Pokhara! What a lovely place indeed and reminds me a bit of some part in Europe. The scenery, the people, the environment, just everything. The weather was perfect, about 24 degree Celsius and just nice for long strolls and some running around the the Fewa Lake.
If you want to get to Pokhara from Kathmandu, there are two options, e.g. either by flight which takes about 25 mins and costs about 150 SGD or by bus which takes about 7 hours and cost only 15 SGD. I chose the latter one and I didn’t regret it because along the way you can see so much and it’s of course the cheaper option. However, some part of the road can be quite bumpy, so be prepared for that.
I settled into a small room (about 15 SGD per night) close to the Phewa Lake and walking distance from the main road. There are many shops along the road, with nice eateries and cafes. Just very quaint and lovely.
There are many things you can do in Pokhara, like paragliding (I will do this the next time), horse riding, rafting, mountain bike tours, short trekking tours and you can even book a helicopter and fly to various Basecamps, like Annapurna. Will never opt for the latter one:( It’s not the real thing. There are many operators you can choose from. Or you can simply sit in one of the nice cafes, enjoy your masala tea with a nice book. There are plenty of options and you won’t get bored at all.
I spent a few days in Pokhara to explore the area before I moved with Arjun to his home village called Jhijhirka, because I wanted to experience how it is like to live in a village in Nepal.
Took the opportunity to run a bit along Phewa Lake and the air is very fresh and you see many people walking along the promenade, with many restaurants and cafes. Nice gorgeous and beautiful! Go and see it for yourself. Went to the Shanti Stupa and you can get there either by car or by boat across the lake and then walk up for about 40 mins. Guess what I chose? Yeah, I took the boat ride and walked my way up. Always better to walk cause there are always lovely spots along the way. The boat ride costs about 8 SGD.
Once you are at the Shanti Stupa, you have to take off your shoes to walk around the stupa. Please be silent and there are many signages reminding you of it and please walk clockwise when you walk around the stupa. Respect the culture.
Went to the International Mountain Museum, Guptheshwor Mahadev Cave and Natural Bridge or Pokhara the next day and especially the latter one is worthwhile. It takes about one hour walk from the Phewa Lake to the Natural Bridge or you could choose a local bus for 2 SGD. The Guptheshwor Mahadev Cave is a religious place and at the same time, the Devi’s Fall leads into this cave. Inside the cave you you see water dripping from the walls and the statue of lord Shiva. The waterfall is right at the end of the cave, which takes a few minutes to reach, depending on the number of visitors.
One of the not to be missed things in my opinion is the sunrise at Sarangkot. You have to be there at about 6:15 AM latest to get one of the hot spots to witness the sunrise. The view of it and the mountain range, just amazing and takes your breathe away. Was lucky enough that it was a clear morning, however freezing cold.:) With every minute passing by, you can see the sun rising from the horizon and when the first light hit the mountains, OMG, no words can describe the view. Unfortunately can’t post the videos here otherwise I certainly would.
Last stop for me was the visit of the hometown of my friend Arjun. He stays at Jhijhirka Village with a population fo around 250 people and is about 40 mins drive away from Pokhara. Didn’t know that the village is at 1,400 meters. If you would need to walk, it’s a long way up and down and most of the people are doing this as there is no bus service. Life is very simple in the village. The families are living mostly from their own produce, like buffalo milk, vegetables, goat meat (only once in a while and in most of the cases Dal Bhat is served without meat), rice, wheat, spices etc. The cooking is still done with open fire and it tastes great, especially the millet and wheat pancakes for lunch. Had the chance to experience this life for a few days and helped out on the farm, carrying stones for a new upgraded buffalo shed (oh, I can tell you, those stones are very heavy) and selling buffalo milk. Electricity is something new and until a few years back, there was no electricity at all. If you want to experience this, home stays can be arranged and do not expect any luxury.
Before I headed back home I took the opportunity to have dinner with Arjun and Krishna, both very nice people and very good guides. Guess what we had? Yeah, you are right! Dal Bhat with some good old Gurhka Beer.:)
Not to be missed: Shanti Stupa, Walk along Phewa Lake, Sarangkot Sunrise
Mode of transport: mostly by foot:) and some local bus
Daily expenses: 12 SGD for food and drink (excluding entrance tickets)
If you wanna know more about the village, let me know. Contact Me