Bandipur is a convenient place to break the journey between Kathmandu and Pokhara as it’s just over half-way between the two cities. It’s 91 miles (147 kilometers) from Kathmandu, and the only way to get there is by road, but there are a few options for doing so. Arranging a private transfer is the easiest and most convenient option, and buses are also available—either way, the journey is slow-going on a highway prone to traffic.
By Private Transfer
Duration: 5+ hours
Many travelers book a private transfer to travel between Kathmandu and Bandipur. These can be arranged independently in Kathmandu, or through your accommodation in Bandipur.
Taking a private vehicle is the most comfortable way of traveling between the two points, but it’s not necessarily faster than other methods. The traffic leaving Kathmandu can be extremely slow, and there are often traffic jams, accidents, or landslides along the Prithvi Highway that lengthen the journey. But at least in a private vehicle you’ll be able to stop wherever you like for food, a bathroom break, or just to enjoy the view. The journey is very scenic, following the Trisuli River with deep valleys, terraced farmland, and even Himalayan views when the weather is clear.
By Bus and Private Transfer
Duration: 5+ hours
All buses traveling between Kathmandu and Pokhara can stop in Dumre, on the highway, on request. A tourist bus is the safest and most comfortable bus option, and usually comes with air conditioning and ample rest stops. These leave from near Thamel early in the morning. Local buses leave Kathmandu throughout the day, and can also get you to Dumre, but they tend to be uncomfortable and not very safe.
Bandipur is a couple of miles up a steep hill from Dumre. Most Bandipur accommodation can arrange for a private transfer from Dumre up to Bandipur with advanced reservations. They may charge an extra fee for this service. Local buses also make the steep journey up to Bandipur, but as you will probably have luggage and the timings of these buses is usually not clear, this isn’t the best option.