Plan and Run your trek to the Himalayas in a New Way.

Getting from Kathmandu to Pokhara and Beyond: Insider Tips

Pokhara

This article will provide a brief overview of how you can travel from Kathmandu to Pokhara. Additionally, it contains information regarding getting from Pokhara to the starting points of some popular treks like Annapurna Base Camp Trek and Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek. Read on.

There are two ways of getting from Kathmandu to Pokhara- the path you take depends on the type of experience you want to have. If you are a curious soul trying to know the local culture, hit the road. It is the way that most middle-class Nepalis do. On the other hand, you could book a flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara. Adding on to that, with both of these places being two major cities in Nepal, you have various options even when we are talking road or the wind.

Distance Between Kathmandu to Pokhara

In terms of the flight distance, Kathmandu and Pokhara are about 147 km (91 miles) away from each other. Alternatively, owing to the turns between the hills, you will need to drive about 200 km (approximately 125 miles) if you take the road.

For more curious travelers, you start from Kathmandu from where you travel to Dhading, the neighboring district of the capital. After that, you touch traces of Chitwan (where the Chitwan National Park is located), and Gorkha (the birthplace of the Great Late King Prithivi Narayan Shah, who unified Nepal). Then you travel through Tanahun. Finally, you reach Kaski district, where the city of Pokhara is located. Many people get confused that Pokhara is a district- it is not. As said before, it is a city in Kaski.

Kathmandu to Pokhara Flight

Pokhara Airport
Pokhara Airport

First, let’s talk about flight. The flight distance is 147 km and takes about 35 minutes. Almost all of the major airline companies in Nepal fly between these cities. This includes the Buddha Air, Yeti Airlines and Simrik Airlines.

Number of Flights: On average, there are 15 to 17 flights every day between these places.

Price: For Nepali and Indian travelers, the price depends according to the season and month. If more people are traveling from Kathmandu to Pokhara (for example, in Dashain), the price is higher during those times. Luckily, I once found a ticket for Rs. 2400, while sometimes, you might even need to pay Rs. 6000. On average, let us say the ticket price is Rs. 3200.
For other travelers, as of now, the regular rate is $125. The cheapest flight between Pokhara and Kathmandu is available at USD 106 from Buddha Air.

Departure Time: The first plane, which leaves around 6: 45 to 7:30 A.M. and the last flight of the day is normally from 3 to 4 PM. I have included some links below from where you can see the schedule and book a trip.

Where to Catch the Plane?: Tribhuvan Airport. Don’t worry- you will know about the place if you are from abroad, as it is the only International Airport in Nepal.

How to Book a Ticket? Ask your travel agency first. They will get you a ticket without any hassle. Or, here are the websites and phone numbers of the three Airlines providing you the flights. You can book online, or call them after reviewing the schedule.
Buddha Airlines: 01-4437025, Yeti Airlines: +977-1-4464878
Simrik Airlines: +977-1-4155341 

Tips for Traveling by Plane from Kathmandu to Pokhara:

  • First, arrive early. The airport is mismanaged and you might have confusions in the domestic terminal. We recommend first timers get to the airport before one and a half hours of the flight.
  • Try your best to book a ticket on the right side of the plane. You will gift your eyes some great mountain scenes.
  • One thing: you won’t get a lot of snacks, so eat before coming.

Getting from Kathmandu to Pokhara by Road

Picturesque city of Pokhara
Picturesque city of Pokhara

Now, we talk about roadways. I will have to say- it is the one that most (and myself) recommend to the first-time travelers. I already pointed out the reason above.

You have various options- you could either book a seat in the local minibus or a ‘microbus,’ which is the common slang for the Hiace van. Well, you could also reserve these vehicles.

Travel companies also provide something that’s called the ‘tourist bus’- a comfortable coach, which is larger than other vehicles, and to be honest, provides the most pleasant experience. 

Alternatively, you can opt to hire a taxi, jeep or a private car. 

Kathmandu to Pokhara by Bus or a Microbus

We discuss both of them at once. Traveling by bus or a microbus will let you feel more ‘local’ than anything else. Besides that, it is also the cheapest alternative for you.
Anyway, some buses might not be clean as you expect them to be.

