Pokhara is a beautiful city located at the side of Phewa Lake. The major tourist area lies on the road directly beside the lake. This main road is lined with restaurants, tour agencies and hotels.
Journey to Pokhara
We travelled to Pokhara from Tansen. We were able to catch a bus from the main bus park in Tansen direct to Pokhara for rs.290 each. The journey takes approx. 6 – 7 hours (dependent on the number of driver breaks and the condition of the road).
The bus dropped us off at the bus stop on the main road which is about a 30 minute walk from the main lakeside area (or rs.120 in a taxi). To walk simply take the turning directly behind the bus stop and continue to walk straight – at the roundabout turn left onto the main road beside the lake.
I would recommend taking public buses (rather than tourist buses) in Nepal if possible as they are cheaper, do not stop off at expensive tourist restaurants, run more regularly and are just as fast and comfortable. Unfortunately the public bus station in Pokhara is located a long 35 – 40 minute walk from lakeside, or approx. rs.120 in a taxi, so the saving made taking a public bus is likely to be offset by the journey to the bus station.
How much does it cost? rs.400 for a double room (with shared bathroom) or rs.500 for a double room (with attached bathroom)
Location: Just off the main road next to Phewa lake (very central location)
This guesthouse is excellent value for money, the rooms / bathrooms are clean, it is quiet despite its central location and it also has fast wi-fi. The wi-fi signal was quite weak in our room, but you can sit up on the terrace next to the router.
Pokharas tourist scene centres around the lake and there are many activities that can be done n or around the lake.
Relax in one of the water front restaurants
There are many restaurants and cafes that line the road next to the lake. Simply grab a tea and a cinnamon roll (Pokhara’s speciality) and sit and watch the world go by.
Hire a boat
How much does it cost? Full day rs.600 – 715.
There are about four places along the lake where you can hire a rowing boat for either a full or a half day. The cheapest one (rs.600 full day) is located in the middle of all the operators if you walk along the footpath at the lake from the south to the north side. Bear in mind that it may be possible to negotiate the price (we paid rs.550 for a full day hire).
There are also peddalo’s and sailing boats for hire but these are the more expensive options.
You can hire a fishing rod and bait from some of the shops near to the lake and catch your own dinner.
Location: Chhorepatan (Siddartha Highway)
How much does it cost? Rs.20 per person
A visit to Devi’s Falls can be combined with a walk to the World Peace Stupa – either at the beginning or end of your walk. It is located on the Siddartha Highway in the nearby village of Chhorepatan. It is a long walk from lakeside and probably only worth a visit if you are also visiting the nearby Tibetan vllage or the World Peace Stupa.
It is said that the falls are named after a Swiss lady called Devin or Mrs Davis whom was skinny dipping with her husband in the river and got washed into the falls and drowned – however the reality is that is it probably a made up story to warn local teenagers of the ‘dangers’ of western ways.
World Peace Stupa
Location: On the hillside above Lake Phewa
How much does it cost? Free
You can see the World Peace Stupa towering above the Lake Phewa; we decided to walk up to visit as we heard the views of the Himalayas from the top are breathtaking. We followed the ‘path’ from damside, however the track was awfully marked and there were no signposts to the Stupa so we were left guessing which was the right ‘footpath’ to take.
It should normally take about 1 – 1.5 hours to walk to the Stupa from Damside, however as the signposting and tracks are non-existent allow about 2 hours as you may wander the wrong way!
There are a couple of restaurants at the top which are a great place to stop for breakfast and catch your breath before you walk back down (prices are midrange rs.100 – 250 for breakfast).
The best time to visit the Stupa is in the morning, before 10am, as clouds tend to appear late morning and obscure the view across the Himalayas. We reached the Stupa at around 9am, however unfortunately some clouds had already settled near the mountains.
How much does it cost? Mid – high range (rs. 200 – 450 per main meal)
There are many tourist orientated restaurants and cafes running along the road next to the lakeside and the prices are all midrange to high. If you head towards damside you will find a couple of more local Nepalese restaurants which would suit the budget traveller.
Early morning pastry sellers
How much does it cost? Rs.20 each
If you are heading out early in the morning you will likely find a couple of people walking along the streets with a basket selling freshly baked warm croissants, cinnamon rolls, and apple strudels. These should cost approx. rs.20 each; however you may need to do some negotiating. You should try one during your stay in Pokhara as they are delicious and a great breakfast before walking up to the Stupa or before getting on a bus.