Arriving KTM at 10:15pm. Can you recommend a hotel with a reliable airport shuttle at that hour?
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Not sure of any hotels with shuttles but I got into KTM at about midnight once and just jumped in a taxi outside the airport if you are comfortable doing that? They’re all a fixed price and you pay before you get in the cab then get given a ticket (if I remember rightly).
Kathmandu Airport can be an endurance test after a long flight so it’s reassuring to have someone holding up a sign with your name on it. There are pre-pay taxis though you will generally be hassled for a fare as soon as you exit customs (likely to be around midnight once your bags have arrived and you’ve queued for a visa stamp). Expect to pay around 1000 RP (US$10) for a hotel pick-up or 500ish for a prepay taxi (hardened backpackers will claim they bargained down to 250 RP on the airport ring road but life is too short). I’d recommend the Kathmandu Guesthouse for a couple of nights to get your bearings. Namaste!
Actually, any hotel that can afford a car will offer to pick you up, usually free (return trip is your pocket). And if your hotel doesn’t show up, there’s 10 or more others that will be happy to help.
I’ve stayed at the Ananapurna guest house – http://www.annapurnaguesthouse.com/ and they’ll come get you. Not a bad place, just 1/2 block outside the Thamel district.
If you use a good booking site like Air BnB for the first few days you can usually get a decent price and free ride. This is especially important if you get here after business hours because the prices go way up at night! But you should only book for the first few days online, maybe 2. Then you should be able to get a reduction on the rest of your stay or find something better. Remember, there is a guest house on every corner in Kathmandu.
You can also stop at the kiosk as you leave the airport. Look for the “Pre-paid Taxi Service.” They have the “Hotel Association” people working the counter. They will show you some hotel brochures with the rack rates, along with the discounts they can offer you with a free taxi ride. They should be there as long as there is a flight coming, but this is Nepal. Don’t count on anything being etched in concrete. Assuming there is someone there, you can get a free ride and if you do not like the hotel you can just pay the driver the amount you have already negotiated for and go somewhere else. In other words, you are not obligated to stay there just because they gave you a ride-but they will try to make you believe that is so.
One thing you should be aware of is that the people working behind the counter will try to ingratiate themselves with you because they earn a commission on whatever they help you with. Some of them are very nice people and some of them are scoundrels, so be careful who you trust. Check out my blog for cultural insights, things to do, ways to save money and other insider-type tips at FrugalTravelsNepal.blogspot