Greenline offers a deluxe bus from Katmandu to Pokhara, a 7-8 hour journey through a dramatic river valley. While the bus is plenty comfortable, deluxe actually means deluxe by Nepalese standards and rather ordinary by western standards. Still, at $18 including lunch it’s a bargain. The bus leaves at 7:30 every morning from the Greenline depot, conveniently located an easy 10 minute walk from central Thamel. Buy your ticket ahead of time as the bus does fill.
It’s a stunning drive through the Himalayan foothills along a river of milky blue glacial water and giant boulders. Terraced rice fields climb the banks of the river. However, the paved road is rough, often only passable on one side of the already narrow track. Traffic is heavy for such a poor road and the going is slow. The bus makes frequent stops every 90 minutes or so for tea, lunch and to use the toilet. All in all a worthwhile one way journey if you have the time; fly if you don’t.
Pokhara, the starting point for many Annapurna treks, is a mini lakeside Thamel, a backpacker’s enclave with the main street lined with restaurants and shops catering to trekkers and expat dropouts. Its pretty setting and laid back vide make it an easy place to just chill for a while, a long while. Although you can find most basic necessities for daily life as well as trekking supplies the selection is more limited than Thamel.
October 27, 2012
For links to all the posts in this series see the Nepal page.