There are lots of ways into India from Nepal, but I only really know about the Sunauli one. We made plenty of mistakes, so take note. They’re easily avoided.
Buses stop in Bharaiwa, 4km north of the border. It is an easy, but hot walk along a very straight road. (Take the next left after you get dropped off, probably!) Or…
- Get a rickshaw. We walked, but if you’re a little less crazy/ hate rickshaws a little less, you can always get a local to do the hard work and cycle you there. They’d appreciate the money and you’ll appreciate remaining dry (i.e not drenched in sweat).
- Change your money in Nepal. There are no ATMs or money changers on the Indian side of the border. There are regular shops that offer to change money, but the rates are horrendous and you’ll get cents for dollars. (About 93 cents for 10 dollars to be precise.)
- Buy some snacks. You never know how long the next bus/train/combination of the two is going to take. Whilst drivers fix whatever is going wrong with the bus themselves, this still takes time… not quite as long as the AA or RAC, but time all the same. We didn’t eat for 30 hours. The journey isn’t that long but we arrived in the middle of the night so food wasn’t so easy to come by, and by morning we were running on adrenalin.
- Be prepared for people to start trying to get you into cars and busses. The cheap local buses are straight up the road and on the right.
- There is a direct bus to Varanassi, but we went via Gorakphur to test the trains. If you haven’t booked a seat on the train, don’t bother. Just go direct.
My number one tip for the girls:
Don’t drink. Dehydration is bad. But not so bad as peeing by the side of the road, in public, getting stared at because you’re western… and because you’re peeing. Most toilet stops involved a lot of men peeing against a wall. There were no toilets.