Old Transportation from Tribhuvan International to Thamel

Invoice of Nepal’s Visa on Arrival.

Thai Airways TG 319 was perfectly parked in Tribhuvan International Airport’s apron at exactly 14:08 hours. There wasn’t aerobridge which greet me, one by one passengers descended the stairs on either side of plane door.

Aviation security: “Hi, Sir….Please, directly stepping to airport building!“, While stepping closer while hold a handy talky and his hand clearly pointing at my face….Assertive with a dark skin and thick mustache.

Tribhuvan-Thamel pre-paid taxi invoice.

Me: “OK, Sir….I’m sorry“, without thinking, I put a black Motorola E4 into right pocket of Emba’s brown pants whixh I was wearing.

In the end, I failed to capture my face image along with Thai Airways TG 319 in one frame because of it. Then I began to enter in passengers queuing who entered into terminal building.

Wow….music in the taxi was cool.

My hands tightly gripped my backpack’s shoulder harnesses and my face saw from side to side, paying close attention to Tribhuvan’s interior, which momentarily felt like I was passing through a temple room. Red-brown brick patterned walls with several carved decorations were scattered in every corner of room. Then I was greeted by a line of Visa on Arrival application machines on left side. Without any command, I understood and immediately took a queue at machine in the middle.

In the queue, I was intrigued by behavior of a son who was inputting visa data for his mother who not tall. He ordered his mother to step closer.

Ring road situation towards Thamel.

Snap 01….Just her forehead which was captured….Failed.

Then he told his mother to tiptoe.

Snap 02….The photo was 100% her face….Failed again.

A second later, his mother while looking at me with full of smiles, stood on top of small cardboard which she was still carrying a while ago.

Snap 03….Yeaaaa….It worked.

Similar to India’s streets, yes?

I immediately went to payment counter after successfully printed out the VoA application form. No needed to queue long, I got my visa after handing over USD 25 to female staff who wearing blue saris and on middle-aged age. “Oh, Indonesia. Welcome to Nepal and enjoy your trip. ”, She said when ending our immigration transaction.

Now I was getting closer to arrival hall exit gate. Before I actually went out, I took very slow steps to read whole information in a hallway. Instantly I quickly stopped at information board which displayed transportation rate to several areas in Kathmandu. Finally, I was relieved to find the word “Thamel” which became my next destination. It was only cost 700 Rupee (USD 6) to got in a dull red minivan which could accommodate 4 passengers and its last row seats were removed and changed as luggage.

The dust was incredible.

Ticket seller: “Where will you go, Sir?” Asked to me while holding a wad of red transaction notes.

Me: “Thamel, Sir“.

Ticket seller: “Do you want private booking or shared booking?“.

Me: “Is there someone who is ready to join with me?“.

Ticket seller: “Come!… .Come!”, he asked me to follow him and out through airport door.

Competition in tourism services in Thamel area.

After a while, I finally entered an old car which looked like a Suzuki “Carry” (Carry is a brand from Suzuki manufacturing in Indonesia) from the 80s. The car slowly drove leaving Tribhuvan and down a dusty road. Yes, only dust which I remembered in the first time when I had to tell about this “Land of a Thousand Temples”.

At an intersection, the car stopped and was entered a man who dressed in dapper Bollywood style and accented with extraordinary English. Offers all kinds of tour packages, from hiking, rafting, trekking and canoeing. It was common knowledge that Nepalis were competing to earn money from their tourism excellence which was famous for the beauty of Himalaya. I told him that I had bought all tour packages which I was going to take while stayed in his country from Jakarta via online. Even though, in fact I never had any tour packages which I prepared. I prefered to follow my heart and foot in my Kathmadu and Pokhara exploration.

Hotel Holiday House for 1,100 Rupee (USD 9.4) per night.

Passing the Ring Road route, I continued to be stunned by road view which at a glance resembled to old Indonesia. Thamel, which was only 6 km away from Tribhuvan, was finally reached in 25 minutes.

Now I entered a famous tourist area in Kathmandu. Dropped down in an alley and taxi driver showed me which way to head towards hotel which I had booked.

Welcome to Thamel !

