Small but mighty is an apt way to describe Nepal. Despite it looking quite small on a map, it is mountainous and packed with hilly terrain match that with poor road quality and mountainous airstrips this makes it one of the more challenging countries to travel around. Here are a few important tips to remember when travelling around Nepal, whether by road or air.
Many of the popular routes have Tourist buses available on the main roads, however, and you can always hire a motorcycle, or charter a taxi, car or 4WD vehicle, or catch a flight. Be warned however, Nepal’s highways are irregularly maintained, and each monsoon takes a toll on surfaces. Wherever you travel, the route will probably be new in parts, disintegrated in places, and under construction in others. The country has a truly appalling road safety record, and accidents are common. And, in addition, blockades or general strikes (bandh) can at times make travel virtually impossible.
Regular tourist buses connect Kathmandu with Pokhara, Sauraha (for Chitwan National Park) and Sonauli, as well as Pokhara with Sauraha and Sonauli. The vehicles are usually in good condition, making for a safer ride than in a regular bus. They aren’t supposed to take more passengers than there are seats, so the journey should also be more comfortable and quicker too. Almost every roadhead in Nepal is being extended, often on local initiative, by way of a dirt track making its painful way deeper into the countryside. And where the bus comes to the end of the road, you can rely on finding a gaadi (the all-purpose word for a vehicle) to take you further. If you want to make your life easier than it is worth considering internal flights. Most flights begin or end in Kathmandu, but two other airports in the Terai – Nepalgunj and Biratnagar – serve as secondary hubs.