Let’s say you have one day to spend in the city by the lake in the west of Nepal. You’ll no doubt end up staying longer but here are a few things to priorities from the moment you wake. First of all you need to get to Pokhara. Book yourself onto a tourist bus through Royal Mountain travel. Don’t party too hard the night before because you’ll be snaking your way through dramatic landscapes from 7 in the morning until early afternoon. When you pull up into the dusty bus park in Pokhara make sure you pay 150 rupees to get to a hostel on lakeside. If you’re losing the haggling battle don’t be too proud and pay 200 rupees if you must. This is where most of the accommodation is.
The last 2 times in Pokhara we stayed at the Chhetri Sisters and will lug our bags that way on the next trip too. Chhetri Sisters, or 3 Sisters, is a trekking company run by female guides and they have a lakeside hotel just down from the main drag. Many women have expressed that they feel more comfortable trekking with female guides and 3 sisters carry the flag in providing this service. Double and twin rooms with attached bathrooms are either 15 or 20 USD depending on the season. This includes an impressive spread for breakfast with croissants, eggs, fruit, muesli and teas and coffees.
So, this is how you start you day; eat as much as you can for breakfast because the day ahead will involve the burning of calories. Once you feel content march towards central lakeside. At either end of the makeshift beach is a scattered assembly of rickety boats. Head towards the boats next to Mike’s Breakfast. If there are more than 4 of you I would suggest taking a pedal boat. They’re spacious, light on exercise and it feels like you’re sitting on a floating veranda. Otherwise if you want more exercise take one of the row boats. Lock the Peace Pagoda into your Crosshairs and traverse the calm waters until you moor up at the foot of the adjacent hill. Make sure your boat is safely tied up/on land. You don’t want to return to an empty space where it once was as it floats unmanned around the lake.
World Peace Pagoda. Photo by Alice/Flickr
The hike up to the Pagoda (as with all hikes) depends on how fit you are but it shouldn’t take you less than 25 minutes nor more than an hour. It’s a tranquil uphill walk through thick green wood and bush. Once you reach the top you have an unbelievably panoramic view of Pokhara, the surrounding valleys and the jutting white crowns of the Annapurna range in the background. Walk clockwise around the Peace Pogoda and feel your heart rate lull into a calm beat. With the sun shining the picture is flooded with white and a stillness washes over you. Once you’ve had your spiritual fill trundle down into the thicket and pop yourself out the other side to find your boat ready and waiting. Take this section on the lake at a leisurely pace. Open your backpack and pull out the cheese, bread, fruits and snacks that you picked up at the supermarket before you hired the boat. Float around and have a light lunch with the Himalayas as your mantelpiece. After that set your course for the island in the middle of the lake. Row clockwise around the temple on the island and if you want moor up and walk around. As the early afternoon approaches take your boats back to the harbour. Before you arrive in Pokhara book one of your friends or family on a paragliding trip. Tell them you have something planned for the afternoon and watch their faces blanche as you sit in the Paragliding office and they sign the disclaimer. Obviously you should join them on the paragliding but at least you will have time to mentally prepare.
The drive up to Sarangkot (the launch-pad for the paragliders) is almost as scary as the flying itself. You will then stand on top of a hill and watch as fellow first time fliers flail off the edge held up by a web of strings and a sheet of hardy kite material. Let go and leap. You will not regret it. There is no other way to see Pokhara, its surroundings or the Annapurna range. Frazzled and not quite sure how to walk make your way back to your hotel and freshen up. Go for a drink at the Babylon Café and indulge in a game of Sadhu (kind of like snooker with checkers). Olive is a great restaurant to have dinner at and they serve one of the best desserts I’ve ever had; the seductively named Machupichure Kiss. As you toast the day gone by and contemplate having another glass of wine remember that the buses leave pretty early. My recommendation: miss your bus and stay another day.
Any bookings and further enquiries can be made through Royal Mountain Travel- Nepal
– Article by Nick Monro
Sustainability |Jul 14, 2023
“Sustainable travel is up to all of us – travelers and industry providers alike – to integrate into every journey.” said Hostelling International USA’s Director of Communications and PR Netanya Trimboli in New York on Nov 17 at the ‘Global Summit’ for the sustainable tourism.
Others |Jun 20, 2023
Sikkim is the 22nd state of India. It is the least populous state and second smallest state of country. It borders Nepal in the west, Tibet to the north and the east and Bhutan in the southeast while West Bengal borders it to the south.
Trekking |Jun 20, 2023
Nepal has nine national parks and three wildlife reserves where one will come across a diverse range of flora and fauna.
Trekking |Jun 19, 2023
It is the most remote and least developed region of Nepal, which probably makes it one of the worst places to live on planet earth. But, puzzling as it may seem, the people who inhabit this region are, on the whole, full of humanity.
Nepal |Aug 6, 2014
As is well known, Nepal has an abundance of colourful festivals. It may also be clear by now that all such festivals revolve around the different phases of the moon.
Culture & Festivals |Jan 7, 2013
It is not that the chariot is not strongly built. The foundations are as solid as people’s faith on Matsyendranath’s power to bring down refreshing rain on the parched valley during the scorching summer months.
Wildlife |Apr 25, 2014
Nepal is one of the best destinations in the world for those on the lookout for getting the most out of their budgets. A visit to Nepal is not only a culturally rewarding experience but also one that will not strain your pockets unduly; it being one of the world's acknowledged cheap travel destinations.
Volunteer Tourism |Mar 30, 2015
Staying in the homes of local people rather than with other travelers can provide a much more authentic cultural experience. Staying in a family home stay can present a chance to experience everyday life in the new place.
Wildlife |Jun 29, 2023
“Chances of meeting a tiger here are pretty good,” said my guide, Santa Chowdhary, as we sat under the tree, facing across the river. It was 40 degrees and the sweat was pouring off us. I wondered at my sanity and how true the saying was about mad English(wo)men out in the midday sun.
Tours |Jun 21, 2023
Lumbini in Kapilvastu District of mid-western Nepal is one of the four essential Buddhist pilgrimage sites for devotees around the world, the others being Kushinagar, Bodh Gaya, and Sarnath in India. Lumbini is where Queen Mayadevi gave birth to Siddhartha Gautam in 563 BCE.
Community Homestays in Nepal |Feb 3, 2019
There are numerous factors for an unforgettable travel experience and most of these are unique to each traveller.