We had arrived in Kakarvitta from Darjeeling, our next destination was traveling from this Nepalese border town, Kakarvitta to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. The distance between Kakarvitta and Kathmandu is 600 kilometers. The roads are truly dreadful. Even in the dry season. We needed the Kakarvitta to Kathmandu bus service and information about this route is limited. While there are several companies providing a bus service from Kakarbhitta to Kathmandu it is not currently possible to book this online and there is no published specific Kakarvitta to Kathmandu bus timetable.
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What’s in Kakarvitta?
Kakarvitta seems like any border town. Plenty of places to eat, plenty of places to stay, none of them very appealing or appetizing, and nothing else to do apart from getting the hell out of town. After you walk from the border there’s an easy-to-find bus station with a plethora of buses (large and small) waiting for their next trip. You can get all the details of how we crossed the border from India to Nepal.
There are no hotels or hostels that we could find to book online, but a walk around the streets around the bus station will net you a room if you want to stay the night. The Hotel Darbar is the closest to the bus station.
Kakarvitta to Kathmandu Bus Times
Kakabhitta to Kathmandu bus timings are roughly twice a day – the late afternoon (anywhere between 330pm and 6 pm) and early morning (4 am-530am). The Kakarvitta to Kathmandu bus timing depends mainly on when the buses are full of people and cargo.
Kakarbhitta to Kathmandu Bus Booking
There is no central booking office in Kakarvitta here, there are lots of individual booking offices. Whether you can get close to them for the sheer number of touts trying to sell you a bus ticket is another matter.
How to make a Kakarvitta to Kathmandu Bus Booking
The best way to make a booking for the bus is to find a bus that is leaving at the time you want to, pick the seats you want, pay, and get a ticket.
We were originally going to find somewhere to stay and catch a bus in the morning. That would mean that we could “see some of the country” on the way across. However, the persistent gloom and fog that has plagued us in Darjeeling stayed with us all down the mountain. It’s still here in Kakarvitta. We made a snap decision on the basis that we probably won’t see anything in daylight anyway and decided to go today. We also checked with the FCO that there weren’t any problems to be aware of.
We found several buses plying the route to Kathmandu from Kakarvitta – they all park at the bus station – picked a bus that had seats in the middle of the bus. We checked that they weren’t broken and that the ones in front of us weren’t broken either. Paid. We made sure we paid someone who other passengers were paying, not just a random stranger, and got a Kakarvitta to Kathmandu bus ticket with our seat numbers on. Easy.
Distance between Kakarvitta and Kathmandu
The Kakarvitta to Kathmandu distance isn’t that great, but the roads are seriously bad. The journey is 600 kilometers by road, 300 km as the crow flies, and will take us 17 hours. That’s how long they say and that’s actually how long it takes.
You’re going to be exhausted when you arrive in Kathmandu, so we recommend you book your hotel or hostel ahead of time – here are our recommendations of where to stay in Kathmandu.
Where to Stay in Kathmandu
Karma Boutique Hotel
Jyatha Marg, Thamel, Thamel, 44600 Kathmandu, Nepal
Great location, friendly staff, and very clean
All rooms are equipped with a flat-screen TV. Some rooms have a seating area where you can relax. Every room includes a private bathroom. For your comfort, you will find slippers and free toiletries. Karma Boutique Hotel features free WiFi throughout the property.
There is a hairdresser at the property.
- Free Wifi throughout
- Private bathrooms
- Slippers and free toiletries
- Flat-screen TV
- Some rooms have seating areas
Yatri Suites and Spa
Amrit Marg(Manang Plaza), Thamel, Thamel, 44600 Kathmandu, Nepal
Great location with 24-hour reception, gift shop, and bar.
- Some rooms have seating areas
- Free Wifi throughout
- Flat-screen TV and AC in each room
Chaksibari Marg Thamel, Thamel, 44600 Kathmandu, Nepal
Boutique hotel with airport shuttle service.
- Breakfast served daily
- 24-hour desk
- Great location
- Wifi throughout
- Air-conditioned rooms
- Rooms include private bathrooms and a flat-screen TV
- Rooms have fridges, kettles and a desk
- All rooms have a seating area and some have a terrace
- Luggage storage
Selecting a Bus Service from Kakaritta to Kathmandu
That makes it easier in picking a bus because instead of taking someone’s word that the bus is a “deluxe” bus, we get to go select the actual bus. Deluxe means possible air con, windows that close, and reclining seats.
We pick a bus that has reclining seats. And we check that they actually recline and return, rather than just stay down. There are no sleeper buses here. Our bus has curtains, windows that open, and a fan by each set of two seats. We are given seats in row 9/10. About 4 from the back.
