Pokhara is the third largest city in Nepal. It is the starting point for most of the treks in the Annapurna area.
Be there for "Visit Pokhara Year 2007" http://www.visitpokhara.com
The bus from Kathmandu can be OK sometimes and straight from hell at other times. If there are landslides blocking the road you better be ready to exercise all the patience you can find. Sometimes it's taken 5-6 hours and sometimes over 10.
Coming from the southern border to India, several buses leave to Pokhara from the border city, mainly in the very wee hours (first at 4 o´clock). It takes ca. 9 hrs. and costs between 280 and 380 Rs.
The plane flights are cheap and take only 1/2 hour from KTM. They have the added bonus of giving you a bird's eye view of the countryside and of the mountains themselves.
- Phewa Lake. One of the Nepal's most beautiful spots, Phewa Tal is surrounded by a combination of monkey-filled forests and the high white peaks. The reflections in the mirror-like water in the early mornings are something you must see at least once before you die. Hire a boat and row yourself across the lake (or hire a local to do it for you - there are some fine and funny times to be had on this lake, even in the middle of the night!)
- Begnas Lake. Out of town and away from the hustle, Begnas Tal is quiet, clean and peaceful. There are a few basic hotels to stay in and the odd refreshment shop. The walk along the road leading to Begnas Tal is fascinating, the seasonal rhythms of daily life in the country make great images.
- Devi Falls. Spectacular, eerie and unusual, Devi falls plunge into a cave and disappear into the earth
- World Peace Stupa. Recently built atop a hill overlooking Phewa Tal, the Stupa offers a great place to see the sun set over Pokhara. It can be accessed by hiring a boat and rowing across the lake and climbing a sometimes leech-infested track, or by foot from the road that passes Devi Falls.
- Sarangkot. The perfect pre-trek warm-up. Head up Sarankot in the late afternoon (be prepared, it's steep and hard work) find yourselves a warm guest house before sunset, go up the top for sunset and again for sunrise... you won't be disappointed. Great views, spectacular images and a great way to get a taste of what it's like to be trekking. Beware demented water buffaloes on the way out of town!
- International Mountain Museum
- Gurkha Museum
- Festivals Diwali is always a favorite
- Parties ask around, there are sometimes full moon parties
Jewels and trinkets from the lovely Tibetan women who ply the streets with their wares in backpacks or blankets. Sit and enjoy the atmosphere, and make sure you bargain as beginning prices are often inflated.
Along the lakeside road, a variety of quality restaurants can be found. Here are some that users have chosen to post.
- Pushkar Guest House - Best budget breakfasts in town - in fact best breakfasts hands down! ROOFTOP Restaurant overlooking the lake, and with views of Machhapuchare. With reliable quality, cheerful service, very reasonable prices and laid-back atmosphere the Pushkar Guest House is a diner's delight. Fantastic place to watch the daily life of the Lakeside area from above. http://pushkarguesthouse.pbwiki.com/
- Lumbini Restaurant - Probably the cheapest food in town and really good. A breakfast with a large cup of tea/coffee, eggs, hashbrowns, toast is 40Rs. The people who own the place are genuinely good people and most customers will return because of the great deal. The restaurant is on the road perpendicular with the main bazaar road. It's the same road that takes you to the public (not tourist) bus stop. It's also the road across from the pier. Go up this road for about 1/2 a kilometer and the restaurant is a little place located on the left.
- The Love Shack - Located near the South end of town, beside Bistro Caroline. Run by a Welsh ex-pat, Sandra and her Nepali husband, Tilak. Serves classic British-style food. Make a point of trying the sizzling brownie with ice-cream for desert. Love shack is very animal-friendly; expect to be greeted by Max the Rottweiler-puppy and Leila the cat. Both will be more than happy to receive affection. A great place to curl up by the fire with some home-made Baileys and a purring kitten.
- Puja Bakery and Cafe - Delicious and cheap. Serve cinnamon rolls and the like but not cakes. Always fresh from that morning, even in the beginning or end of the season.
- German Bakery - Great cakes, in off-season the cakes can be a few days old.
- Hua-Han Chinese restaurant.
- Koto luxurious Japanese restaurant.
- Mike's Breakfast - Pokhara branch of the famous KTM restaurant.
- Bistro Caroline - Sister branch of the upscale KTM restaurant with a garden on the lake and stylish interior. Offers a good selection of French and continental food. Probabaly the best wine list in Pokhara- expensive, but the toilets alone are worth it!
- Pushkar Guest house Not just Beer, but COLD Carlsburg beer. They make a pretty good lassi as well.
- Pema Tibetan Restaurant A local joint for Thukkpa (Tibetan Soup Noodles), Mo Mo (Tibetan style dumplings) great taste, with sukuti, sekuwa and Locally brewed liquor
Virtually all tourist accommodations are located in the Lake side and the Dam Side, near the Phewa lake.
- Pushkar Guest House, Lakeside -6, Pokhara Telephone: 00977-061-525053 . Mr. Krishna Paudel. Has a variety of rooms to suit all budgets, hot showers, a rooftop restaurant (BEST breakfasts in Pokhara with great crusty brown bread!) overlooking the lake and with awesome views of sacred "Machhapuchare". Krishna speaks many languages and is very knowledgable about trekking. The Puskar Guest House has its own Carrom Board. Carrom is a national obsession and a fantastic way of meeting other travelers. You are also welcome to play your own music on the rooftop stereo.
- Angle Hotel, Lake Side. Quiet family run, clean rooms and hot shower for 200-300 Rs.
- Greenpeace Hotel, Lake side, past town on the dirt road that circles the lake. Great terrace over the lake. 200-300 Rs.
- Hotel Temple Villa, Lake side, towards the northern end in a very quiet street. Friendly owners and basic but clean rooms, some ith balcony. The place is next to the Octagon Hotel and has a pleasant garden. Double with shared bath 500Rp, with attached bath 600Rp.
- New Pokhara Lodge,, . The lodge lies on the shores of Pokhara's largest Lake. Sufficiently set back from the main road to guarantee peace, quiet & privacy, there are just 16 rooms all with attach tiled toilets and 24 hours hot and cold running water. The Lodge is built around one of the best gardens in Pokhara.
- Baba Lodge Baba Lodge has fine meals in a great outdoor dining area overlooking the "Damside" end of Phewa lake. Gynendra will make you welcome.
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