The journey from India to Nepal (Kathmandu)is best done by plane but there is also the extended but less comfortable route by train and bus dependent upon where you are leaving India from. I was leaving from Delhi and decided on a flight costing approx £60 one way from Delhi International Airport to Kathmandu Tribhuban International Airport.
The airport is easily accessed using the new and efficient metro from down town Delhi.
An Airport Hotel
In my case I had booked a hotel, The Uppal close to the airport, for the last day of my 6 week India trip. This was an expensive hotel for India and they fortunately provided a courtesy shuttle to the departure terminal, but you couldn’t expect this from all your stays…but worth asking!!
The terminal in Delhi is brand new and everything is pretty slick within even a welcome Starbucks for a “normal” coffee after 6 weeks in India!!.
Remember a number of things
- Print off your electronic ticket otherwise you can’t even get past the guards on the entrance doors
- UK has progressed to full automation but India is still a little behind on this one. I have watched a number of passengers manage to persuade the guards by pulling up emails on their laptops but if you have no connection there is a chance that you could be stuffed!
- Most advice and legislation in India dictates that you cannot take any Rupees out of India and yet I was told by the immigration officials that Indian Rupees can be used in Nepal…and that’s exactly what I am doing.
- To get into Nepal you must have a visa and there is no one in the Delhi terminal who could tell me how much it could cost or what currency I could use.
- 1 month tourist visa costs $40 or £29 and requires a passport photo to accompany your application…this can be done at the arrivals terminal in Kathmandu but will cost another Rs200 or take a few extra passport photos along with you.
- You can pay in most currencies but any change seems to given in US dollars. It is not prudent to try paying in Indian Rupees however I reckon this would be accepted or they will send you to the exchange booth to convert it. GB Pounds, Euros and US Dollars seemed to be the best option.
- Always carry a selection of currencies simply for back up or an instance like this one….I have been carrying US Dollars, GBPounds and even some S African currency for years and only infrequently need to top it up.
There is a massive difference in standards from the Indian and Nepali terminals so expect the unexpected and much less efficiency in Kathmandu Airport.
As you approach the baggage carousel it may not even be turning and there may not be lights because there is frequent power shedding issues in Nepal.
When you do depart from the carousel in Kathmandu after picking up your bag you may be asked to present your boarding card again because your bag label counterfoil has been placed on your boarding card!! this does not happen with all airlines or at all terminals but is in place to prevent someone simply wandering off with someone else’s bag.…ie thieving it!!! I was really lucky because normally I would leave the boarding pass in the rubbish bag of the plane…be warned.
You need to have an idea of your accommodation in Nepal to put details on your immigration slip so even if you haven’t booked a place do make sure you have a Hotel and address to place on the immigration slip.
One counter at the exit informed me it would be Rs650 for a cab to the centre at the popular Thamel district but when accosted by another desk I was offered a hotel room which I was able to haggle down to £5 for a private room…with cab to hotel thrown in.
If you do not take up a hotel offer at the terminal then you ought to be able to barter the cab fare down to about Rs250 or 350 (and since the majority of tourists head to the same small Thamel area…consider accosting other passengers to share the cab)
In summary this was a seamless and easy transfer from India to Nepal….no problems.