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Transportation Service in Nepal
Taxis & Tempos (three wheeler auto-rickshaws) can be hailed off the street, though it might be a bit difficult to find after sundown. The charge for metered taxi is Rs. 7 at initial flag down and then Rs. 2 for every 200 meters and for the tempos, it starts with Rs. 3. There is an extra 50% charge from 9 pm to 6 am. There are numerous taxi companies and all kinds of cabs. All cabs and tempos have black plates with white numbers and most of the cabs also carry a sign of "taxi". All the metered tempos are black in color and not very spacious and comfortable as taxis. For night taxis (8 pm to 6 am), call the Night-Taxi Service at Dharma Path (Ph: 4224374).
Buses, mini-buses and three-wheeler tempos ply on fixed routes at regular intervals. These public vehicles do not have a schedule and leave when there are enough passengers. The services, however, are fairly frequent. The last city buses stop running after around 8 pm. City buses (that ply within Kathmandu and go to Patan as well as those going to Kirtipur, Banepa, Dhulikhel and Thankot) leave from the City Bus Park located at the eastern side of Tundikhel parade ground. Trolley buses to Bhaktapur leave from Tripureswor, near the national stadium - Dashrath Rangasala. While the buses sometimes could be highly packed with passengers standing and hanging on the doors, three wheeler tempos are omparatively comfortable as there is no problem of passenger stuffing.
Rickshaws (two-seater tricycles) are a fun way to get around Kathmandu. They are especially useful for short trips within the old parts of the city where cars can be a problem or are prohibited due to the narrow lanes and crowded marketplaces. The fare should be negotiated beforehand. These pollution friendly pedal powered tricycles are restricted in major traffic thoroughfares.
Motorcycles, Bikes and Cars are available for renting in Kathmandu, Pokhara and many other cities and towns of Nepal. The best way to see the old parts of Kathmandu is by walking around but riding a bike or a motorbike is also another way to tour around the city without feeling the traffic hitches. Having a Driving License and Passport with you from your home country can help in renting any vehicles. There are no international car rental agencies in Nepal yet but different types of cars as well as vans are easily available for hiring in Kathmandu which usually comes with a driver so that you don't have to face the traffic hustle and bustle. Online car rental is also available these days.
Planes are one of the easiest and fastest means to reach the far and remote parts of Nepal. Most of the airstrips in Nepal are quite difficult as they lie on the mountain sides surrounded by high peaks. Apart from the Government owned Royal Nepal Airlines, there are a number of private companies operating domestic flights to different sectors including the always talked about must try one hour mountain flight also widely known as the Everest experience which enables you to have a tryst with the majestic snow capped mountains from Mt. Gauri Shankar to Mt. Ama Dablam to the highest peak in the world - the Mount Everest. This life time adventure, flying at an altitude of 25,000 feet (8,000 m) will surely take your breath away when your plane will fly as close to 5 nautical miles for the closest and highest view of Mt. Everest one could ever see.
Helicopters are very popular to reach to the remotest parts of Nepal. Since helicopters requires small landing spaces compared to planes, the former makes it sound much safer too. Helicopters can be reserved to fly to any destination at any time. Helicopter charter for sight seeing is gaining high popularity in Nepal these days. For tourists who have short time but want to see and experience the most of Nepal, helicopter charter would be the best bet as these are not only practical but highly thrilling and pleasurable too. There are lots of domestic airlines providing helicopter services. At present, two types of helicopters MI-17 that accommodate about 22 passengers reaching an altitude of 5000 meters and French made Ecureuil AS35OB series which can carry about 5 passengers are being operated.
Local Buses are available for short and longer journeys alike. These are the cheapest means of transport. All the local buses leaving Kathmandu, departs from Gongabu bus park in Ring Road - the north side of the city at different intervals and tickets has to be purchased in advance. Apart from the price, these buses can be fun as tourists get to enjoy the travel with brief stopovers in the countryside. Although it might take 10 hours to commute a 200 kilometers distance, bus traveling is worth when it comes to the price and fun one can get meeting the local people in the bus and eating the local food on the way. If time is not the constraint for you, you should try the local buses too.
Tourist Buses are specifically meant for the tourists only. These are run by private bus companies or travel agencies. Tourist buses are more comfortable, faster and less crowded and more expensive compared to the local buses. The tickets for the bus can be booked either in travel agencies or in the hotel itself. Like the local buses, tourist buses also stops over at a few places in route to your destination providing all the opportunity to see the terrific rural landscape views and the high Himalayas. Greenline: Intercity Bus Service at Thamel (Ph: 4253885,257544), Manakamana (Ph: 4250913,260259), Top Ten Travel (Ph: 4415843), and Yeti Travel (Ph: 4221234,4221754).
Trucks are used to transfer goods but sometimes these trucks can get you to places although these vehicles aren't licensed as passenger vehicles. When you are stuck in the middle of your journey, you can try hitch hiking the truck which might be traveling on the same route. These trucks may or may not charge you depending on the driver. Most of the trucks that run in Nepal are painted in red and they carry funny phrases painted on the back side of the trucks like "don't come near me, there is no space in heaven" which literally means avoid accidental death following the truck too close.
Trains are practically non-existent for the traveling purposes. Railroads are available only in few places like Birgunj, the main entry point to Nepal for Indian tourists coming from Calcutta and Patna which has a railway to Raxaul which lies in Nepal-India border (Railways: total 59 km).
Sea Transportation - Although Nepal is a landlocked country, the Himalayan Kingdom has access to the sea through the ports of Calcutta and Haldia in India. The port of Calcutta is about 1150 kilometers from the Nepalese border close to Biratnagar.. The cargo bound for Nepal is forwarded either by rail or road to the land customs post of the Indo-Nepal border upon the clearance of Indian port and customs authorities in Calcutta and the average transit time through India could be 3 to 7 days. Transfer of freight by containers from Calcutta is becoming highly significant as this tends to reduce the transit time. The registered clearing agents with good repute could assist in the smooth and speedy clearance of goods through Calcutta port.