Types of Local Bus:

Minibus: Just a simple bus, something like you see in the streets of Kathmandu.
Deluxe Bus: A coach. Bigger than the Minibus and more leg space.
Microbus: A Hiace.
Sajha Bus: A big bus, currently provides Night Service only. 

Price: Traveling through these vehicles, on average, will cost you between NPR 500 (USD 5) to NPR 800 (USD 8) for a ticket. As you can see, there aren’t fixed prices and the fares keep going up and down depending on the season.  The prices tend to get the highest during the festivals of Dashain and Tihar (mostly during the months of September and October).

Place to Catch the Transport: Buses leave from Kathmandu Buspark, which is in Gongabu. You can get microbus tickets at the same place- go to Gongabu, and you can ask any passerby, they will tell you. Also, you can buy a Sajha bus at Pulchowk, Lalitpur (they are available in Gongabu as well).
On the other hand, you could catch a bus at Kalanki. However, I wouldn’t recommend it, as the place is more of a spot for motors leaving Buspark to find passengers for their vacant seats.

Departure Time: You don’t need to worry about the departure time. Buses start from 4 AM and leave every 30 minutes. Although there is not a fixed schedule, you could get a microbus till 4 PM. Also, some “Night Bus” services can be available until 10 PM.

How Can You Book a Ticket? You can either call a bus company (I have included some essential phone numbers below) or go to Gongabu and buy a ticket for yourself. For reserving a vehicle, I would recommend you tell your travel agency, as in most of the cases, you need to bargain with the bus owner themselves. Online booking is not a trend in local transportation in Nepal.

Duration of Travel: It all depends on the traffic and sometimes the weather conditions. On average, a microbus takes about 5 to 6 hours while for other buses, you could be on the drive for 8 hours.

Relevant Phone Numbers: Here are some Phone Numbers that I found on the Internet. They can help you:
Sajha Bus, Pulchowk: 015552686
Sajha Bus, New Buspark: 8848243688
Nepal Vehicle Rental: +977 9851117417

To be honest, you won’t need a lot of phone numbers. Just ask the way to Gongabu Buspark, and I can assure you will get a local bus right away.

Hilly Outskirts of Pokhara
Hilly Outskirts of Pokhara

Kathmandu to Pokhara by Tourist Bus

Another one is the tourist bus. It is generally more comfortable and clean. 

Price: The ticket prices range from 800 NPR (USD 8) to 3000 NPR (USD 30). Remember that the facilities you get depend on the money you pay. For example, a USD 8 bus might not have an air conditioner while a 30 USD bus will give you sofas like luxury seats, indoor bar (no alcohol, of course), newspaper, mineral water bottles, and restrooms. Generally, companies provide

Standard Tourist Bus (8USD- 10USD): Might have an air conditioner. Most provide bottled water.

Book a Tourist Bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara.

Deluxe Tourist Bus (15USD – 25 USD): More leg space, air conditioner, newspaper, WiFi and snacks in some. You can book tickets at: Baba Adventure, Mountain Overland Travels and Greenline Travels

Super Deluxe Tourist Bus (USD 25 to USD 30): Luxury seats, lunch, snacks, etc. Two companies, Jagdamba travels (061-540018,061-419160, 01-4417964, 01-4350054) and Travel Nepal offer the service. One Travel Nepal Bus even has a smoking zone.

The place to Catch the Bus: Most of the buses depart from Sorakhutte, which is a 5 minutes drive from Thamel. Additionally, some might leave from Durbarmarg, Balaju, or Kalanki. 

Departure Time: Most of the buses leave at 7 A.M. to 8:30 A.M. I recommend you check-in at least 30 minutes before departing. Also, there is a Night Tourist Bus from Jagdamba Travels, which departs at 8 P.M. every night (from Balaju). 

How Can You Book a Ticket? You can visit these websites and book online. Alternatively, I you can call the above mentioned numbers, which will be more than enough for you to get a bus. Other Important Contact Numbers:

Tourist Bus Information, Kathmandu to Pokhara: 01-4425993 | 9841392488 | 9841293254 | 9808273421
Nepal Vehicle Rental: +977 98511 17417

Duration of Travel: It is generally slower than a local bus, but you will have less bumpy rides. On average, it could take about 7 hours. 

