To read “Part 1 – Exploring Kathmandu And The Surrounding Districts” click here
To read “Part 2 – 5 Day Poon Hill Trek Guide” click here
Pokhara is the place to be if you are seeking thrilling adventures, going trekking in the Annapurna and Himalayan mountain ranges or just want to chill and relax. Being situated south of the mountain ranges, and nestled in a valley next to Lake Phewa, Pokhara is a “little” gem in Nepal.
How to get to Pokhara from Kathmandu
To get to Pokhara from Kathmandu you basically have two options:
This is the most common solution and also the one we opted for. There are countless tourist companies offering you bus transport to Pokhara from Kathmandu and the prices will vary depending on the level of comfort you seek.
We travelled with GreenLine Tours which has busses in the higher comfort end and paid USD 25 per person. The trip took around 6-7 hours with a stop at a resort where we had a nice lunch buffet.
We can recommend travelling with this company.
You can also fly to Pokhara, as they have a domestic airport and soon you can also fly directly to Pokhara as they are building a new international airport.
Flying will save you a lot of time as it only takes around 30 minutes. It is however, more costly at around USD 115-130 per person with several daily departures.
Where to stay in Pokhara
Pokhara is packed with hotels, guest houses, Airbnb’s and hostels. You will not find it difficult to find accommodation and there is something for everyone.
As always we prefer to find local Airbnb’s which was also the case this time.
We stayed in two different places, as we were in Pokhara both before and after our Poon Hill Trek, which you can read more about in a separate post by clicking here (opens link in a new window).
Our first place was a super cozy stone house on the north side of Lake Phewa which we recommend if you just wish time for yourself and complete relaxation. The house has an attached kitchen and toilet, but is not that easy to get to as you have to walk up a very steep hill with poor asphaltation. The walk down to Lakeside is about 30 minutes, but you could also rent a scooter to ease the trip.
The second place we stayed, upon returning from the trek, was in the middle of the bustling Lakeside where we had an entire ground floor apartment in a 3 story complex to ourselves. It had 2 bedrooms, living room, bathroom, kitchen and backyard. This was ideal for us to relax after the trek and we had all the restaurants, shopping and nightlife nearby.
If you are new to AirBnB then create your profile and book your first place using this link to earn an instant USD ~30 in travel credit.
Where to eat and what to do in Pokhara
This is inarguably the place we spent the most time in Pokhara. OR2K is located by the foot of Lake Phewa and being placed on the top floor of a shopping complex they have a view to show you which might take your breath away. The interior decorations and layout of the restaurant makes it so much more than just a place to eat a meal. People come here to chat, relax, work and watch the stunning sunset.
The food is definitely some of the best we had in Nepal, despite not being local cuisine, and we can highly recommend the Turkish platter which we had several times. In addition the Buddha bowls, banana milkshakes and Creme Brulee are worth giving a try.
Most items can be made vegan and there is a separate page in the back of the menu describing how. 🙂
In addition to food OR2K hosts movie nights every Monday and Thursday at 8 pm. Be sure to arrive in good time as seats fill up quickly and they serve free popcorn !
Tropical Hut is a small cafe which is nestled in between the many roadside buildings in the upper right bend of Lakeside. They offer smoothie bowls, warm dishes and drinks.
We went there to get smoothie bowls as we missed these dearly (we had not had one since we left Copenhagen two months before that).
The bowls are beautifully decorated and very tasty. Be sure to drop by here to satisfy your smoothie bowl cravings as they are one of the only places making amazing bowls.
This is a super cool place which you might only find by word of mouth as it is well hidden. Movie Garden is literally dug out of the hill side and you have to walk a couple minutes from the road side entrance to get there. Following the path you will eventually arrive at a few rocky foot steps and then the place opens up to you in its entirety.
Imagine an old greek amphitheatre and you will get an idea of how this is built.
The movie of the night is always followed by a screening of a live music concert and you can see what is scheduled on their large sign by the road side, in order to pick the exact right night for you. We came by several times.
Movie Garden also serves pizza and makes two great vegan ones (we customized two a bit, which they are happy to do) and also has an assortment of drinks and serves popcorn for the movie.
Be advised that Movie Garden charges a fee of around NPR 350 for viewing the movie and offers a deal if you watch more than 5 movies.
They are open from 6 – 11 pm.
Junkiri is a really cool clothes store which is owned by local designers and supports the employment of local women from poor communities. They make high quality clothes with a refreshing look and many colours. We bought new items here and wear them almost every day. They come with our highest recommendations.
Next to Junkiri there is a travel booking company which we can also recommend. The guys running the shop are super friendly and will make sure that you get the best deal possible.
World Peace Pagoda
The World Peace Pagoda is situated on top of a mountain on the east side of Lake Phewa and is a beautiful sight. We recommend going there for sunset or sunrise.
You can reach the stairs leading up to the Pagoda by taxi, which will take you all the way to the top, by boat which will drop you off at the foot of the mountain or by foot where you climb the entirety of the mountain.
We took a taxi which took us from Lakeside to Davis Falls (see below) and then the Pagoda and back to Lakeside for 1.000 NPR which is about 7,5 EUR.
Patale Chango also known as Davis Falls
Patale Chango aka Davis Falls is a waterfall which forms an underground tunnel and is fed by Lake Phewa. It got its nickname due to a tragic accident in 1961 where a Swiss couple were bading in the water and the lady sadly drowned in the pit. Her body was recovered 3 days later at great difficulty.
– oOo –
We did not get around to doing any of the adventure stuff like paragliding, parachuting etc., but as written there are plenty of opportunities for arranging such after you arrive, so do not fear on missing out on anything if don’t have everything planned in advance.
Let us know in the comments below if you have anything you feel like we missed or should try next time we visit Pokhara. 🙂
Jen & Kris