Thai Airways TG 319 from Bangkok (BKK) to Kathmandu (KTM): White Blanket of Himalaya

Thai Airways TG 0319 flight route: Bangkok-Kathmandu.

After Fajr, I rushed to find flight information board to make sure my connecting flight would be on time or maybe it would be delayed. I found it in main transit hall corridor.

My flights was on schedule….Nice.
The boarding pass which I’ve held since leaving Soekarno Hatta International Airport.

As a follower of eating on time, by 06:00 hours, I was busy to looking for halal food. Now only halal which would be the my requirement….Because I couldn’t choose a menu with street food price, of course. Exploring 3rd floor of Suvarnabhumi, I finally stopped at Silom Village.

Couldn’t find a “Halal” logo….Finally, I stopped at a “Non-Pork” restaurant.
My menu: fried rice chicken served with salted egg for THB 220 (USD 7.34)

I closed breakfast that morning by sipping a cup of warm tea which was able to expel the wind in my body after a night of cold sleep in the main corridor of transit hall and continued at prayer room.

Then I headed to gate C10 to wait for Thai Airways TG 319. This time I only needed to step one more floor via escalator to reach the gate.

Corrido into gate.
Those were gates at Suvarnabhumi International Airport.

While waiting for boarding time, it was better to charge my smartphone as the only documentation tool which I carried….As usual, I was the amateur backpacker. I also tried to reread an itinerary which I was ready to use for my exploration in Kathmandu and Pokhara.

Interesting spot in departure hall area.

My boredom in seeing planes in Suvarnabhumi International Airport runway was broken by presence of Thai Airways, BOEING 777-200 type. Paid close attention to loading process so that I didn’t feel boarding time arrived on time.

Thai Airways TG 319 was preparing to immediately fly for 3 hours 33 minutes.

Entering aircraft cabin and in a blink my eyes became fresh. Apart from the beauty of flight attendants, also because airplane seats have colorful seat covers. Plane cabin looked like colorful candy.

TG 0319 cabin.

I sat at right side of cabin and flanked by two young girls. On the right, a Chinese girl who I didn’t know what her name was and a Japanese girl on the left whose her surnamed was Kawaguchi….Very beautiful with her ponytail.

I sat down while feeling a little sorry for being unable to quickly choose an airplane seat after online ordering ticket. This caused my opportunity loss to sit in a ideal position for photographers, i.e window seat. Because this flight would be very close to some of peaks of Himalayas which would show off their snow blankets.

When that moment happened, almost half of passengers stood up and faced to right window. It was the position where I sit. I couldn’t take pictures very well and prefered to still sit and recorded brief flight sessions right over Himalayas in my brain memory. It was still beautiful memorized, until this article was published….Amazing flight.

Started to filling out an immigration form which was given by a cabin crew.

The landing process was equally attractive. The view presented residential building of Kathmandu residents which were dominated by brownish square shape. Now I was ready to set foot in Tribhuvan International Airport which had become a gateway to Nepal for the last few decades.

Aviation security: “Hi, Sir. Please, directly stepping to airport building!”, He said, forbidding me to take a selfie image under Thai Airways.

Me: “OK, Sir….I’m sorry“, I answered with a little annoyed….Hmmh.

The arrival hall which wasn’t too luxurious and was only equipped with an old screening gate, made me smile because I felt like on Indonesia’s 80s era.

Then I submitted a Visa on Arrival application at visa issuing machine and then paid for USD 25 at a counter which was guarded by elderly female staff, I finally entered Nepal.

Let’s following my adventure in Nepal!

Are you looking for a flight ticket from Bangkok to Kathmandu? You can buy it through 12go Asia. This is the link:  https://12go.asia/?z=3283832

12 Hours Staying at Suvarnabhumi International Airport

Through aerogbridge, I immediately headed to transit hall to waiting for next Thai Airways connecting flight. The time was 23:15 hours. I tried to find an information center location to ask about the most comfortable place to rest at Suvarnabhumi International Airport.


Me: “Hi, Ms. Where is a better place for rest and getting food ?, Transit hall or departure hall?

