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Kathmandu to Ramechhap Airport: A Trekker’s Guide

Flight waiting to board in Lukla

Manthali, a sleepy little town in Ramechhap District, has become extremely important for trekkers going to Everest since Spring 2019. It was then that the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) rerouted all flights between Kathmandu and Lukla to Ramechhap Airport at Manthali. Hence, for a good part of the year, trekkers have to drive 4 hours from Kathmandu to Ramechhap Airport to catch the flight to the Everest Region.

When do you need to go to Ramechhap?

Flights get routed to Ramechhap during the peak trekking seasons: usually mid-March to April and October to mid-December. Outside this period, flights still operate from Kathmandu. Funnily enough, we see that backlogs and flight delays are more common now during the low season than the high season. That is one good thing about flying from Ramechhap: no backlogs at all, or backlogs that clear up the same day.

Kathmandu to Ramechhap

Getting from Kathmandu to Ramechhap is quite an adventurous experience. You will bid farewell to the crowd and concrete of Kathmandu for a rustic and rural side of Nepal. The first section is through the six lane highway to Bhaktapur. Past Bhaktapur, the two lane road climbs gradually past satellite towns to the Dhulikhel hill station. Here, you leave the Arniko highway and get on the B.P. Koirala Highway. It is also here that the road becomes narrow with a lot of hairpin bends. However, the scenic hills, farms and villages more than make up for it. For the last half of the ride, you will also get to enjoy the view of the Sunkoshi and Tamakoshi Rivers.

Now that you know what the ride is like, here are various ways you can make it happen.

1.  Kathmandu to Ramechhap Early Morning Shared Jeep/ Minivan

Traveling from Kathmandu to Ramechhap at 2 am is, believe it or not, the most popular option among trekkers. The reason is simple: this arrangement doesn’t add an extra day to your itinerary. And you get to Ramechhap by 6:30 am which leaves you with enough time to stretch your legs, get some breakfast, and get on that flight to Lukla.

You can book you ‘midnight express’ in the following ways:

  1. Airlines– Airlines sometimes offer this service when you book flights from their website, at some extra cost (around USD 15- USD 25).
  2. HoneyGuide– When you book flights from HoneyGuide’s website, the flight cost of USD 144.68 covers your transportation as well. Or you can also book transportation separately for USD 15.
  3. Vehicle Companies– They operate regular night bus services from Kathmandu to Ramechhap during starting April 1 in spring and October 15 in fall.

Transport Companies

Cost

Departure Time

Departure Location

Smile Car Rental

+977-9851117417

NPR 900

2:00 am

Infront of Malla Hotel, Thamel

Speedy Travels

+977-1-4417928

NPR 1400

2:00 am

Infront of Malla Hotel, Thamel.

Transport Hub Nepal

+977-9813304069,+977- 9851272547

NPR 1500

2:00 am

Garden of Dreams, Thamel

HoneyGuide

+977-9843376717 (WhatsApp)

USD 15

2:00 am

Garden of Dreams, Thamel

Note: While vehicle companies don’t take responsibility for any delays or unforeseen events, HoneyGuide takes full responsibility for flight arrangement even if there is any delay. Besides, HoneyGuide also offers a flexible cancellation policy and 24/7 Customer support.

Book transportation from Kathmandu to Ramechhap with HoneyGuide!
Flexible Booking Changes|24*7 WhatsApp Support | Flight Guarantee in case of delay

2. Kathmandu to Ramechhap Bus:

If you don’t like the idea of traveling at night and have an extra day, you can leave for Ramechhap a day before your flight date. Some of the ways you can make it happen are:

Transport Companies

Cost

Departure Time

Departure location

Contact Numbers

Regular Public Buses

NPR 420

6:00 am to 11 am

Old Bus Park (15 mins walk from Thamel)

 

Regular Shared Jeeps

NPR 500- 700

5:00 am

Chabahil Chowk

Thamel to Chabahil
Distance: 5km or 20 mins drive
Taxi fare: NPR 300 – NPR 500

 

Smile Car Rental (Tourist Bus)

NPR 900

11:00 am

Infront of Malla Hotel, Thamel

+977-9851117417

Speedy Travels and Tourism (Tourist Bus)

NPR 1400

11:00 am

Infront of Malla Hotel, Thamel.

+977-1-4417928

3. Kathmandu to Ramechhap Private Car/ Jeep

The most comfortable way to get to Ramechhap is by hiring your own vehicle. And to be fair, it isn’t that expensive especially if you have people to share the costs with.

Car hire cost: USD 80 – USD 100 one way (Space for 3)
Jeep Hire: USD 110- USD 140 one way (Space for 7)
How to Book: Some companies like Transport Hub Nepal (+977-9813304069,+977- 9851272547) and Nepal Vehicle Rental (+977-9851117417) offer this service.

4. Helicopter

If budget is not your concern and you wish to fly directly to Lukla, a helicopter charter is your fastest, most luxurious, and hassle-free option. Please note: A Heli is five-seater, and Heli companies don’t bear the hassle of finding passengers to share your cost.
Heli Charter Kathmandu to Lukla: USD 2200 to USD 3000
Departure location: Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), Kathmandu
Duration: 45 minutes
Cumulative Weight: 400 kgs
How to Book:
Air Dynasty- https://www.airdynastyheli.com/
Fishtail Air- http://www.fishtailair.com/
Simrik Air- https://simrikair.com/

Hotels near Manthali, Ramechhap

If you wish to travel to Manthali a day ahead of your flight, there are hotels near Manthali Airport for your convenience. Most of them are either newly built or upgraded since the reroute of flights via Ramechhap. We’ve compiled a list of hotels near Manthali Airport below. We highly recommend you to book your hotels beforehand.

