While Thamel was the place to ‘relax’ after an intense 17-day hike to Everest Base Camp, Pokhara was an even better place to relax after hiking all over the Annapurna region. Or before, for that matter. With nothing to do but chill by the lake and eat all the food, it’s the perfect place for a bit of R&R.
It’s a long, dusty, bumpy and uncomfortable bus from Kathmandu with a billion stops at overpriced roadside restaurants with questionable buffet food. You can easily book a tourist bus from your hostel or hotel, it’ll cost around Rs.800 ($7) or catch the local bus from Gongabu New Bus Park which isn’t much cheaper but is much slower. Once you arrive you can walk the 2km to Lakeside, or catch an overpriced taxi to your hostel.
There are so many great places to stay depending on your budget. There are some incredibly lovely boutique hotels, and some awesome hostels too. I first stayed at Hotel Love & Light in their dorm rooms which were spacious, clean and very comfy! I also stayed at Aroma Tourist Hostel (make sure you get an upstairs room) and Mount Blue Tourist Hostel which we loved mostly thanks to the staff!
All the food
So you’ve arrived in Pokhara and you’ve got a bed to sleep in, but now you’re hungry? Well lucky for you I have eaten my way around Pokhara more than once and I have some great recommendations for you! I hope you’re ready to gorge on delicious food to get over the awful, repetitive mountain menu.
- Maili Bhancha Ghar – a tiny local place serving amazing Indian food
- Mo2’s Delights – home of the chocolate momos!
- Wendy’s Juice Shop – a cute courtyard with fresh juices and fruit bowls
- Hot Sandwich Corner – the best place if you just fancy a proper sandwich
- Asian Tea House – a back alley restaurant serving a huge range of delicious and cheap food from the tiniest kitchen I’ve ever seen
- Metro Coffee and Crepes – absolutely the best place to get sweet and savoury crepes, thick shakes and the cheapest ice cream in town
- Namaste Bakery – people watching, yummy cinnamon rolls and tasty masala chai
- The Lafel – delicious Isreali food including falafel, pita and chips, and shakshuka
- Yoko Manadu – a random sports bar selling the cheapest and most delicious pizza
If you really feel the need to actually do something while in Pokhara then don’t worry, there is more than just amazing food, but not much more.
You can walk along the shore, eat at one of the many restaurants or even rent a boat to enjoy this beautiful, surprisingly clean, lake. There are multiple ferry points from Lake Side which will take you to the other side, so you can climb the small hill and do some lovely hiking.
World Peace Pagoda
You can hike here from the ferry point, or you can walk allllll the way around the back of these hills, climb through the jungle and eventually join the main path, I don’t know why we chose this option but we did and it was exhausting after such a long trek in the mountains. It’s a peaceful place with incredible views (when it’s not too smoggy) and there are even a few restaurants for lunch.
White Water Rafting
You can also embark on a rafting expedition (half-day, full-day or multi-day) along two of the main rivers of this region and it’s very reasonably priced! There are a ton of different companies and I have no idea how to choose the best (or safest) one, but every Isreali we met recommend Yellow SWISSA Agency and they seemed great, we just skipped the whole thing due to lack of funds and laziness.
Another thing I sort of wanted to do but didn’t (because it’s just too damn polluted and also because I was too scared) is paragliding! Sore above the lake on a tiny parachute made of flimsy fabric, getting close enough to the hundreds of other tourists flying up there that it’s a surprise they don’t get tangled up and fall to the their deaths. Anyway, if you fancy it then it’s only around $60 for the day! If not, you can just climb up to Sarangkot for the views.
If you have anything fun to do in Pokhara that deserves to be on this list then please leave it in a comment below!
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