Staff: “I think you will be better staying in transit hall. Departure hall is very crowded than you think. There is food court in transit hall, so don’t worry ”.


Me: “Oh, okay Ms. Thank you”.

Finally, her suggestion led me to immediately enter the transit hall. Smoothly passing a ticket and passport checking counter, then I quickly ended it through a x-ray screening.

Entering transit hall.

I would spend a night for 12 hours until Thai Airways flight TG 0319 went to Kathmandu. Arriving at transit hall, I immediately looked for the best spot to closing my eyes. The situation was still busy, it wasn’t possible for me to find a row of empty chairs to stretch out my legs.

Finally, it took about 1.5 hours to explore the entire transit hall.

Midnight began to pass, slowly the airport began to lose its visitors. The long row of blue benches seemed to be empty. Some cleaning services were seen starting to wipe that benches with perfume and sterilizer. They seemed to know my signs to immediately use that benches which looked like a springbeds in my eyes.

Finally I found an empty seat.

Really soundly asleep with backpack as pillow until dawn. Slowly, sound of passengers in their morning flight started to interrupt my “Nepal dream”. I woke up but still feeling sleepy, I decided to look for a prayer room and hoped to continue my dream.

Electric Information Board.
The prayer room was empty and tempting.

Fajr time in Bangkok was on 05:20 hours. While waiting for it to arrived, I swiftly took a sleeping spot at the back end of mosque. But this time, I had to curl up due to the coldness of room due to prayer room’s large AC.


A few hours later, congregation’s footsteps began to often be heard entering the room. Fajr time was approaching. It couldn’t sleeping anymore, get ready to do Fajr in congregation.

I was happy to be able to pray with Suvarnabhumi’s moslem workers in Bangkok. I mingled with security, immigration staffs until airport polices. After praying, I had a little conversation with one of immigration staff. A thing that I caught was that Bangkok’s moslems account for about 10% of total population of the capital. That percentage was ranges from 800-900 thousand people.


As dawn has passed, it was time to clean myself in toilet then got some snacks for breakfast before TG 0319 taked off on 10:30 hours to the capital of Nepal.

Let’s had breakfast…!

Tourist Bus dari Kathmandu ke Pokhara

Antrian bus di Kanti Path Road.

Cukup dengan Rp. 40.000 untuk menunggang taksi selama 10 menit dari Thamel ke Kanti Path Road. Jika tak takut tersasar, kamu juga boleh menempuhnya selama 20-25 menit dengan berjalan kaki.

Imajinasiku mengatakan bahwa bus yang sedang kukejar ini akan standby di sebuah kantor travel agent. Tetapi kenyataannya jauh diluar perandaian. Semua bus dari berbagai travel agent berbaris menyemut di sepanjang Kanti Path Road.

48 menit menjelang keberangkatan, kusempatkan bersarapan ringan karena ini adalah perjalanan panjang yang aku sendiri tak tahu bagaimana manajemen waktu perjalanannya.

BG’s Coffee Shop yang sudah buka di sisi Kanti Path Road.
Bisa juga sarapan di trotoar, gaes….Duh, anak sholeh bantu bapaknya jualan.

Tiket sendiri sudah kupesan via email dari Jakarta seharga Rp. 92.000, hanya saja pembayaran dilakukan di lokasi keberangkatan. Transaksi aneh yang kujumpai pertama kali di luar negeri. Kini masalahnya hanya satu, aku harus dioper ke bus lain karena menurut si penjual tiket, bus yang kupesan sudah fullseat (sepertinya ini memang strategi mereka, menjaring penumpang via email terlebih dahulu dan perihal akan ditempatkan di bus yang mana, itu urusan belakangan….Hahaha, cerdas).

Hebatnya lagi, Aku hanya diberikan selembar tiket lalu diminta untuk mencari bus secara mandiri di sepanjang Kanti Path Road berdasar plat nomor yang tertera di tiket. Penuh percaya diri kuiyakan perintah itu. Hanya saja, baru saja berjalan 5 menit mencarinya, aku mulai kewalahan….Ya puyeng lah!….Numerik Nepal kan berbeda dengan numerik latin!.

