When travelling to Pokhara from Kathmandu, there are a few options to travel by such as flight, plane or bus. If you’re a traveller who has time on your hands and wants to save a bit of cash, I’d suggest getting the bus. When googling or talking to travel agents, you may become bombarded with different operators of who to choose. However, most of the time, two leading bus operators may stand out which are Jagadamba Travels and Greenline Tours. Don’t worry, I’ve travelled on both of them and can provide you with my honest recommendation.
A bus service offering many routes from Kathmandu. Likewise, you have the option to travel on many different forms of bus such as 21 seaters, deluxe, night bus and super VIP.
Recently, I chose to travel on a bit of comfort using their super VIP bus.
What they say the VIP bus includes…
If you’re travelling on the VIP bus, they state you receive the following:
- Food and Drinks- Breakfast, lunch and snacks.
- Bus Hostess
- Charging ports
- Luxury chairs
- Onboard toilet
- Televisions per person
- AC Heating and Cooling systems.
After selecting this package, I was extremely excited to travel VIP. As the details they indicated was impressive for Nepal! Likewise, the photos I’d seen online looked promising, so I was incredibly excited.
The day of travel on Jagadamba Super VIP bus
It cost me NPR 2000 from Kathmandu setting off a 7:30 am, from The Annapurna Hotel Car park at Durbar Marg.
Boarding the bus, a driver and a smiling hostess awaited. Who offered me a coffee or tea, to commence the journey. Slowly the bus got going. However, some other stop-offs were made to pick other passengers up.
On the super VIP bus, there are full-on comfortable leather chairs where you can either sit in a two or by yourself. Immediately as I sat down, I sunk into the chair, it was extremely comfortable.
The First Half of the Journey
After some time, we were handed ‘breakfast’. Which to be frank was a savoury cheese sandwich, definitely not a breakfast neither for foreigner or Nepali. However, due to my ravishing appetite, I ate it anyway.
After an hour and a half, we paused for a stop, which I didn’t see the point as we were so early on into our journey. Then we resumed and got back on the bus, which got going. Once we got onto the highway properly, the bus started to shake vigorously due to the roads. Which in result, caused my table in front of me to keep dropping down.
Throughout the journey, my table wouldn’t secure properly and kept violently dropping and smashing my knees. It’s safe to say; I had a few bruises on my legs. Following this, I wanted to charge my laptop and phone. Which I found disappointing as I only noticed a USB cable above my head, no socket for an actual plug.
Even if I did have a USB cable, I don’t know how it would have worked as it was so high up, I wouldn’t have been able to rest my mobile on anything.
Around 11:30, we stopped for lunch at Serene Resort. The resort was cleanly and had lovely views of the surrounding scenery. A buffet-style lunch was served to consist of rice, dal, chicken, saag, chow mein, aloo, vegetables and poppadoms alongside tea and coffee. We had a 30-minute window to eat. However, the food was nothing special and tasted bland.
Second Half of the Journey
We then got back on the bus, and within 45 minutes we stopped again for a 10-minute break. It also felt a tad pointless as we’d just stopped for lunch and everyone’s bellies were satisfied?
The bus reached Pokhara at 3:30 pm in total taking 8 hours worth of travel time. Arguably, if there were fewer stops, I felt it could have shaved off an hour.
Greenline offers less of a luxury bus service than Jagadamba travels, the main thing about the route is that the seats are fabric and not leather. The main features of going on a bus with Greenline consist of:
- Air-conditioned coach
- Wifi on bus
- Buffet Lunch at Riverside Springs Resort
- Non-Slippery Fabric Seat
Having chosen to travel to Pokhara with Jagadamba Travels, I went back to Kathmandu on the Greenline Bus.
The Day of Travel on Greenline Bus
On the day of return travel, I was told to meet at Greenline Tours office in Pokhara at 7:00 am. I did, then a smooth departure occurred at 7:30 am leaving Pokhara. At the beginning of the journey, I was provided water and a newspaper.
The seat I sat on was incredibly comfy and reclined well. Likewise, the fabric was not itchy and comfy to sit on. I quickly fell asleep on the chair.
Within a couple of hours of travel, we stopped at a first stop. A 20-minute break happened at a lovely location, with a coffee shop. I was delighted I could get a large latte to go.
Following this, after only an hour and a half on the road, we came to a stop for lunch! It was 11:00 am by the time we reached the peaceful River Side Springs Resort. Only up the street from the Serene Resort used by Jagadamba Travels.
We had arrived much earlier and ahead of time, having an hour for lunch. The choice of food at Riverside Resort was excellent. We had rice, meat, vegetables, dal and pasta. Likewise, tea and coffee! It was a comfortable and relaxing lunch.
Another stopped occurred a couple of hours late for 20 minutes; then we were on the road again, reaching Kathmandu around 2:30. I arrived earlier than anticipated! There was two drop off spots, one near to Chandragiri and the other in Balaju. It was a smooth journey, and I reached my home earlier than expected.
Which tourist bus to take in Nepal?
After using both well-known bus companies, I’ve concluded using the Green Line Bus is the better option. Firstly, the driver was incredibly safe and careful in comparison to the Jagadamba driver. Likewise, he took less time than the Jagadamba tourist bus! Although the seats are more comfy and roomier on Jagadamba, Greenline has sockets which work. Not USB plugs, but outlets you can use for any type of device. Comparing the lunch stopovers at Serene Resort and Riverside Springs Resort, Riverside far exceeded Serene. The lunch as Serene I found bland and the dining area wasn’t as lovely. None of the Greenline buses wasn’t falling apart on me. Plus it arrived earlier than the estimated time of arrival! Which is rare for Nepal.
There were three stops in total, which didn’t make me miss the onboard toilet on the Jagadamba tourist bus. One thing I’d mention though is if you’re travelling for cost reasons perhaps Jagadamba is for you. Initially, it works out a more expensive fare than the Greenline tourist bus. However, it drops you back in the centre of the city, which is excellent for travellers. Greenline drops you on the outskirts and you have to pay a taxi fare to get to your destination. I’m lucky as I know the city well and how to negotiate with drivers. However, a couple next to me were a bit outraged they weren’t dropped off inside Thamel (the starting route for Greenline). Irrespective of this, I’d recommend the tourist bus to take in Nepal would be Greenline.