Tourist Buses: Depart every morning at 7am from the bus station outside Thamel, Kathmandu. Prices range from Rs500-1000 (Greenline US$20 including a buffet lunch & air conditioning). The drive takes 6-8 hours depending on the traffic and road conditions and includes two main stops for breakfast and lunch at tourist roadside restaurants. The tourist bus stop in Pokhara is now at the entrance to Fishtail Lodge, south Lakeside.
Local & Micro Buses: Depart every ½ hour from Kalanki Bus Park in Kathmandu from 5am until late afternoon (travelling at night is not recommended). The micro buses (white Toyota vans) take 5-6 hours and cost approx. Rs500 while the local buses take 6-8 hours and cost approx. Rs400-500. Both stop only once for a main meal at a local roadside restaurant. These buses stop at Prithivi Chowk in Pokhara which is a 5-10 min taxi drive from Lakeside.
Plane: There are daily flights operated by several Nepali domestic airlines to Pokhara Airport from Kathmandu Domestic Airport, which can be easily and quickly arranged by local tourist agents in Thamel or Lakeside. It is best to fly early in the morning when you can catch the spectacular view of the Himalayas as you fly into Pokhara (from the right side of the plane). Prices range from US$80-100 one way and the flight takes 25 minutes. There is also a Rs200 departure tax from all domestic airports in Nepal. To Lakeside from Pokhara airport is a 5 minute taxi drive.
Car: It is possible to hire a car with/without a driver to travel from Kathmandu to Pokhara. If you have never driven in Nepal before then it is advisable to hire a driver as the Prithivi Highway is a dangerous road with many sharp bends, narrow sections and incoming traffic on your side of the road. There can always be traffic jams or road blocks along the way and so it also takes 5-6 hours to reach Pokhara. Small cars cost from Rs4,500 per day to hire, not including petrol or the driver.
The best way to travel between Pokhara and Sauhara, the tourist village outside Chitwan National Park is by tourist bus. Buses leave daily from the tourist bus station at 7am, take 6-7 hours and cost Rs400 – 600 one way.
TO/FROM TREKKING ROUTES
Local Bus: Crowded local buses leave Baglung Bus Park every 1/2 hour from 5:30am until 3pm. Most trekking routes in the Annapurna region start along the Baglung Highway at places such as Phedi, Khare, Lumle & Nayapul. The Annapurna Circuit however starts from Besisahar, east of Pokhara. Two buses to Besisahar leave early each morning from Prithivi Chowk, taking 5 hours (Rs250) or you can catch any bus going to Kathmandu and change at Dumre.
Taxi: From Lakeside small taxis cost Rs1000 to Phedi and Rs1800 to Nayapul, whereas from Baglung Bus Park they cost Rs900/Rs1500.
Jeep/Mini Van: Jeeps and minivans are available to hire in Lakeside along with a driver and they are particularly useful if you have a large trekking group.
TO/FROM INDIAN BORDER
The closest Indian border crossing to Pokhara is at Sunauli and while there are no tourist buses going here there are daily buses leaving from Prithivi Chowk to Bhairwara near Sunauli. Buses go either via Mugling (on the way to Kathmandu)or directly south past Tansen and Butwal along the dramatic and beautiful Siddhartha Highway. Other border crossings at Birganj, Nepalganj & Mahendranagar can be reached by day/night buses from Pokhara.
Tourist Bus Park: The main tourist bus park is located in south Lakeside 50m past Rasta Bank Chowk on the left hand side. Tourist buses request you to be present at 7am for 7:30am departures to Kathmandu, Chitwan and Lumbini.
Baglung Bus Park: This local bus park is the terminus for all buses going to the north and north west of Pokhara along the Baglung Highway and so if you want to get to Phedi, Nayapul or Beni for the start of your trek get here early in the morning. Taxis can take you from Lakeside (5-10mins) or to get here by local bus, take the Chipledunga bus from Lakeside to Zero Kilometre where you change buses to go left (north) to Baglung Bus Park.
Prithivi Chowk Bus Park: This is Pokhara’s main local bus station, where buses depart to the east, south and south-west, including Kathmandu, Gorkha, Tansen & Butwal and Sunauli. Local buses stop here on the way to Chipledunga – get off at the bottom of New Road and Prithivi Chowk is just 100m further along the main road. The large buses are parked on the left side of the main road while you need to turn left & go up the street a little for the micro bus stop.