Freedom Resort

Freedom Resort, Manthali
Freedom Resort, Manthali

Distance from Manthali Airport: 5 minutes walk
Types of Room: 30 Cottage Safari Tented Rooms (with fan and internet)
Other Services: Swimming Pool, Restaurant and Bar
Contact Numbers: +977-1-48540164, +977-9864333482, +977-9841643812
Email: freedomresortmanthali@gmail.com
Cost: USD 35 per person (Dinner, Bed and Breakfast)
Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/FreedomResortManthali

Pahuna Guest House

Pahuna Guest House, Manthali

Distance from Manthali Airport: 10 minutes walk
Types of Room:
Attach Rooms without AC (5 room)- NPR 1500 including breakfast
Attach Rooms with AC, TV and Wifi (3 rooms)- NPR 2500 including breakfast
Deluxe Rooms with AC, TV, Wifi (2 rooms)- NPR 3000 including breakfast 
Contact Numbers: +977-1-48540373, 9851170344

Lalu Hotel

Distance from Manthali Airport: 7 minute walk
Types of Room: Attach Rooms with AC (8), Basic rooms with common toilets (8)
Cost: NPR 2000 and NPR 800 per room
Contact Numbers: +977-1-48540060

Sunrise Food Cafe & Lodge
Contact Numbers: +977-48540015

S.S.F Green Guest House
Contact Numbers: +977-1-48540169

G.S Hotel
Contact Numbers: +977-1-48540599, 9840025580

Hotel Alina
Contact Numbers: +977-1-48540062

Okhaldhunge Hotel
Contact Numbers: +977-1-48540311

Namobudha Hotel
Contact Numbers: +977-1-48540090

Sailung Hotel
Contact Numbers: +977-9860599198

Sowagatam Hotel
Contact Numbers: +977-9860962389

Things to do at Manthali, Ramechhap

Despite being a sleepy town, there are a few things you could do here to engage yourself. You could perhaps take a walk around and try out some local delicacies. Fresh fish from the mighty Tamakoshi River is particularly good. Or, if you are up for it you might even consider the following:

  1. Explore the banks of the mighty Tamakoshi river. You’ll find kids playing, as well as fishers, catching fishes in the river. And if it’s too hot, you might as well swim in the river. 
  2. Shop for Sweet Oranges- The entire district of Ramechhap is famous for ‘sweet oranges.’ If you’re in Manthali during November and December, you can enjoy the fresh local fruit delivered fresh from the local farms. If not, you’ll find sweet orange juices throughout the year.
  3. Rafting in Tamakoshi- A new recreation sport- rafting has recently started in Manthali.(We will update more about it soon)

Manthali Airport, Ramechhap

Manthali Airport, Ramechhap
Manthali Airport, Ramechhap

Manthali Airport is located in the Tamakoshi River Valley in Manthali, the capital of Ramechhap District at an altitude of 474 m. It is located 132 kms east of Kathmandu and used to see very little traffic before it started serving trekkers on their way to Lukla. Even though the management is not very systematic and security checking is still manual, there are numerous benefits of flying to Lukla from Ramechhap:
1.  The airport is solely dedicated to operating Lukla flights, which means the chances of delays and cancellations due to air traffic is zero.
2. The number of scheduled flights is higher.
3. The flight duration is short, and even if Lukla weather turns bad, the backlogs clear very quickly.

Ramechhap to Lukla (and back)

The duration of Ramechhap to Lukla flight is a short 15 minutes. Here’s a pro tip to make the best of this flight- As there are no particular seating arrangements, make sure you run ahead and get seated on the left side to enjoy the free mountain flight. Also, the closer to the cockpit the better!

Book Ramechhap to Lukla Flights with HoneyGuide!
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Ramechhap to Kathmandu

Tamakoshi River valley seen from the highway.
Tamakoshi River valley seen from the highway.

Getting to Kathmandu from Ramechhap is a little different from taking the journey in reverse. Although the distance and route are the same, it generally takes around six hours to reach Kathmandu from Ramechhap versus the four hours the other way. That’s because you get to Dhulikhel during late afternoon when the rush hour traffic between Bhaktapur and Kathmandu starts to build up.

Besides the traffic, another important thing that you must understand is that you might have to wait for sometime in Ramechhap. That is because the vehicle will wait to fill up before it starts the journey back to Kathmandu.

If your fare includes transportation options like in the case of some Airlines and HoneyGuide, they will arrange the return transportation as per your flight schedule, reducing the hassle. Besides, if you have booked transport from the companies mentioned above, you can ask them to arrange vehicles for your return as well. Vehicles generally depart between 8 am- 12 am, as most flights land by then.

However, if you are looking for the regular local jeeps and buses option,

Departure Location: Manthali Bus Park (5 mins walk from Airport)
Departure Time: 6 am to 4 pm
Vehicles available:
Jeep- NPR 500
Hiace Van- NPR 500

Still have questions? Contact us at honeybird@honeyguideapps.com or WhatsApp +977-9843376717.

 

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