Parah….Kini setengah jam menuju keberangkatan mulai dihitung mundur. Tak berbekal akses komunikasi apapun, aku kembali lagi ke titik awal pencarian untuk bertanya kepada si penjual tiket yang nampaknya merangkap jabatan sebagai koordinator bus. Kelimpungan dibuatnya karena aku tak menemukan batang hidungnya. Kutunjukkan tiketku kepada beberapa orang di sekitar, mereka hanya manyahut “wait!….wait!”. Berusaha menyamarkan kepanikan dengan 15 menit tersisa menuju waktu keberangkatan, mataku lekat mengawasi satu persatu kerumunan orang untuk menemukan orang yang kucari. Yes, aku mengenali warna hijau penutup kepalanya dan kalungan handphone poliponik di lehernya. Kuhampiri dan memintanya menolongku menemukan armada yang termaksud dalam tiket….Beuh, dia hanya berucap singkat “Looking for the light green bus….Row number three from the front”. Melihatnya sibuk dan tak mungkin menemaniku mencari, aku segera berlari menuju barisan terdepan.

Akhirnya armada hijau muda bertolak tepat pukul 7. Berbekal seliter free-mineral water, aku terduduk di kursi paling belakang bersama mahasiswa asal Korea yang kemudian akan bercakap akrab sepanjang 8,5 jam perjalanan menuju Phokara.

Interior bus.

Sepanjang perjalanan, bus akan berhenti empat kali.

Dua kali untuk toilet break selama 15 menit yaitu break stop ke-1 pada jam 9:30 dan break stop ke-4 pada jam 14:30.

Selain toilet break, bus juga akan 2 kali berhenti untuk makan masing-masing berdurasi 20 menit. Break stop ke-2 untuk sarapan pada jam 10:30 dan break stop ke-3 untuk makan siang pada jam 13:30. Aku sedikit memperhatikan meja kasir rumah makan, terlihat bahwa sedikit banyaknya makanan yang diambil, penumpang secara merata membayar Rp. 53.000.

Duh imoetnya….
Harus cepat kalau ga mau ditinggal bus.
Bahkan aku tak sempat menguyahnya…..Masuk mulut langsung telan.

Selama perjalanan pula, aku sungguh terpesona ketika tersuguh pemandangan dari sisi kanan. Dedaunan yang memutih karena tertutup tebalnya debu jalanan, papan-papan iklan raksasa yang terpanjang di tengah pesawahan, jembatan-jembatan gantung penghubung antar bukit, kegiatan rafting di sepanjang sungai dan ramainya wisata Chandragiri Cable Car. Bahkan aku bisa dibuat tersenyum dengan tingkah warga yang berjemur di tengah hawa dingin 9°C sembari bermain karambol atau beberapa dari mereka mengelilingi api yang dinyalakan di pelataran rumah.

Debu….Lihatlah !
Sawah pun menjadi lahan komersil.
Punya tetangga ga tuh?….

Perlahan bus menaiki, menuruni dan mengelilingi pegunungan dengan jurang di sebelah kanan. Aku tak terlalu khawatir karena bus berjalan pelan. Satu hal yang kemudian membuatku tersadar bahwa kebanyakan mobil, truk dan bus di Nepal berasal dari pabrikan Tata Motor, India.

Lihatlah truk di area pertambangan di sepanjang Kathmandu-Pokhara.

Kupikir moda bertuliskan Tourist Bus ini tak akan mengambil penumpang di jalanan, ternyata dua kali kondektur ciliknya menaikkan penumpang, hanya saja tak sampai ada yang berdiri.

Perjalanan sempat terhenti karena terjadi kebocoran roda pada 15 menit sebelum mencapai Pokhara. Kondektur belasan tahun itu pontang-panting untuk mengganti roda, beruntung 3 sopir taksi datang membantu. Dalam kondisi seperti ini, aku masih sempat saja bertransaksi di sebuah pasar tumpah untuk mendapatkan sekantong jeruk seharga Rp. 13.000. Tetapi perbaikan yang terlalu lama dan tak kunjung usai, akhirnya aku dioper ke bus lain.

Taksi jadoel tapi ekslusif.

