Sunday, 30 December 2018

My Nepal Trip Part 7: Road Journey From Bhaktapur/Kathmandu To Pokhara

In the course of planning my Nepal itinerary, there were a few unanswered questions which I googled all I wanted but still could not find the information that I needed. Some of my queries were regarding the road journey from Bhaktapur (or enroute from Kathmandu) to Pokhara. I'd wanted to know how long the journey takes, what kind of road we would be travelling on, what type of landscape we would be traversing through, whether restaurants and toilets were readily available and also whether we need to pay any toll.
Now that I've gone through the journey, I thought it would be helpful to create this post as a planning guide for those seeking answers to the same questions. 

Travelling Duration
The distance from Bhaktapur to Pokhara is about 215 km (from Kathmandu it would be approx 200 km) and the travelling time ranges from 5½ to 10 hours depending on the traffic condition. Ours took 6½ hours including a 1 hour lunch stop so we can be considered very lucky. 
Alternatively, there are flights from Kathmandu to Pokhara operated by a few local Nepali airlines which only take 25 minutes but which cost more than RM 550 per way. Considering checking in and checking out time which may take up to 4 hours in total, it is not worth spending so much using this means of transport unless there is emergency to do so. Furthermore you will miss out on the landscape along the journey which is quite a spectacle at some stretches.

Road Condition
As mentioned in my earlier posts, the roads into Nagarkot and Bhaktapur were in a shabby state. Fortunately 90% of the journey to Pokhara was on good tarred road. The so-called Kathmandu-Pokhara Highway is a far cry from the sophisticated highway we have in Malaysia though. Some stretches are good and the travelling is really smooth. Some stretches are just trunk roads passing through small towns but about less than 10% of the stretches are in dilapidated state causing traffic to slow down and travelling time to increase. 
Happiness is getting to travel on good roads during the journey.
This is a sample of bad roads that we had to go through but as mentioned it totals to less than 10%.

The worst stretch (nearing Pokhara) is fortunately a short one only. 

Is it safe to travel on the road?
It is said that Nepali drivers are so good they can drive with their eyes blindfolded and I can gladly vouch for that.  My driver was very good at maneuvering the van even through difficult situation and this gives the much needed assurance of our safety. Other drivers on the road are quite disciplined and apparently keep to a safe speed limit. Even though I sat on the front seat with the driver I felt as safe as houses.

Landscape Along The Journey
We passed through many small towns and this is a good opportunity to get glimpses into the lifestyle of the people. We also passed through agricultural land including paddy fields. The golden terraces with ripening paddy is stunning indeed. Nearer towards Pokhara, we were travelling parallel to Trishuli River and Seti Gandaki River and the river panorama was a beauty. Pictures paint a thousands words so I am posting a number of random shots here. 

Restaurants & Toilets
There are sufficient proper and clean restaurants and rest areas along the journey and the driver will know where to stop for meals/toilet breaks if given the instruction. We took our lunch break at Dalima Resort in the district of Chitwan. The food was commendable and very affordable too.

Any Toll?
There is no toll along the entire stretch of road and this is a pleasant surprise.

Related Posts: Click To View
1. Nagarkot -The Himalayan Views, Sunset And Sunrise
2. Nagarkot - The Village
3  Nagarkot - Staying In Club Himalaya
4. Bhaktapur - The Arrival & Bhaktapur Durbar Square
5. Bhaktapur - Pottery Square & Taumadhi Square
6. Bhaktapur - Walking Back In Time Photo Gallery
7. Road Journey From Bhaktapur/Kathmandu To Pokhara

No comments :

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...