Almost every tourist in Nepal who has time on his hands does visit Pokhara and is never disappointed.
Everybody loves Pokhara and that includes the Nepali people who visit repeatedly. It is also just a half hour flight away from Kathmandu. The Pokhara valley is divided between lakeside and the lackluster town. Enchanting lakeside enjoys the luxury of tourist hotels, spacious restaurants, charming cafes and all facilities that cater to tourists. This division has ensured that tourists enjoy free movement in an un-crowded area where there is little traffic; and that’s what makes Pokhara so irresistible. Lakeside sprawls beside Phewa Lake and is just the ideal place to relax and spend time boating, taking in the spectacular views and trying out the various adventure sports available. The Pokhara valley boasts three large lakes known as Phewa, Begnas and Rupa. Those seeking a quiet and peaceful ambience away from other travelers, head for Begnas Tal.
There is nothing like waking up in your hotel room to find this monstrous mountain, the 6,977m high Mt. Machhapuchhare (a.k.a. Fishtail Mountain) dominating your view from the window. Everywhere you go in Pokhara valley you are blessed by the presence of the resplendent Annapurna range in the background. Pokhara is also naturally the gateway to the popular Annapurna trekking region. Treks can be anywhere from a few days for the beginner up to three weeks for the seasoned trekker. Being the starting point and the end point for several treks ensures Pokhara a large turnover of tourists. The popular treks in this region are the Annapurna Sanctuary Trek and the Annapurna Circuit Trek.
The lay of the land is such that it makes Pokhara the ideal place for adventure sports such as rafting, paragliding and ultra-light flights. Although both Kathmandu and Pokhara are valleys surrounded by mountains, it is only in Pokhara that you find large empty spaces ideal for adventure sports. You can walk up to Sarangkot (or drive up) and paraglide your way back down. You can even glide alongside a vulture in what is known as Para-hawking.
Or get your thrills on one of those lovable ultra-lights enjoying the stupendous views. Or ride the rapids on a rubber raft. You are spoiled for choice in this valley but if you have the time, try them all. You may have to spend a few extra dollars but you’ll be richer for the experience.
Night life is all about crowded bars and restaurants and you’ll never be alone. This is where friendships are made, where stories of adventure are shared with strangers, often leading to lifelong relationships. The camaraderie among trekkers is something wonderful because you have so much in common; you both love trekking in the mountains and you are both from another world. But friendship also extends to the Nepalese you meet and some bonds are so strong, it can be life-changing.
Pokhara is pleasant in the winter and the rich flora and fauna ensures there is plenty of bird life, making it one of the bird watching sites in Nepal. Many species of birds can be encountered around the lakes, the rice fields and the hills that surround the valley. From a hilltop resort, one has the opportunity to enjoy astounding views of the mountains and the Pokhara valley below. Some of the snow-capped mountains that come into view are the Annapurnas (I to IV), Dhaulagiri (8,167m) and Manaslu (8,163m) which are among the top ten highest peaks
in the world.
Enjoyable sights around Pokhara include the Barahi Temple, the two-storied pagoda within the Phewa Lake. Seti Gandaki is the river running right through Pokhara and when one says through, it means it goes underground, vanishing from sight and reappearing further down. David's Fall is another attraction located about 2 km southwest of Pokhara Airport. It is a small, charming waterfall where a trekker named David is said to have lost his life.Mahendra Cave is another major attraction (Mahendra Gupha in Nepali); a limestone cave full of stalagmites and stalactites. People also call it the ‘House of Bats’ owing to the hordes of bats residing within the caves.