Travelling to Nepal

Im sure that this has all been covered in other posts but seeing that there is some more interest from people searching for information about Nepal, here goes.

When to come,
for relatively reliable conditions the season starts September and runs all the way through March.

What you need when arriving at Kathmandu:
Pilots will need around 10 passport photos all up, for Visas, sim cards and all the flying permits. these you can even get at the arrivals hall.

Apon arrival in Kathmandu you will need to fill out two visa forms, make sure you have both before heading for the visa que. (one is A4 size and the other is half this size)
For visas up to 3 months you will need basically a dollar per day (3 month visa is 100usd). They only accept main stream foreign currency at the visa payment desk so have Dollars or Euro.

easiest way to calculate money here is 1eur is about 100npr, fluctuates anywhere between 90 and 113.

Money needed in KTM
Taxi to Thamel (main tourist spot), approx 500 npr
Hotel, they range from 800 to 16000 per night. we normally stay at Hotel Kathmandu Terrace which you can find on, as its 800 for a room and is located in the heart of Thamel. also they can organize your travelling needs.

now you have a couple of options for getting to PKR from KTM, all depends on your budget, time and what experience you want to get out of your trip.

cheapest tourist buses run at 400npr per person, leaving every morning at 7am. these take around 6-7hrs to cover the 220km journey including 2 food and toilet stops of about 20mins. a great place to meet people and share stories while seeing some of the terrain in this part of the world.

private car or taxi, you can get some pretty luxurious cars for this part of the world, these can leave when ever you like, can stop along the way on your request. they make the trip between 4-5hrs depending on the season and traffic.

remember there are chances of very long delays if there is a mudslide, accident, breakdown on the route as its pretty much the only road.

then you can fly, takes 20 mins and costs between 50-100usd once again depending on time of year. Flying to PKR make sure to sit on the right side of the plane so you get to see the Annapurna from above.

once in PKR
it will take you a couple of hours to sort out all the permits you will need to fly here.
Currently the CAAN is the only permit that you require to obtain to fly Sarangkot, any attempts to charge for other permits have been asked to be reported directly yo CAAN and they will handle the issue further. this permit is around 50eur. Local Expenses:
hotels, guest houses and cottages. prices range from 300-15000npr with plenty of cheap/clean accommodation in areas where most of the local pilots stay.
food, depending on what and where your eating daily you can be spending upwards from 300npr
transport to takeoff, 700npr for a taxi or if there is room in one of the tandem jeeps you’ll pay 200npr 

please remember once at takeoff as per the site rules Tandems have priority for takeoff.
as of last season thermalling in the house thermal is right hand turn to try and cut down on the amount of close calls.

Beginner Pilots not taking part in training or SIV organized by one of the local outfits are not permitted to use Sarangkot as a takeoff, they are to use Toripani or Mandra Dungha located further along the main ridge line or Dicky Dandha located about 6kms to the north of Sarangkot.

other places to fly while in Nepal are Sirkot and Bandhipur.

If anyone will be interested we will be running guided tours this year so check out our previous post Here

see you all during the up coming PKR season.

12 comments on “Travelling to Nepal

  1. Hi,

    Quick question : any idea where to get info and prices for the trip KTM – PKR with a private car ?


    1. If you have a hotel booked then you can contact them for prices. I personally i have made the trip about 5 times. Cheapest was 5000npr (50eur)and most expensive was 7000(70eur) all depends on the quality of car you are driving in. Make sure you get an absolute final price agreed on before you get on the road as sometimes they will want an additional service charge.

    1. Hey John,

      should be back in the next week or so, it has been a nice stay here but the flying is slowly getting worse. unless todays snow, high winds and rain lift get rid of the inversion and the air opens up again. in which case we might stay a week longer 😉

      all the best from Bir

  2. I will be back at John’s hotel in a couple of days, not for flying this time but I’m sure I will get the itch and get airborne somehow.

    Be nice to tick off a few of your Pokhara route guides!


    P.S. Stan, have you been to Bir in Spring? It is not as reliable but better when it is on, getting to over 4000m straight from take off.

    1. Hey Richard,

      Autumn was pretty nice, 4500asl for the first 2 weeks behind takeoff. And over 5500 in the back. Slowly started getting lower as winter approaches.
      Have not been here in the spring but definitely on the list.

  3. Thinking of heading out to Pokhara in mid May and wondering what the weather (monsoon?) conditions are for that time of year?

    Any pointers would be greatly appreciated! 🙂


    1. We will be on our way to Kossen at the beginning of may. Which should be an indication of how the weather will be 😉
      First question would be what type of flying do you want to do when you get here?
      The weather here starts be more and more unpredictable by mid to end of may. Its still very much flyable but you need to take into account the chances of storms with strong gust fronts that come through pretty much every afternoon.
      If you want xc flying you might want to consider a different destination. Acro flying is no problem as your not as held back buy the weather away from the main ridge.

    1. free wifi at almost every cafe, restaurant, hotel. speeds are limited so if you need something faster then you can get a data packet on a prepaid sim. 1gb limit of 3g will set you back about 7USD (once you use the 1gb of 3g then you still have edge speeds for the remainder of the month)

  4. Hi Stan. Is it possible to do some Hike and fly tours or biv tours in the region north of Pokhara? It seems that there are some nice easy hiking 4000-5000m mountains? What would be the best time to do some XC Flights?

    Best Regards Lukas

    1. Hello Luki,

      majority of the mountain spurs that run north/south from the main annapurna range are top landable above the main tree line, so approx above 2900. there are other lower places further to the east of pokhara as you fly towards and beyond besisahar. to the east you will also have better access to fresh water and food at villages.
      northern winter is the best time to go volbiv as during the summer it over develops too fast.

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