Only spending small time in Kathmandu, you will likely hear about Pokhara. Pokhara is the second biggest city of Nepal. Someone is sure to tell you about visiting Pokhara during your travel in Nepal. Some might even encourage you to extend your visit so, you can enjoy Pokhara little better. And I am one of them.
It takes around 6 to 8 hours to reach Pokhara from Kathmandu and change according to the condition of the roads. You can take a mini-bus from the bus park in Kathmandu. They cost from 8$ – 10$ and you will be traveling with locals.
If you want to get to Pokhara you can ride in small vehicles called HiAce. They are pretty fast and some people say the drivers must be crazy to ride such road at that speed. The accidents are relatively low even though Nepal highway gets the bad reputation for being so dangerous.
You can also choose to travel to more expensive and luxurious tourist buses that cost from 10$ to 25$ of different companies. For more luxury, you can hire a jeep or a car.
And for those who find driving long distance boring, you can always catch a flight to Pokhara. The flight will take around 45 minutes and cost you 80$ to 110$.
Pokhara is the adventure and tourist hub of Nepal. Pokhara is a little more laid-back city than Kathmandu. Even if you have nothing to do, you can just chill in the banks of lakes and roam in the city streets. Pokhara is the gateway to Annapurna circuit trek and different base camp treks.
So, most tourist you meet in Pokhara will tell you that they are there for some trek. But this doesn’t mean that Pokhara has nothing else to offer. Pokhara is also an adventure hub and attractive destination for thrill seekers. You can do paragliding, boating, zip lining, ultra-light flight, rafting, bungy jumping any many other adventurous activities.
By reading all of these you might think Pokhara is some tourist hub that offers all the touristy things you can think of, it certainly does that but, there is also another side of Pokhara that many tourists don’t get to experience. Some of them don’t know about it and some don’t have enough time to properly explore the valley. Many people don’t explore the rich culture and tradition of Pokhara. There are lot of different communities living in Pokhara with their distinct culture.
You can choose from different type of hotel in Pokhara. Most of the tourist in Pokhara choose hotels according to their accommodation budget and the number of days they are going to spend in Pokhara.
Those who are for the shorter period and are ready to generously spend on accommodation choose boutique hotels. There are hotels that won’t break your bank and give amazing view and services. There are bunch of hotels overlooking the Phewa lake and view of Annapurna range in the background.
You can choose to stay in more lowkey places that are little outside the lakeside but still provides great services and view. If you are planning for longer stay you can also rent a flat with a proper kitchen.
If you are at the end of your budget there certainly are some hostels you can spend the nights in hotels that cost around 3$.
Pokhara offers its guest with variety of cuisine in a single place. There are a lot of restaurants to choose from, during your stay in Pokhara. The restaurants will offer you a wide range of dishes and flavors. You can enjoy the breakfast inspired on one continent and have totally different flavored lunch.
Your meal can also be determined by the amount of your expense. There are some high-end specialize restaurants charging you lot of money, while you can also enjoy a lovely meal in a cozy restaurant without going broke.
If you want to try out local foods, you can find the lot of restaurants that will serve your local foods in moderate costs. But if you want to get local experience, eat where the locals eat, that way you can get the authentic taste instead of the modified version made to suit the taste of the guest.
As you walk the colorful and bright lakeside in the evening the bars get livelier. You can choose what kind of atmosphere you want to drink in. You can find the bar with live music and live performance. Or just chill on the rooftop bar overlooking the streets listening to the soothing music. You can also sit in the bar overlooking the lake and enjoy the cold beer while enjoying cool breeze. There are dance bars and disco that open up to midnight.
You can find the lot of souvenirs shop along the lakeside of Pokhara. There is always something new to be found in Pokhara. It is the shopping point for trekkers who want to get last minute items before leaving for their trek. You will see lot of shops selling trekking gears, regular clothes, shiny souvenirs, and idols for sale.
You can also buy Nepalese spices and tea in gift shops as a souvenir. Many of the gift shops sell local games with detail rule and cookbook for local dishes you can try back home. Nepal is famous for its handicrafts that you will see all over the Pokhara. You can buy them as souvenirs from Nepal. Get a postcard to remember the different places you visited in Nepal.
Still, if you are thinking what to do in Pokhara, I have listed the eight things you should not miss in Pokhara and can be done in the Single day.