If you want to book a bus from Kakarvitta to Kathmandu, then just approach one of the booking windows. Or head straight out as we did.
Kakarvitta to Kathmandu MicroBus Services Options
One option, if you arrive in the morning, or if you have stayed overnight in Kakarvitta is to take the minivan option. They only leave in the morning, the last one around 0730. It takes around 10 hours to get to Kathmandu. They take a slightly different route with awesome views. Ask around at the bus station if this is your preferred option. The microbus service to Kathmandu from Kakarvitta takes the route Kakarvitta to Bardibas to Sindhuli to Dhulikhel to Bhaktapur to Kathmandu.
Kakarvitta to Kathmandu Taxi Fare
A taxi from Kakarbhitta to Kathmandu is possible. You can ask around at the bus station. The Kakarbhitta to Kathmandu taxi fare will be what you can negotiate, but it will not be cheap. If you are looking for the quickest way to go from Kakarvitta to Kathmandu then this would be to fly. The quickest way to fly from Kakarvitta to Kathmandu is to take a taxi from Kakarvitta to Bhadrapur and then take a flight from there to Kathmandu.
Kakarvitta to Kathmandu Bus Fare
The bus service from Kakarvitta to Kathmandu bus fare in 2015 costs us 1300 Nepalese rupees each. That is about US$13, GBP 8.70. The price for a bus ticket from Kakarvitta to Kathmandu is between 1300-2000 NPR. If you find a bus with A/C then you’ll pay around 1700 rupees, depending on whether you want a night bus or a day bus and on your bargaining skills.
Map of Route from Kakarvitta to Kathmandu
We’re the only westerners on the bus until two Dutch guys join us about two hours into the journey. There are relatively frequent stops, for food (we stick to packets of crisps), and drinks (hot, cold, and beer). There are toilets too. You do NOT want to know how gross it was, even after we completed a Nepalese trek, these were worse.
Road State Kakarvitta to Kathmandu
It gets dark pretty quickly, so it’s hard to tell the state of the roads. I rely on how often I bounce off the seat for that. At least my backside isn’t numb, although it probably is bruised from the bouncing.
I estimate that at least 550 of the 600 km was offroad. And I don’t want to look at the tires on the bus we traveled on. Sometimes not knowing the answer is just best for your mental health.
Every single time we get off an overnight bus we say never again. I think they must be like childbirth because you forget just how bad it was and you do it all over again. So it’s probably a good job we don’t have kids, we’d be up to 10 of the little darlings by now if our propensity to keep jumping on bloody overnight buses is anything to go by.
Arriving in Kathmandu from Kakarvitta
Our 17-hour labor is over and we’re here in Kathmandu. It’s been raining. There are huge pools of water everywhere. And the “road” that we’re on appears to be the only road. There are mud pools and dust everywhere else.
We walk in the direction of Thamel, the budget backpacker district. We’re guided somewhat by the GPS in the phone, but mostly by helpful folks who’ve clearly seen it all before and who wave us generally towards Thamel. The maps aren’t great (but you should download Maps.me and have a sense of where you are. People here are helpful and will send you in the right direction. It takes us around 20 minutes with full packs on to get to the backpacker area.
In Thamel, we find our hotel, which gives us hot water, wifi, and a private bathroom. The warmth after the chill of Darjeeling is worth every cent and the bed, well after the bus, it’s glorious and so we rest, for tomorrow we need to shop for trekking gear.
Essentials for an Everest Base Camp Trek
- You NEED good comprehensive travel and medical insurance to do this trek, a medical evacuation by helicopter will cost at least US$5,000. The fittest member of our group was evacuated from Macchermo with altitude sickness. Get a quote here.
- Hiking Poles – these are lightweight, packable, and a great aid.
- Good layering thermals
- Great sunglasses – the glare here is amazing- my Maui Jim sunnies have been to Everest Base Camp, Macchu Picchu, they’ve sailed the Atlantic, and been to the Galapagos & Easter Island.
- Amazing socks – I’ve hiked in Bridgedale Socks for 8 years now and they’re amazing.
And… the most important thing…
- A great team to trek with – you can check options here.
Travel Tips for Exploring Nepal
- Read about Nepal in these incredible books
- Get insurance for all your adventure Nepal Travel with WorldNomads
- Book the best Nepal tours and guides on GetYourGuide, Klook, and Civitatis
- Book fabulous Nepal Foodie experiences with locals through Eatwith
- Save money in Nepal with a Wise debit card
- Book accommodation in Nepal with Booking.com and Hostelworld
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