Di Pokhara, bus akan berhenti di Tourist Bus Park dengan pemandangan pegunungan Himalaya di belakangnya…..cuannteeekkkkk luar biasa.

Tak mengindahkan serbuan para sopir taksi, aku bergegas menuju sebuah kantor travel agent tak jauh dari tempatku turun. Yup…Aku berinisiatif untuk langsung memesan tiket balik menuju Kathmandu karena nantinya aku akan terbang ke New Delhi melalui Tribhuvan International Airport. Travel agent ini menawarkan tiga jenis harga tiket yang berkisar dari dari Rp. 80.000 hingga Rp. 105.000 tergantung dari kualitas bus. Tak ambil pikir panjang, aku memilih harga termurah.

Tourist Bus Park.

Yuk Explore Pokhara!

Lihat video terkait artikel ini disini: https://youtu.be/sSDNtAYx0tQ

Bus From Kathmandu to Pokhara

December 31, 2017

300 rupees is enough to go by taxi for 10 minutes from Thamel to Kantipath Rd. If you want to walk, you need 20-25 minutes if no stray.

In my mind, bus would standby at Rainbow travel agent office. Not like that, all of buses from various travel agent lined up along Kantipath Road.

Bus di Kantipath2

All buses were ready along Kantipath Rd 

Do you want to breakfast …. backpacker budget?

Cafe breakfast2

The café open at Kantipath Rd left side

This is it … in the middle at buses queue.

My ticket was booked via email from Jakarta for 700 rupees but I would pay on the spot. The problem is….my seat was changed to other bus because the Rainbow bus seat was full (I think the agent catch the customer firstly and then if seat are full, they can move the passenger to other bus. It’s like usually there…. haha). The other great one is…. I just was gave the ticket then the agent ordered me to found the bus by myself along the buses queue at Kantipath Rd based to bus license plate. I confused actually….Nepali numeral is different with latin one. Half an hour to departure at 7 o’clock. Back again to rear queue to asked the bus coordinator …… well, he said to me….just looking for a green light bus number 3 from the front, He didn’t want accompany me….hahaha, back to front queue again! Okay … .The bus starts at 7 o’clock exactly. The journey would take 8.5 hours and I got 1 litre of free mineral water.

toilet nepal2

doubtful in the first time….wooow…..clean actually

Bus would stop four times

Break stop 1. 09:30 for toilet break 15 minutes and

Break stop 4. 14:30 for toilet break 15 minutes.

Rumah Makan Phokara2

restaurant along Kathmandu-Pokhara

Break stop 2. 10:30 for breakfast and

Break stop 3. 13:30 for lunch. 20 minutes. Few or more you take a lunch, you should pay 400 rupees.

jalanan nepal2

along the trip….scary but amazing

During the trip, you will be shown typical things in Nepal:

– Leaves of many trees are white because of dust

– Many large billboards were installed in the middle of rice fields

– Many suspension bridges connecting hills through cliff.

– pass Chandragiri cable car tour

– rafting along bus route

– many residents sunbathe to reduce the cold 5-11 °C by playing carom or surround fire.

During the bus trip, it will go up and down around mountains. On right side is cliffs if the bus from Kathmandu. Just relax, bus run slow and safe. Most cars, trucks and buses are produces by Tata Motors from India.

I thought, bus with tourist sign would not take passengers along trip, but I saw bus conductor took local people in the middle of the trip 2 times, but still comfort, no someone stand up in the bus. My trip was delayed because the tire deflated 15 minutes before Pokhara. The teenager conductor changed tires hardly, many local taxi driver helped him. During repairing, I was looking for 100 rupee a little plastic bag of oranges for 100 rupees. Finally, I was moved to other bus.

tourist bus park2

Tourist Bus Park….on arrival, many local taxi drivers will offering you their services

At Pokhara, bus will stop at Tourist Bus Park. Look the Himalaya background….very beautiful.

If you want to go to Kathmandu several days later, better you immediately search travel agent for bus ticket to Kathmandu near there. Agents will offer three types of prices from 600, 700 and 800 rupees. It depend on the quality of the bus. I took 600 rupees one. For me….. cheap is the best.