Best Things to Do in Pokhara, Nepal
Pokhara an is important base for Annapurna Circuit Trek and offers amazing Nepalese food, great atmosphere and lots of activities. In our traveler’s guide we share with you the best things to do in Pokhara.
A six hours 180 km long and bumpy ride from Jomsom to Pokhara by jeep was not something we enjoyed, but it was still undoubtedly more comfortable than traveling by the crowded local bus.
It was only 9 of us including the driver in the car, and I was lucky enough to have a grab handle above my seat which saved me from constantly hitting the ceiling, Lucie though had to hold on to me tightly as she sat in the middle.
In the end, the ride was not a complete disaster due to surprisingly best Dal Bhat we've ever had in Nepal during the lunch break in a no-name restaurant by the road.
Compared to other Dal Bhats we had in the mountains, the taste of this particular meal was much more flavorful, and the side dishes came with a large variety of vegetables.
And somewhere along the road, the climate and weather have changed completely, and before we got to Pokhara, the temperatures were exceeding tropical 30 °C mark.
Once we reached the suburbs of Pokhara and were getting nearer to the city center, the driver started to bargain how much more we should pay him if he would drop us in the hotel area and not drop-off area we agreed on.
Anyone in the jeep didn't want to give him any extra money plus we could see on GPS that he was driving the direction we needed anyway.
When he stopped, we were only about a kilometer walk from the place we wanted to be so we said farewell to him and jumped out. We could have used some exercise after the rough day, so we leisurely walked while looking for a pleasant accommodation.
Sunset over Phewa Lake
We found a nice room near Phewa Lake, the second largest lake in Nepal, and went to watch the sunset over the lake. A walk by the lakeside is a must and offers numerous dining options if you are hungry.
You can rent a boat, take a short trip to a small island sitting on the lake with a Tal Barahi Temple or enjoy the sight of the sun setting behind the hills with colorful boats serenely floating on the lake.
In April the haze was dense and thick in lower elevations in Nepal, so we couldn't see the Annapurnas in the background reflecting in the calm water surface.
This information might be useful and help you decide when to go.
Eating Out in Pokhara
Pokhara is a base for trekkers and everyone visiting Annapurnas, and due to this fact, it offers countless options where to eat.
We discovered great Indian restaurant close to our hotel in the quiet alley and became regular customers in those few days we spent in Pokhara. This place was open only during lunch hours though, so we had to find another place where to go for dinner.
Luckily, that was an easy task and one of the beauties of this city. Wherever you go, you will always find a new place to eat, either in a noisy tourist restaurant or crowded eatery where it will be only you and locals.
Gupteswar Gupha Cave and Davis Falls
The next day we took a lazy stroll around the lake and across the park and behind the dam, which regulates the volume of water, we found lots of women doing their laundry in the river.
We continued quite a long time in hot and hazy weather across small rice fields to the entrance of the underground cave.
The traffic in this area was funny because the drivers had to avoid cows walking or lying in the middle of the road.
Gupteswar Gupha Cave is sacred Hindu place, with a secret waterfall at the end of the cave, but we found more interesting the sculptures above the ground and entertainment from locals singing their songs.
Across the cave is the entrance to Davis Falls situated in a city park.
From the viewing platform, you can observe the cascade disappearing into Gupteswar Gupha Cave.
The falls are far more impressive during monsoon season.
We spent rest of the evening by watching the sunset at the Phew Lake again, and then went to restaurant well-known for a wide variety of momos, and ordered a handful of steaming delicious dumplings and several other meals as we still were having a calorie deficit from the trekking.
The following morning we walked to the bus station and spent another long day on the road heading to the capital of Nepal, Kathmandu.
WHAT TO PACK FOR POKHARA
- Sarong | We like sarong because it has many possibilities how to use it. You can cover your shoulders, or protect your nose from omnipresent dust.
- Sandals for Him & for Her | No matter if you are starting your treks or you already need a relief for your feet, sandals is a perfect footwear for walking in Nepal's cities.
- Daypack for Him & for Her | When exploring the city, wearing comfortable backpack is a must.
- Tank Top for Him & for Her | If it is too hot outside, wear tank top, only don't forget to apply sunscreen on your shoulders.
- Sunglasses | Eyesight protection is necessary when in Nepal.
WHERE TO STAY IN POKHARA
Pokhara serves as a base for keen trekkers from all over the world who want to start or end their incredible adventure around Annapurnas.
For us, Pokhara quickly became a special place after we returned after 14 days of trekking the famous Annapurna Circuit.
What we found in the city was not only a relaxed and peaceful atmosphere, fantastic attractions, and amazing food but also excellent hotel choices.
If you are traveling on a tight budget, you can still find a bed for as low as 5 USD, but we would recommend you, to splurge a bit and pay a little bit extra. You won't complete one of the most beautiful (and for us challenging) treks around the Himalayas every day.
Budget | Hotel Middle Path & Spa - Bright air-conditioned rooms, great choices for breakfast, and amazing views from the roof terrace. One of the best values for money in Pokhara.
Mid-range | Hotel White Pearl - Centrally located hotel overlooking the Phewa lake and mountains. The rooms are spacious and clean, the staff is professional and friendly and a great breakfast is included.
Luxury | Himalayan Front Hotel by KGH Group - If you want to treat yourself after long and exhausting Annapurna Trek, this place is perfect for you. You can watch the sunrise with views of snow-capped Annapurnas from the room, beds are extremely comfortable and staff helpful.
TOURS FROM POKHARA
Pokhara is not only a perfect mountainous destination on own, but it is also a base for visiting Annapurna Range. In case you do not want to travel much, but still want to see the best Nepalese mountains have to offer, it is easy to stay in Pokhara either for a couple of days, or take one of many shorter hikes in the area. One of the most popular treks from Pokhara is a multi-day hike to Poon Hill, but in case you do not have that much time, it is possible to join either Sarangkor Sunrise Tour, one-day exploration of Annapurna Foothills, or if you want to see one of the most beautiful places from above, it is very popular to arrange a paragliding tour.
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