We reached Pokhara in the afternoon, after another bumpy ride. The ride from the last point in the mountains took us nearly 4 hours and we felt pretty shaken afterwards. So what is the first thing to do, when you get to the civilization? Hot shower, of course! once all the beauty procedures have been completed, it’s time to check out all the cool things to do in Pokhara.
Our first impression of this lively city was genuine surprise. After 8 days of quiet and peaceful mountain vibe, the streets seemed way too loud, crowded and polluted. We walked through the city like in a dream. There was too much of everything here. Too many different menu items in the restaurant. Too many shops. Too many cars. Even people.
Still, it was nice to finally let go and relax a bit. We enjoyed a tasty meal (which wasn’t dal bat), peeked at few souvenir shops and ate an ice cream. After all of that, we went back in for an early nap, as the next day was supposed to be long and eventful.
One of the famous attractions in Pokhara is Davis Falls. I wouldn’t say this is necessarily the most exciting sight in Pokhara, but the place is unique in its own way. The water forms an underground tunnel after reaching the bottom. This tunnel is approximately 150 m long and runs (30 m below ground level). The Falls got its name after an accident in 1961, when a Swiss woman named Davi drowned there.
Next, we hopped into the bus and drove all the way up to Shanti Stupa (Peace Pagoda). Shanti Stupa in Pokhara was built by Nipponzan-Myōhōji monk Morioka Sonin with the help from local supporters. Once you are up there, you can see Annapurna mountain range, lake Phewa and Pohkara Valley. Its a peaceful place to be with yourself, meditate and enjoy the view.
Once you are ready to move on, take the steps down to the lakeside and catch one of the boats to the other side of the lake. Our feet definitely were not ready for the descent and we wished we had our walking sticks with us. Beware that the stones may be wet and slippery.
Phewa lake boats
Boat ride on lake Phewa is an attraction of its own. We highly recommend using an opportunity to see the lake from water. Water taxis operate without engines, just man power. It’s a popular way of transport here and looks like it hasn’t changed much over the decades.
The other side of the lake is quite lively, with lots of authentic restaurants and shops. In fact, it reminded us of Mediterranean seaside promenades. What a great place for an evening stroll and sunset dinner! We ended up at a pancake house with huge selection of different tasty pancakes. I went for banana peanut butter pancake and (finally!) some real coffee!
General impressions of Pokhara
Although we hardly spent a day in Pokhara, this city made me fall in love with it. I really like the vibe, easy going style and laid back atmosphere. It’s a city to enjoy and take things slow. You can rent a boat and cruise around the lake for the whole morning, then relax and spend an afternoon reading a book at one of the lakeside cafes.
Its a perfect retreat after a demanding trek in the mountains. If I could choose, I would stay here at least couple of days and regain my energy, before moving on to Kathmandu.