic and road conditions - the buses only stop for meal and bathroom stops - not to pick up more passengers.
BEST OPTION: THE TOURIST NIGHT BUS
Pokhara Jagadamba Travel operates a night bus between Pokhara and Kathmandu (both ways each night). Not many tourist agents or hotels know about them, so it's best to book direct on the link below.
This is what to expect:
At 21.10 we were picked up and began our long night. Blankets and water bottles were already waiting on our seats and after 5 minutes of driving, we stopped and the bus director began handing out hot snacks!!!
Because we had booked the back (last) seats we didn't sleep much because it was so bumpy but overall we managed to save an entire day of travelling.. and accomodation!!
The bus has comfortable reclining seats with foot rests and there’s also a bathroom onboard.
The bus stopped twice during the night - once for a snack/driver rest and once to change our flat tire.
We arrived in Kathmandu at 5.30am.
You can find contact details here: Pokhara Jagadamba Travel’ and seems to be the only one to offer this service.
Make sure you call them directly to save travel agent fees!