Pokhara Travel Guide

Lake Phewa © Mario Micklisch

Pokhara is the third largest city in Nepal and the gateway to the stunning Annapurna region. Known more for its beautiful lakeside setting and panoramic mountain views of distant Himalayan peaks than for historical sights and culture, Pokhara is nevertheless a pleasant urban destination. Phewa Lake is the second largest in Nepal, and the sight of brightly painted wooden boats and sails rippling across the reflections of icy summits is a picture of beauty and serenity. It has become a popular base for some of Nepal's finest trekking expeditions as well as the main centre for white water rafting and kayaking trips. The city provides a peaceful place to relax before or after tackling the mountains or the rivers, and there are plenty of excellent shops supplying the necessary equipment for trekking expeditions.

Pokhara is divided into two parts: the lakeside and the bazaar area. The actual town or bazaar of Pokhara is set back from the lake, while the lakeside has become the main tourist and entertainment zone, brimming with bakeries, international restaurants, shops, souvenir and craft stalls, bookshops, hotels and guesthouses. The city is a favourite for visitors to Nepal as a relaxing break from the temples, noise and bustle of the Kathmandu Valley. There are ample opportunities for swimming, boating and fishing on the lake, or lazing on the sunny lakeshore before the magnificent backdrop of some of the highest mountains on earth. Begnas Lake, quieter, cleaner and more peaceful than the larger Phewa Lake, is a short way out of town and has a few hotels on its banks.

Buses leave for Pokhara from Kathmandu every 15 minutes or so, and it is easy to get around once there. If you don't want to walk, then hiring a bicycle or a scooter is a fun option.

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