"Pokhara - the best town in Nepal" Top 5 Page for this destination Pokhara by Saagar

Pokhara Travel Guide: 380 reviews and 984 photos

Welcome to Pokhara!

Nearing Pokhara from Kathmandu, the road becomes more crowded, you pass a couple of check points, crossing a river on a rattling bridge, and the scenery turns more and more toward an impromptu dusty market. You have entered the outskirts of Pokhara. As you do this, consider that the first wheel here came in 1950 with the first air strip, electricity came from the Phewa Dam in 1968, and the first pakka tourists were the hippies that came as the road reached the town in the early 70-ies.

If you want a description of things past, the Irish traveller Dervla Murphy came here to assist the first Tibetan refugees in camps here in 1951 and wrote vividly about it. A book of Pokhara?s history came out quite recently (2002) by Adhikhari & Seddon, that gives you a good insight into this town?s rocket-like speed into the 21st century. People here have made the jump from the middle ages into the computer age in less than two decades.

Tourism in Pokhara is centred on the banks and vicinity of Phewa Lake, away from the city bazaar area. It?s mainly an R&R place before and after trekking, but also harbours some repeat Lakeside bohemian travellers. ?Lake Side? or ?Dam Side? is probably where you will be going to inspect your hotel, get into some other clothes (it?s quite warm here though ? 880 meters above sea level), and head out for a beer and dinner. You?ll be very surprised by the laidback-ness of this place. You can lift your eyes to the skies and see the Himalayan peaks, notably the Annapurnas, Machhapuchhare and Lamjung Himal high, high up.

If you arrive in darkness, head out for something to eat and drink soon, Pokhara closes early, including the Lake Side. By 10 pm it?s just about over. If you arrived here before sunset, hire a boat and see the sun touches the 8000-meter peaks of Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Himalchuli and Manaslu Himal pink. Then head for land and any food you might desire.

If you missed the sunset, or arrived tired and late, ask your hotel for you to hire a taxi and driver and take you to the Sarangkot view point for sunrise the next morning. After the car parking it?s just a short walk and many guides? requests later up to the viewing platform. You can get a tea here and see the sun rise ? and it?s magic! Well back down again, I can recommend a splash-out at Mike?s Breakfast at the far end of Lakeside. Welcome to Pokhara!

Home page of : Pokhara Tourism Council

Why is Pokhara best?

The climate, the laidbackness, the superb starting and returning place for trekking in the Mustang and Annapurna areas. Fantastic morning views as you wake up and draw your curtains, several lakes, hiking opportunities where the pavement ends, losts of "things to do" and toursim entrepreneurs who have a lot to offer. No international gourmet restaurants here, but lots of good food, anyway, and the people are proud of their lake fish and local specialities.

Pokhara is split in two, the trade centre along the roughly north-south road Mahendrapul which constitutes the main city, and the Dam Side and Lake Side enclaves of tourism activity. The bazaar areas are the nicest and cleanest of any sizeable city in Nepal, with a good choice of goods. If staying at Lakeside as most visitors, do, do not neglect to visit the city's upper town parts, Old Bogor, Chipledhunga and the other Mahendrapul areas. There are some quality restaurants up here, too.

Must see, must do things in Pokhara:

The view to the Annapurna Himalayas is grand. Bring binoculars! Done from the valley floor, a boat on the lake, from the Peace Pagoda or from three other vantage points around the valley: Himalayan Skyline Trek (aka Royal Trek), Kahun Danda, and most well-known, Sarangkot Hill.
Relax, recuperate, enjoy easy life on Lakeside; food, friends, recreation, a place to start or end your trek. Better relax here than in Kathmandu.
Do day treks and bike trips around the valley and its hillocks, see the advertised Peace Pagoda, Devis Falls of the river coming out of Phewa Lakes, the Mahendra cave, the Tibetan refugee camps, the Gurung temple at Ramghat, the Sethi Gorge, eat grilled fish from the Pokhara valley lakes, overnight on Sarangkot Hill, take a few days of trekking towards Annapurna South, The Skyline Trek, The Panchase Hill (orchid hot spot), up the Sethi khola above Pokhara, visit the lakes Begnas and Rupa, fly the butterfly planes (microplanes), take a flight to Jomsom an early morning, make a pilgrimage to Muktinath. The writing space ends me here....

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:A great place to relax and get things done
  • Cons:Hard to get away from
  • In a nutshell:Escape to Pokhara
  • Last visit to Pokhara: Apr 2008
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (75)

Comments (13)

  • rosata's Profile Photo
    Mar 22, 2014 at 12:52 PM

    Thanks, great information!

  • kenHuocj's Profile Photo
    Feb 26, 2013 at 1:17 AM

    Great personal insights, thanks Olav ;-)))

    • Saagar's Profile Photo
      Feb 28, 2013 at 6:02 AM

      Thanks; allowing for personal views and travel experience outside a tight framework and with few commercial attachments are among the things that attracted me to VT in the first place.

    • kenHuocj's Profile Photo
      Mar 2, 2013 at 1:13 PM

      we'll meet again online ;-)))

  • alidoll's Profile Photo
    Nov 16, 2008 at 7:38 AM

    Thanks for the useful info :)

  • mantru's Profile Photo
    Sep 5, 2008 at 11:09 AM

    excellent page..will require help...if I plan to go to kathmandu in october...

  • into-thin-air's Profile Photo
    Apr 24, 2008 at 1:11 PM

    Another excellent page with more tips that will be of genuine benefit to the visitor to Pokhara and Lakeside, Backed up again with beautiful photos. Thank you Olav

  • Dec 20, 2007 at 3:44 AM

    I have just known a Nepalese friend and i am interested to know where he came from. your site has given me lots of information to know better my friend. thanks for pictures.

  • Pijlmans's Profile Photo
    Jun 29, 2007 at 12:05 AM

    Hahaha, you cannot write Sh*tal Market on VT, itīs cursing! Very nice pages that bring back memories!

  • Mar 13, 2007 at 12:40 AM

    I am due to move on assignment to Pokhara and your articles have been an outstanding help. May I take this opportunity to thank you.

  • CeciliaL's Profile Photo
    Aug 9, 2006 at 4:16 PM

    Hi Saagar, great info and pictures. I really love Pokhara, thanks for sharing!!

  • hitam8's Profile Photo
    Feb 1, 2006 at 4:26 AM

    Almonds, it's my favorite restaurant in Pokhara !!! Love it, the food is good , and more tourists find their way to this place I noticed.


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