Traveling by Bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara from Bus: Some Tips

  • The first thing you must do is ask for a seat in the right hand (driver’s) side. The heat won’t annoy you, and you see the most views. 
  • “Batoma Kehipani Nakhau”- here are some words from every Nepali mother. Especially if you are traveling by a local bus or a microbus, and care about your hygiene, be very careful about the place they stop for lunch. 
  • If you need to pack candy bars, mineral water bottles or cold drinks (any food of this sort), do it in Kathmandu. Don’t be surprised if they charge more than double the regular rate on the way.

Kathmandu to Pokhara by Private Transportation (Jeep / Car / Microvan)

Jeep Rides in Dhaulagiri Region
Jeep Rides in Dhaulagiri Region

If you are in a group or want a comfortable or an ‘exclusive’ experience of the Prithivi Highway, you can rent a private vehicle. This includes car, jeep and, a microvan (microbus- Hiace).

Price: The price depends on the type of vehicle and the carrier. Below, I have listed the price range you can expect for reserving certain private vehicles:

  • Car (4-seater excluding the driver): Rs. 10,000 (USD 100) to Rs. 14000 (USD 140).
  • Jeep (7-seater): Rs. 12000 (USD 120) to Rs. 15000 (USD 150).
  • Microbus (14-seater): Rs. 15000 (USD 150)  to Rs. 18000 (USD 180).

Book a Private Vehicle from Kathmandu to Pokhara.

Departure Time: Well, you make your own time. However, carriers prefer traveling during the day than at night. 

The place to Catch the Vehicle: They will pick you up at your hotel room.

How to Book a Ticket: Talk to your travel agency. Otherwise, here are some links I found on the internet from where you can make an online booking-Nepal Vehicle Rental , Life Dream Adventure RentalCar Rental Kathmandu, and Himalayan Car Rental.

Tips: While renting a private vehicle, I strongly advise you to talk to your travel agency. This is because you will need to bargain for the best price, and your travel company can help you with it.

Getting Beyond Pokhara

Now that you know the ways to travel from Kathmandu to Pokhara, I would like to share with you some information about reaching the starting points of the treks from Pokhara. I hope it will be of help to you because well we know- people traveling between these cities often have more destinations.

Pokhara to Annapurna Base Camp Trek 

Annapurna Base Camp (ABC)
Annapurna Base Camp (ABC)

There are five entry points to Annapurna Base Camp Trek- Phedi, Dhampus, Kande, Nayapul and Ghandruk. Let me discuss them one by one.

Pokhara to Phedi

You can either take a local bus, which departs from Baglung Bus Park (10 KM from Phewa Lake) or hire a taxi or a jeep. The distance between Lakeside and Phedi is roughly 18.7 km.

Price: A bus seat will cost you about Rs. 100 (USD 1). Taxi can price anywhere between Rs. 1400 to Rs. 2000 (USD 14 to USD 20). For Jeep, you can expect to pay between Rs. 3000 to Rs. 4000 (USD 30 to USD 40).

Departure Time: Buses leave from Pokhara to Baglung (Phedi is on the way to Baglung) every hour from 6.AM. to 6 P.M. 
On the contrary, you can fix your own time while you rent a car or a jeep.

How to Book: If you want to get a bus, you will need to get to Baglung Buspark and buy a ticket. Forget about online booking- you will know what I am talking about as soon as you reach there.

For a taxi or a jeep, it is mostly done by the travel agency themselves. You will be better off doing it with them. Alternatively, I found a website which might help you: Nepal Online Trip, Phone:(+977) 014414890
In some cases, your hotel owner might also have connections with a vehicle- ask them the day before.

Pokhara to Nayapul

I don’t have to repeat anything. The only difference between Pokhara to Phedi and Pokhara to Nayapul is the distance and the price. Otherwise, the path and the method of getting there is the same.

