Pokhara is the perfect getaway for tourists as well as locals from the busy schedule of their work, especially from the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu. Pokhara doesn’t need any explanation, it is one of the most scenic and tranquil places in Nepal. Whether you’re in Pokhara after a trek or going there for the weekend, here are the 5 things that you shouldn’t miss while in the place.
Hike to World Peace Pagoda
The World Peace Pagoda is a famous destination set up on a narrow ridge on the southwest part of Pokhara above the Phewa Tal. You can enjoy the panoramic views of the Himalayan peaks from here along with the Phewa Lake and the picturesque city of Pokhara. There are many ways that you can get there from the city of Lakeside in Pokhara, but one of the less sought out and less crowded is the hiking route from the other side of Phewa lake. You take a boat from any of the sides in Phewa and get to the opposite side of Lakeside. The locals will guide you to the path leading to the Stupa. Once you get to the shore, start walking through the path with thick forests abundant with pine trees. The trail is quite steep so you should take extra care during monsoon as the trail might get slippery. It will take about 1-2 hours before you reach the top of the Pagoda. The hike will be totally worth it once you get to see the bird’s eye-view of Pokhara with the Annapurna range in the backdrop. The World Peace Pagoda is a really serene and quiet place, so you can sit back and relax before heading back the same way.
Explore Begnas Lake
About 15 km southeast of Lakeside lies Begnas, a calm lake that receives relatively fewer visitors. As compared to Phewa Lake, Begnas Lake is smaller in area and also has fewer accommodations. Despite all these factors, it is far better if you like to have a quiet time away from the crowded places. The placid waters of Begnas will draw your attention and will let you acknowledge the beauty of the place. Take a hike around the lake and visit the local villages which will be a novel experience. The villages are inhabited mostly by fishermen families. Take a taxi from Lakeside to get to Begnas if you have the luxury. Alternatively, you can get a local bus from Hallan Chowk that takes you all the way to the lake. When you’re in Begnas, don’t miss out on the lesser known place called ‘Majhi Kuna’, which translates to Fisherman’s corner. Not many know this place which makes it even more tranquil. Drink a chilled beer with the delicious fish that you get in the place. It might be a good option to spend a night around Begnas, preferably in Majhi Kuna. Also, you could hike up to another lake in near proximity which is the Rupa Lake.
The city of Lakeside in Pokhara is the hub to bounce from a pub to another. Sadly, all the restaurants and pubs are closed down at 11 pm because of the strict curfew made by the police. However, it is worth visiting the best pubs in Pokhara than to overthink about the curfew. If you have visited Pokhara, then Busy Bee is no new name to you. As the name suggests, Busy Bee is one of the busiest places in Lakeside. The music at the place perfectly aligns with the ambience. The place is one of the popular pubs in Lakeside and it is never empty. There’s a pool table and a foosball table for entertainment purposes. Another place worth trying is the Uncle’s Beer Garden at Newroad, Pokhara. Many people will not have heard about this place as this is about 2-3 km away from Lakeside. It is a typical bar where you can enjoy a full beer pitcher. It is one of the less crowded yet charming pubs in Pokhara. The food is delicious and you also get the draught Everest beer here which makes it even more awesome. Other pubs worth trying are the Paradiso Sports Bar, Rolling Stones Bar and The Irish Pub.
Sunrise from Sarangkot
A heavenly village just above Pokhara, Sarangkot is a popular destination where you can relish the amazing views of the mountain peaks along with other villages and the lush green hills. Many visitors come here just for the sunrise views and decide to spend a night up there. Take a taxi early in the morning and drive 5 kms from Lakeside to reach Sarangkot. Alternatively, you could hike up there from Sedi, north Lakeside which is a nice hike as the trails are well marked and there are steps where the trails get steep. The views are awesomely close as if you can touch them, making you neglect your decision to wake up so early. You can see the majestic views of mountains like Annapurna range, Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhre and many others. Sip a cup of coffee and take a picture as you enjoy the picturesque vista of the valley.
There are a lot of adventure sports you can try out in Pokhara. Among many, the most popular and fun is the paragliding. Pokhara is considered to be one of the top commercial paragliding locations in the world in terms of stable thermals, convenient take-off and landings and stunning views of the mountains with the Phewa Lake. You won’t regret doing it in Pokhara even though the sky is crowded with tandem flights. There are a lot of paragliding companies in Lakeside where you can sign up for the adventure. They take you in a van to Sarangkot with all the equipment. From Sarangkot, you fly off for about 30-45 mins and have an experience of a lifetime. At first, you might feel dizzy but once you get used to it, then it surely will be fun. You can see a bird’s eye view of the Phewa Lake and the surrounding villages. The pilot will take you for a merry-round in the air before landing on the famous landing zone of Pame. The best time to do paragliding is during the autumn season or spring season. Nevertheless, you could do it in any season if there is no rain and the thermals are active. Also, try to get a flight in the morning as the weather is usually good in the mornings.
There’s much more to Pokhara than Lakeside. Yes, Lakeside is the perfect place to chill and have a good time but take a stroll around less crowded places where you’re bound to have a spectacular time. So, if you’re in Pokhara then don’t miss out on trying these 5 things.