Want to know more about getting around in Nepal? The first article concentrates on getting around by bus.
Due to the mountainous nature of the landscape in Nepal, you will find that the roads are distinctively different to those in the UK. For starters, the mountainous landscape means that roads are windy with steep gradients. The roads are also not terribly well maintained – particularly in the rural regions. You may find that some of the bus trips are fairly nerve racking – particularly if you are surrounded by steep gorges and the bus is travelling at speed! For the car sick among you, it is therefore advisable that you take any travel sickness tablets prior to starting your journey.
Buses are either publicly or privately run and you will find that most of the tourist busses in Nepal are private. For this reason, getting around by bus on tourist routes may be slightly more expensive than getting around locally. Since they are privately owned, they are also generally more comfortable than the public busses. Public busses are well known for being uncomfortable! Additionally, getting around by public busses in Nepal is an extremely slow experience. They stop regularly to pick up passengers and the periods between bus stops are often prolonged due to the age and maintenance of the vehicle.
To travel on any of the tourist route buses, you should be able to get information on journeys from local travel agencies. You should also find that bus journeys around Nepal are well advertised outside of the travel agencies on street adverts etc.
If you decide to take a trip on one of the tourist buses then it is advisable to book your ticket a few days prior to the trip to ensure that you get a seat. You should also try to avoid travelling during festivals or national celebrations as the buses will be particularly packed and you are less likely to get a seat unless you book well in advance.
Bus fares for local buses in Nepal are usually fixed and you should be able to get a ticket from a local travel agent.
It is also possible to get around by Night Buses in Nepal. The night buses leave at dusk and arrive at dawn. This ensures that you can make best use of your time if needed.
Unfortunately, you may will find that bus crashes are common in Nepal due to some of the issues referred to above (old vehicles, poorly maintained roads etc.).