Price: The Bus fare is Rs. 240 (USD 2.4). Taxicab costs between Rs.2500 (USD 25) to Rs. 3000 (USD 30). For Jeep, depending on the season and petrol price, they might ask between Rs.5500 (USD 55) to Rs.7000 (USD 55).

How to Book: Refer to the above information about Phedi; Nayapul and Phedi both are on the same way from Pokhara to Baglung.

Pokhara to Kande

Pokhara to Kande is again, the same road through the Prithivi Highway. It is a thirty minutes drive from Nayapul.

Price: The Bus fare is Rs. 300 (USD 3) for tourists. Taxi and jeep prices are similar to Nayapul. Booking is similar.

Pokhara to Dhampus

Dhampus is a 2.9 km trek from Phedi. Alternatively, you can find local buses and jeeps from Hari Chowk, Pokhara. It takes around 1 hour to reach Dhampus.

Price: The Bus fare is around Rs. 150 (USD 1.5) and Jeeps cost you around Rs. 200 (USD 2).

Pokhara to Ghandruk

Ghandruk is a five hours trek from Nayapul. You will also find buses and jeeps from Hari Chowk, Pokhara that will get you to a place called Dhamle (Dhamle Station). From Dhamle, Ghandruk is only 1.5 hours walk away.

Price: Buses cost you upto Rs. 400 (USD 4) while jeep rate is around USD 5- USD 6. 

Pokhara to Ghorepani-Poon Hill Trek (Nayapul)

Sunrise from Poonhill
Sunrise from Poonhill

You start your Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek from Nayapul. Thus, you can refer to the earlier part of this article.

Pokhara to Mardi Himal Trek (Kande)

Mardi Himal trek
Machhapuchchre seen on the way to Mardi Base Camp

Well, Mardi Himal Trek Starts from Kande. So, you have enough information about getting there as well.

Some Tips for Those Travelling from Pokhara to These Places

  • For vehicle rental, ask your travel agency. Most of the time, it works on a bargain so that they can help you with the price.
  • If you are looking forward to taking a local bus, remember to reach the station at least 30 minutes before expected departure.
  • Don’t leave your seat after getting a ticket- the bus park is very mismanaged. The last time I traveled, it was a year ago to Kusma from Pokhara, and they sold two tickets for the same seat.
  • This time try to get a seat at the left-hand side. Well, to be honest, you can get one on the other side too, but the left has some good views till Nayapul. 
  • During the festive seasons of Dashain and Tihar (they usually fall in September and October, mark your calendar), there might be problems getting a vehicle. The local buses are packed, and it might even get tough to reserve a jeep as people are getting back to their villages from the town.

Pokhara to Jomsom/ Muktinath

Muktinath Temple
Muktinath Temple

Pokhara To Jomsom Flight

Pokhara to Jomsom is a 27 km flight which takes about 20 minutes. Simrik Airlines, Tara Air (child company of Yeti Airlines) and Summit Air provide services. There is no fixed number of flights, as it depends on the traffic and the season. However, on average, there are around six flights per day. 

Price: Usually, the cost is $125.

Departure Time: The airplanes take off in the morning, and you can expect anytime between 6:30 AM to 1:00 AM.

How to Book: Talk to an agent. It will be best for you. On the other hand, here are some websites of the airlines that offer you services from Pokhara to Jomsom. Here are some other helpful sites which I recently found. Tara Airlines, Kathmandu Pokhara Flight, Nepal Cheap Flight.

Or you can easily Book Pokhara To Jomsom Flights through HoneyGuide and enjoy HoneyGuide Credits worth USD 8 to book lodges and guides in the region.

Some Tips:

  • Have a strong heart. As you can see, the flight is not a smooth one.
  • Booking a seat on the right-hand side will give a better view of the Northern mountains.
  • Especially during the rainy season, flights can be canceled a lot. Be wary of it.
  • Reach to the airport at least one and a half hours before the scheduled flight time.

Pokhara To Jomsom by Road

You could take a bus, rent a private vehicle or a motorcycle.

Pokhara To Jomsom by Local Bus

A local bus travels from Pokhara to Jomsom every day. On the other hand, you can also take a bus till Beni (Baglung) and then travel to Ghasa and then take another bus to Jomsom.

