How to: Bus to Bhaktapur

While in Kathmandu, I heard about a UNESCO Heritage Site- a city called Bhaktapur.  It sounded lovely, and I definitely wanted to check it out, and figured that taking a bus would be the best way to go.

I was definitely nervous about taking the bus in Kathmandu- I wasn’t really sure how it worked, and can only say about 3 words in Nepali. 

I also had no idea how to take the bus here. I asked my lovely couchsurfing host, and she explained where to catch the bus from (in Patan it is from the Lagankhel Bus Station). 

I still had more questions, though- How would I know which bus it is? How much is it? How do I pay? How will I know when my stop is? 

Google did not provide the answers I was looking for, and so I ventured off to the bus station, hoping that I could figure it out as I go.

When I got there, I stood around for about 15 minutes, trying to figure out who looked official enough to ask where I should go.  After actively doing nothing, I finally sucked it up, walked up to one of the buses, and asked one of the guys “Bhaktapur?”

He pointed in the general direction of some buses. I kept asking guys near the buses until I found one who pointed to his bus, and I got on.

The buses are small, but I managed to get a seat (both to and from Bhaktapur).  This bus cost 25 NPR for one way, which is super cheap (a cab would have cost anywhere from 800-1000 NPR). 

I followed my dot on google maps, and got off pretty close to Bhaktapur. 

The way back was a little more challenging- I thought I was walking to the road that I got off, but it turns out, I was on the opposite side of the city. Still, I found a sign that said “bus”, stood by it, and as the buses came by would ask “Patan?” Eventually one of the guys said yes, and I hopped back on.  Patan was the last stop, so I wasn’t worried about missing it. 

It was a lot easier than I thought it would be, especially once I started to ask people for help. I definitely recommend taking the bus over a cab- it is easy, painless, way cheaper, and although it takes a bit longer, definitely worth it in the long run. 

Have you ever taken public transportation in an unfamiliar city? Tell me about it in the comments!

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