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Local Transport

Autorickshaw & Cycle-Rickshaw

Cycle-rickshaws are common in the old part of Kathmandu and in towns in the Terai, and they provide an atmospheric way to explore the crowded and narrow streets. Prices are highly negotiable.

Nepal’s two-stroke, three-wheeled autorickshaws are being phased out everywhere, but a few are still hanging on in a couple of Terai towns.

Tempo

Tempos are outsized autorickshaws that run on fixed routes in larger cities. Kathmandu’s archaic, polluting diesel tempos have been replaced by electric and gas-powered safa (clean) tempos and petrol minibuses. Drivers pick up and drop off anywhere along the route; tap on the roof with a coin when you want to stop.

Taxi

Metered taxis are found in larger towns such as Kathmandu and Pokhara, and these can be hired for both local and long-distance journeys. Metered taxis have black licence plates; private cars that operate as taxis for long-distance routes have red plates.

Taxis can be flagged down anywhere, and they loiter at official stops in tourist destinations such as Bhaktapur and Patan. On most routes, taxi drivers will refuse to use the meter – this is often an attempt to overcharge tourists, but it may also reflect rising fuel costs and traffic delays. If a driver refuses to use the meter, try another taxi. If no taxis are willing to use the meter, haggle down to reach a reasonable price. As a side note, we can't recall the last time a taxi driver volunteered to use the meter!