Price: The price of a ticket is Rs. 1300 (USD 13) from Pokhara to Jomsom. If you want to go to Beni, then the price is Rs. 400 (USD 4). From Beni to Ghasa is about Rs. 1000 (USD 10) and you will need to pay another Rs.1000 (USD 10) from Ghasa to Jomsom.

Departure Time: The bus from Pokhara to Jomsom leaves 7 AM in the morning. For Baglung, you can get buses from 6 A.M. to 6 P.M. 

Driving Time: It depends on the road and weather conditions. On average, a drive can take between 10 to 12 hours.

Departure Place: Hallan Chowk for Jomsom and Baglung Buspark for Baglung.

How to Book: Before a day or two of the travels, contact a local travel agency in Lakeside. 

Note: I strongly recommend you get a bus from Pokhara to Jomsom. There isn’t a fixed schedule from Baglung to Jomsom, and buses can be irregular at times. Also, getting one from Pokhara to Jomsom is cheap.

Book Direct buses to Jomsom from Kathmandu or Pokhara hassle free.

Dhumba lake, Side Trip from Jomsom

Pokhara to Jomsom by Jeep

You can reserve a Jeep if you are in numbers. In most of the cases, people take a Jeep till Muktinath. In some cases, you only book a vehicle and pay the driver separately.

Price: The price can range between (USD 300 to USD 450) depending on the type of vehicle and driver.

Departure Time: You will need to leave Pokhara in the morning hours. 6 A.M. could be the best time.

Departure Place: The Jeep will come to your hotel room.

Driving Time: It might take eight to ten hours for a one-way trip till Jomsom.

How to Book: Talk to your travel agency. Or, you can contact these addresses: Nepal Car Rentals (+977-98511 17 417), Nepal Online Trip (+977 9851136944)

Alternatively, You can directly rent any kind of private vehicles at best rates online through HoneyGuide. 

Pokhara to Jomsom by Motorcycle

Some companies allow renting motorcycles for the trip to Jomsom (Muktinath) from Kathmandu itself. Make sure that you are a professional rider, have a license in your country, and also look out for the weather.

Price: The rate depends on the model of the motorcycle and the number of days you rent it. Usually, you will need to rent the bike for 7 to 9 days. The price can range between USD 25 per day to USD 70 per day, excluding fuel.

Departure Time: It is all up to you.

Departure Place: The rental company you hire your motorcycle from.

How to Book: Here are some phone numbers that can help you: City Motorbike:+977-9843360610, Bs Motorbike (You can start from Kathmandu itself) : 977 1 4410751. Also, ask around (hotel and travel agency, like always) if they know someone that can provide a better deal.

Driving Time: I recommend you go to Beni and spend a day there (4 hours). You can hit the road again the next day to reach Jomsom; it will take you about 8 hours. Or, you can choose your own place of rest.

Tips

  • Motorbikes can be risky during the rainy season. The path is slippery.

  • Take all the necessary safety measures. Control your speed on the highway.

  • Don’t forget to honk on the turns of the road.

  • Petrol stations are not very frequent on the road, so have backup fuel.

Conclusion

Nepal might not have the most advanced infrastructures in the world, but it has enough in terms of transportation. Thus, you will have no problems regarding travelling from Kathmandu to Pokhara. However, you need to work with a Nepali Travel Company as the online booking system is still vague, and there are language barriers as well. However, I hope this article helped you and well, Happy Traveling! 

 

Author: Anubhav Gautam

Anubhav Gautam is a web content writer, digital marketer, and a traveler who loves outdoors. Part of wriology.com and active mostly in the Asian market, he helps companies generate leads through various internet marketing channels (primarily content marketing). He also likes having fun with his articles and runs a ‘very inappropriate’ website, blogsofbullshit.com.

Related Post

mountain teaser trees
’Going to the mountains
is going home.’
- John Muir
‘Great things are done when
men and mountains meet.’
- William Blake
‎’There is no such thing as bad weather,
only inappropriate clothing.’
- Sir Ranulph Fiennes