There are no tourist buses between Chitwan and Lumbini. So, a tourist bus which is pretty much a local bus is the only way to go! There was no A/C, it was boiling and we had to have the windows open the whole way.
The bus stand in Chitwan is pretty much just a gravel park in the middle of farm land. There’s a small shelter, a shop for drinks and snacks and some chickens hanging around.
Our luggage was thrown on the top of the bus and tied down. It was covered with a plastic sheet in case of rain. Although I knew it was safe, I still hate seeing my bag being carried on top!
We actually had to take two buses to Lumbini as there is no direct bus. Our first bus was around 3 hours to a place called Bhairahawa. From here, we had to switch buses to a local bus which took us the remaining 30 minutes to Lumbini. I’m not sure why there is no direct bus as it’s such a popular route. But, hey ho.
The whole journey? Pretty disgusting. The heat was unbearable, the bus was old and cranky and the dust had to come inside. Without the window open it was like an oven. $6 (600 rupees) for an indirect bus was a pretty bad deal!
The second local bus was even worse, double hot, dirty and was so old I’m surprised it was still running. It was crammed full and some people were standing and sitting on the floor. The price of this bus was 50 NPR each.
The Lumbini bus stand is non-existent and is just a spot on the road opposite the monastic sites. Personally, if you need to head back to Kathmandu/Pokhara, I would repeat the journey back by heading to Bhairahawa then Chitwan. From Chitwan, there will be nice air conditioned tourist buses.
Ticket prices are $6 for the ‘tourist’ bus and then 50 rupees for the local bus. I’m not sure if our hotel had a mark up, so it may be worth price comparing in the main town.