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Getting around is quite a challenging task in Nepal. From the bumpy mountain roads, road blockages, landslides and one of the most dangerous airport runways in the world, traveling in Nepal is an electrifying experience in itself. The modes of local transport in Nepal are various although distances between two parts in the country aren’t boundless. On the main routes, you will find numerous tourist buses plying to different parts of the country. However, you can also travel by chartering a taxi or hiring a motorcycle. You can also hire a private car, 4WD vehicle or catch a flight wherever feasible.
a) Travel by air:
Flying is a popular choice for people traveling in Nepal. It is certainly the quickest way to travel across any region of the country. Most of the flights in Nepal begin and end in the capital city of Kathmandu. Except for a few cities, there are no other inter-city flight connections. Biratnagar in the eastern region and Nepalgunj in the west are two other airports that are considered to be secondary hubs. The state-owned Nepal Airlines and numerous other private airlines such as Buddha Air, Yeti Airlines, Sita Air, Tara Airlines, Simrik Air, Shree Airlines and others operate fairly resourcefully in the main domestic routes. Chartering helicopter is also possible for those who are willing to pay the extra bucks and enjoy the Himalayan panoramic vistas.
b) Travel by road:
The most popular mode of transport in the country is via road. You can take a pick of mini-bus, tourist bus, express bus, local bus, 4WD truck, taxi, private car or a motor-cycle to move around when you are in Nepal.
Tourist buses are connected from Kathmandu to Pokhara and Chitwan. These buses are very comfortable and make a safer ride than other bus rides. Express buses are long-distance public bus services that have scheduled stoppage points. They are faster and more comfortable than most local buses and are classified as day buses and night buses. Day buses usually set off in the morning to reach their destination in the evening while night buses set off in the late afternoon and reach their destination the next morning. Local buses serve mainly the shorter and remote routes and stops anywhere it needs to take a passenger overboard. The bus is usually is overloaded and sometimes carries passengers even in the roofs. When a passenger needs to get down at any place of his choice, he will signal the driver and the bus will be stopped for him.
Private cars are relatively faster, more comfortable and convenient than a bus. It is best to travel by private cars if you are with you family or a group of friends. However, if you are in Kathmandu or Pokhara, then chartering a taxi by the day is the cheapest option for short-distance journeys. A possibility of hiring a car for multi-day trips for as less as US$50-60 per day including fuel and a driver is another hassle-free choice.
If your tour itinerary involves traveling to some remote areas of Nepal, then the best way to travel would be a 4WD vehicle/truck. These vehicles are the best options in the roughest roads of Nepal, especially when you traveling to Mustang by road.
The magnificent mountain roads in Nepal are seamless for motor biking fanatics. If you rent a motorcycle, you will find driving is sometimes fun and sometimes terrifying but always challenging. Follow local traffic practices and watch your speed on the highways that aren’t marked for any hazards. When renting, you need to deposit your passport, a certain amount of money or your ticket as a security deposit. Make sure to get a helmet, check brake oil and fuel level, horn, lights and indicators. It is also possible to rent bicycles or mountain bikes for the most day-to-day getting around in Nepal.
In Thamel and some other parts of Nepal, Rickshaws can be seen ferrying tourists. It is the pleasant and scenic way to travel through the winding streets and narrow alleyways. It is also possible to witness tempos, the three-wheeled vehicles in Kathmandu and several other cities that carry 10-12 passengers from one part of the city to another designated place. They are usually noisy and put out noxious fumes.