India To Nepal Bus And Train Journey

Published: June 8th 2009EDIT THIS ENTRY

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Finally after some major problems with internet connections here in Nepal over the past few weeks I think I have now found a decent one to do my first proper Travel Blog entry of the trip. I have also put a previous one up for India but a lot of the pictures are already on Face Book so you can also see them on there.

So we left New Delhi on the train on Friday 15 May bound for the Holy city of Varanasi situated on the river Ganges in northern India. From Varanasi we planned to pick up a bus to the border town of Sunali and cross into Nepal. I had done a fair amount of research on this journey but we both still had the feeling of heading off into the unexpected which added to the excitement of the trip.

Despite the total chaos of New Delhi station we were able to find our platform easily enough and our train was already waiting for us. Once onboard it was again easy to find our berth which was decent enough despite it being in third class. After stashing our bags we lay out and prepared for the 16 hour journey. The Indians sitting around us seemed friendly enough and food and Chai was available from sellers literally walking through the train every 30 seconds or so. This at first seemed convenient but quickly became annoying!

During the night we shared the sleeping duties to avoid having our luggage stolen and the train arrived in Varanasi about 30 mins late at half 6 in the morning. Straight after stepping off the train we were met by the usual barrage of touts etc but we battled through and found the main bus station about 300 meters east of the train station. From asking around we quickly found the bus for Sunali and took a seat for the 12 hour journey. The bus was the most beaten up thing I have ever seen with no suspension and sitting on it for 12 hours was no easy task!

As we approached the border night was beginning to fall and India seemed to go on forever. All I wanted was to see the border post but every sight of light proved to be just another small Indian village. Finally just before 10pm we arrived at the border gate. The immigration process was very dodgy and consisted of a couple of blokes not even bothering to check over our visas but they stamped the correct page of our passports and we walked over into Nepal and found the whole place to instantly be so much more relaxed than India. We were absolutely knackered so checked into the first hotel we came across - it was a prison room and cost £1.50 each but I didn’t care at al and fell asleep almost instantly.

We woke at 10am the next day and after checking out we headed outside in search of a bus heading to Kathmandu. This process took about 10 mins and half hour later our luggage was on the roof and we were in our seats headed for the 10 hour journey into Kathmandu. The scenery was instantly so much different from India. Hills were rising all around us and the bus was soon heading into the mountains. I was reminded about what I had read about Nepalese bus travel b being dangerous by numerous smashed up buses at the side of the road during the journey. I had read that over 1000 Nepalese people die each year in bus crashes and it was easy to see why.

The journey appeared to be going on forever and both of us were aware that we would have to get through at least an hour of night driving before arriving in Kathmandu. The scenery was again great on twisting mountain roads next to a river running through a valley but I wanted to get out of the mountains before nightfall for the run into Kathmandu. Regardless to say this didn’t happen and the bus driver proceeded to overtake other buses and trucks up hill on the side of mountains in the middle of the night on the blindest of blind corners. It was ridiculously dangerous and I was so glad to eventually see the lights of Kathmandu in the distance. After getting the luggage off the roof we sorted out a taxi to our hotel and quickly fell asleep after the long journey.

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