I have heard many travelers revere in the beauty that is Pokhara, raving about their experiences lakeside before they disembark for their trek into the Annapurna region. They told me of its sweeping views of Himalayas, its calming but enigmatic atmosphere, its plethora of food and drink options, and how it little resembled the chaos in Kathmandu.
What is Pokhara? Pokhara is a place to revive, a place to eat well, and a place enjoy the few luxuries of Nepal. My peace was at display as I slept a consistent 10 hours one night – the first time since I arrived in Nepal. My allergies that plagued me Kathmandu disappeared immediately in the clear air of the city. I ate delicious Western food and enjoyed high-quality venues. I took a peaceful boat ride on the lake in the most pristine valley. I road my bike through the outskirts of town to view waterfalls and hidden restaurants. Most exciting of all, I paraglided for the first time, catching stunning views of the valley and allowing my pilot to display his pocket of air gymnastics by flipping me 360 degrees.
Pokhara is a beautiful city and I loved my time being there. However, the city is not a place to linger for too long. Maybe I have embraced too much the chaos of Kathmandu, but at times Pokhara felt too removed from the realities of Nepal. For one, it was the first time in 9 weeks I didn’t feel like I was in Nepal. I was surrounded more tourists than I was the local population. The prices were definitely not Nepali, food and drink was significantly higher than at most establishments in Kathmandu. I was able to shed nearly all my monthly salary on this vacation, though it was little cost for the heavy pockets of tourists that come to visit Pokhara. After a few days of touristy activities, there really isn’t a ton to do accept eat and drink eve more.
Pokhara is a great retreat away from the headaches of Kathmandu, but it is not a place I would have wanted to stay much longer. For trekkers, it’s a perfect gateway to the beauty of the Annapurna range. I’m looking forward to returning sometime in the next 5 months for another brief stay.
Getting ready to paraglide!
….and I’m in the air.
Watching others land