Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Stillness of Nepal's Pokhara

Pokhara Nepal Phewa Lake

So what’s in Pokhara again? During our crazy 7-hour van ride to Pokhara, I kept on asking my buddy on what to expect on our last stop in Nepal, but he just showed me his evil grin and didn’t say a word. Ugh, I hate surprises.

We arrived in Pokhara at sundown. After checking in at Hotel Orchid, we immediately scanned the very touristy area around Phewa Lake for dinner options. Pokhara is frequented by travelers who want to try out some adventure sports like paragliding, base jumping, rock climbing, skydiving and the likes (check for discounted tours in Pokhara here). It’s also frequented by hikers going to Annapurna Mountain Range. As for me and my buddy, we just wanted to check out the Phewa Lake and the famous snow-capped Himalayas (which happened for just a few sec while we’re on the veranda of Hotel Orchid, thanks to the hazy weather).

We found a modest restaurant that serves Nepali dishes. We tried some Chicken Kebab, Buff sausages and Chicken Chilly with a few bottles of Everest Beer (everything for 1,300 Rupees | US$ 13 – it’s really expensive on this side of the country).

Nepali Food
Chicken Kebab
Nepali Food
Chicken Chilly
The next morning was spent mostly at Hotel Orchid. We didn’t really have concrete plans and the chilly morning immobilized us for hours.

The sun was scorching hot in the afternoon so we decided to go for a walk. We headed to Phewa Lake and were stunned when we saw the fenced area around it. I was kinda disappointed for what I was hoping for was this huge grassland around the lake, some picnic area and stuff, but no, it was not like that at all.

Pokhara Nepal Phewa Lake
Phewa Lake
We went further and checked out a temple near the Fewa Dam. A dog that seemed to be following us for quite some time was showing us the way to these places. He’s snobbish but didn’t leave us until we went out of the gated area. We bid our goodbyes to him and set off to check out the World Peace Pagoda on top of a mountain.

Pokhara Nepal

Pokhara Nepal

Pokhara Nepal
He showed us the way :)
The World Peace Pagoda promises to have the nicest panoramic view of the area. We hiked to this local community and some travelers we bumped into told us that it took them two hours to reach it. We asked a local and confirmed that we needed to cross two mountains just to get to the Pagoda as it’s situated on the third mountain from where we were; we retreated right away (we could’ve taken a cab going up but chose not to).

Pokhara Nepal

Next plan was to check out the Davis Falls/Patale Chhango in Pokhara town. I heard it to be very interesting with its “underworld” feel. The water from the falls travels from a natural tunnel or from under the ground and through a cave. It was just unfortunate that as we’re heading towards it, a local warned us that the water was shallow and the flow from the waterfalls was dull; we, again, retreated.

It was late in the afternoon and we’ve got nothing to do for our plans were such a flop. We went back to Fewa Dam (not the lake) and checked out if we could swim. There were some locals who were doing some laundry on the dam so the idea of swimming wasn’t feasible.

Pokhara Nepal Phewa Lake

We went further and found this wide grassland that leads to the lake. There were a few locals who were having their afternoon siesta there and we couldn’t resist the thought of being still and just enjoy the moment.

We spread some towels (which we brought for swimming) and I snoozed immediately. My buddy wasn’t exactly on slumber-mode at that time and took that time for a much needed timeout. I woke up not knowing that I overslept and observed that some local kids were swimming endlessly on the lake.

Pokhara Nepal Phewa Lake

Pokhara Nepal Phewa Lake

Pokhara Nepal

Our stomachs grumbled realizing that we didn’t have anything for lunch. It was almost four in the afternoon and we hurriedly went back to Phewa Lake to check out some restaurants.

Our feet led us to Love Kush Restaurant & Bar right across the lake. We checked out the menu and ordered some Buffalo Garlic Steak (by special request), a Nepali Khana Set and some Gorkha and Everest Beers with free French Fries (everything at 1,500 Rupees | US$ 15). The Buff Steak was phenomenal. My buddy was savoring the tender meat while giving me a thumbs-up sign. The Khana set is equally nice.

Pokhara Nepal Restaurant

Nepal Khana Set
Nepali Khana Set
Buffalo Steak Nepal
Buffalo Garlic Steak
Gorkha Beer Nepal
Happy Hour
We so loved the Buffalo Garlic Steak that we had lunch at that same restaurant the next day.

Nepal Buffalo Steak
Buffalo Garlic Steak - Round 2!
Our last day in Pokhara was spent just walking around. We checked out some nice shops around the lake but didn’t have the moolah to spare and thinking that we needed to try out the boating activity, we headed to Phewa Lake to fulfill it.

Pokhara Nepal Phewa Lake

At 420 Rupees (US$ 4.20) we had our own boat with a boatman. He paddled and we sat quietly on the boat and enjoyed the view. Different species of birds are everywhere. The lake was calm and the paddling was calmer. We had a nice time actually. I was thinking of jumping off to try out the waters but was stopped by the not-so-fresh state of the waters (lessons learned at Tonle Sap Lake in Siem Reap, Cambodia).

Pokhara Nepal Phewa Lake
Hey Mr. Boatman!
Pokhara Nepal Phewa Lake

Pokhara Nepal Phewa Lake

Pokhara Nepal Phewa Lake

After an hour, we’re back at the docking area and spent a few hours more drinking beers while chatting with some locals.

Nepal Girl

It was the perfect way to end our Nepal sojourn. We may not experienced paragliding, skydiving or the World Peace Pagoda but this surely is the best way to end our trip; very relaxing and stress-free. We’re so ready for the next leg of this trip – Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam!






2 comments:

  1. Pokhara has it's charm. I love it's tranquil atmosphere. Ugghh food trip lang peg nyo?

    ReplyDelete