The bus ride from Kathmandu to Pokhara was 7 hours long. While it was a good experience, I highly recommend flying from Kathmandu to Pokhara (and vice versa) for only ~USD$100 per way and the flight time is only 30 minutes. By the time we got to Pokhara in the evening, we were a tad zoned from the very long ride on uneven, dusty roads.
The first thing that struck me about Pokhara is its peacefulness and natural beauty compared to Kathmandu. The entire touristy street with food, bars and shopping wraps around the glistening Phewa or Fewa Lake, quite like the beachfront shops at Patong in Phuket but still less commercialized.
For our Pokhara ‘city’ tour, though I would call Pokhara a town rather than city, we first visited the Devis Falls, which was having low water levels. The more impressive was the Gupteshwar Cave opposite the Falls, which is the largest cave in South Asia. It was dark, wet but the final view of the sunrays slipping through the slit was worthwhile. God creates some amazing natural structures indeed.
We also visited the Tibetan Refugee camps, where I learnt that Nepal hosts many Tibetans in these camps who escaped before China ruled over Tibet. There are also pictures of many young people who have burnt themselves to free Tibet. I am glad to see the women working hard at tapestry to create carpets to support themselves. Most of them speak decent English and run businesses despite being refugees.
We also got to try our first Tibetan lunch – noodle soups with amazing chili and Tibetian chicken momos.
For an adventure before starting our Poon Hill trek the next day, we went paragliding with Phoenix Paragraliding. After skydiving, zipping and swooping in New Zealand, Paragliding is relatively gentle but extremely scenic. I had a good chat with my expert paragliding Polish pilot, Pawel, who is only in his early 20s but is already paragliding competitively. It was a slow scenic paraglide experience which allowed me to view the farming terraces and blue, glistening waters of Phewa Lake from some 3000+ feet above ground.
Food wise, in Pokhara, we tried Lan Hua Chinese Restaurant and its specialty dish (Suan Cai Yu, Sour Vegetable Fish). While it was tasty, it was a tad too much for 2 of us to finish. The other Chinese dishes were also great and efficient (first dish within 5 minutes of ordering).
Moondance Restaurant had good Western food, where to tried the beef sizzlers and drinks. Others have also told us to try the German sausage but we didn’t get to – do let us know if you try!
Caffe Concerto had really good coffee drinks and lassi. Others have told us to try the pizza, which we should have, because we tried the pastas and it was really average with slightly overcooked pasta.
We also had a rowing Boat Tour was part of the tour package, so we had a slow time enjoying Phewa Lake on the water.
For the entire Nepal Travel Review series by EatPrayFlying, please refer to the list below:
- Nepal– Kathmandu City Tour
- Nepal – Kathmandu Hotel – Dwarika Hotel
- Nepal – Kathmandu Hotel – Shanker Hotel
- Nepal – Pokhara City Tour
- Nepal – Pokhara Hotel – Templetree Resort & Spa
- Nepal – Pokhara Hotel – Waterfront Resort