A lakeside story

Features Issue 154 Sep, 2014
Text by Ecs Reporters

here’s something for everybody in Pokhara. Whether you are a backpacker who wants to make the most out of the city on a minimal budget, whether you are vacationing with your family or are there on your own - Pokhara will fit into your mind-frame. Here are our recommendations on how you enjoy your time in Pokhara.

For the Adventurous

Paragliding, zipline, rafting
Pokhara is called the adventure capital of the country for a reason. The city offers a range of activities for adrenaline-junkies such as paragliding, zipline and rafting. While paragliding is offered by a variety of companies such as Sunrise Paragliding (www.sunrise-paragliding.com), Avia Club Nepal (www.aviaclubnepal.com) and Babu Adventure (www.babuadventure.com), the zipline is only available with ZipFlyer Nepal. Paddle Nepal (www.paddlenepal.com) offers a variety of rafting packages.

Duna Tapari

On the way to Pame, you will come across a small restaurant called Duna Tapari on your right which is famous both among the locals and travellers. This restaurant is famous for Nepali snacks but more so for its local fish delicacies. 

Sarangkot to watch the sunrise
It is inexplicably amazing to stay on the top of the hill of Sarangkot in the early morning and watch the rays of sunshine fall on the mountains and the valley below. You can either hire a bike, a cycle, a car or choose to hike to Sarangkot early in the morning. After an uphill drive of 45 minutes or an exciting two-hour walk, the fresh air at the top of the hill will fill your lungs with a sense of delight and the view will fill your eyes with enchantment.

Back to Nature

If you are looking for a retreat in to nature, you must hike to Back to Nature tented and hiking camp in Dandakhak, Pokhara. The resort though new in the world of hotel business has a lovely ambient set up in the forest. Bird watching is one of the many perks of the resort. The resort has tented camps and mud-stone houses for room stays and a menu that serves variety of cuisines. The night view and the lake view from the top hill of the resort are simply spectacular. The resort offers activities like hiking and revives old games like baghchal for entertainment. Next time you are in the lake city you should try Back to Nature for its breath taking scenes, it is your perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city.
(For more information, contact 9851053235/ 9841626582 or 
e-mail at dambarssle@gmail.com/dempurja@yahoo.com)

For Those with Young Ones

Byanjan Bar & Grill

Spacious, with a variety of seating options (indoor lounge, alfresco or a terrace seating which gives a 180 degrees view of the Fewa Lake), Byanjan is where the traditional meets the modern. There’s a small fountain-pool in the compound, and although you can’t play in it, it could be something that can get the children excited. The food here is delicious and there are a lot of cocktail and mocktail options that you can choose from.

ChaChawee Resort and Fun Park

The idea of staying inside an amusement park for a night (or more) is every child’s fantasy. ChaChawee is a concept resort that is dedicated to making this dream come true. At ChaChawee, it is not just the fun park that is built keeping children in mind. From the accommodation facilities to the restaurant to the hospitality, all the elements have been put together to ensure that the ChaChawee experience would bring a smile on your little one’s face! Majority of the activities are only suitable for young children, with a few options for adults (like the massage chair), it gives adults a chance to simply relax and watch their children enjoy themselves. 

(For more information on ChaChawee Resort and Fun Park, turn to page 112)

Castle Resort 
21 years ago, Joe Hammond stood on a hilltop in Pokhara enjoying a unique view of Fewa Lake as he smoked his pipe. People will enjoy this alternative take on the lake city, he thought. He was right. His dreams have matured into The Castle Resort, a collection of quaint villas that cater to family trips and friendly get-togethers. A 15-minute drive from downtown Pokhara city, its seclusion makes it an ideal choice for those who treasure their quiet time.

 With a small pool, a pub and hammocks outside each villa, the unique decor of the place is credited to his wife Sofia Hammond. “She brought a sense of design and a much needed woman’s touch,” says Hammond fondly. A selection of wines and cigars is a welcome addition to the menu.

 (For more information, contact 98 56020784/98 51077780 or email at pokharacastle@yahoo.co.uk. You can also use booking.com, Agoda or TripAdvisor for reservations.)

Lower Seti Rafting & Camping

Paddle Nepal’s  two-day water-adventure on the Lower Seti River and camping on the white sandy beaches would be an ideal family experience outdoors. Experience the thrill with your family as you navigate through white-water rapids. The Lower Seti is a gentle and easy river, perfect for first timers as well as for young children. The rafting course takes you from Pokhara to Chitwan. The two days package is inclusive of meals, camping accommodation, and transportation. September through June would be the main rafting season in the Lower Seti.

(For booking and more information visit their website at www.paddlenepal.com)

Paint a bag at Kriayt Social Business    
Take your kids of the Kriayt Social Business craft shop at Central Lakeside (take the small road opposite Olive Cafe and Restaurant at Lakeside). Here, you can paint a cloth bag made out of pure cotton with a hand-screen painted design. And the good news is, you get to take it home as well. Apart from this, Kriyat also offers other interactive art activities. The craft shop offers a range of hand-made products such as jewelery, travel kits, beauty kits, bags and home decor items. Kriyat is a social business which creates employment for young women who come from difficult family circumstances. 
(For more information visit their website at www.kriayt.com)

International Mountain Museum

 International Mountain Museum is a haven for children interested in mountains, people, and culture in mountain areas. This museum is divided into many sections that will inform you and your kids about the summiting the mountains, environmental issues around them and myths like the Yeti. One of its segments also has a quiz ideal for kids. (For more information, you can check out page number 62.)


For those who want some luxury

Ultralight Flight

Take sight-seeing to a whole new level. The ultralight flight is a thrilling experience that will take you up-close to snow capped mountains, green hills, serene rivers and lakes. The flight also makes for good nature photography and filming opportunities.  Remember to wear comfortable footwear that provides a good support. It is recommended to take a sweater, a light jacket, and a pair of gloves with you as well. Book your ultralight flight at Avia Club Nepal (www.aviaclubnepal.com).

Pony Trek
Recommended especially for those who have problems walking, a pony ride would be a good sight-seeing and hiking alternative. You can either go around the lake on a pony or hire one for a few days to visit the country-side or even for a trek.

Cashmere products

Splurge on a cashmere shawl or stole. It is a worthwhile investment which makes for a perfect gift for a loved one, or even for yourself.

Moondance Restaurant

Moondance Restaurant is one of the must to go locale in Pokhara, especially if you enjoy good food and a great ambience. The place is hard to miss as you are walking around Lakeside. Made from the fresh ingredients, you will find fully organic food here. Ask for the rainbow trout dish which is brought from Bhurjung Khola. Besides that, Broiled Wild Boar Eycalope, Beef Steak and Quilled chicken are also popular choices. For drinks, we recommend you to try the Kombucha which is a mocktail made out of soft drinks. 

Fishtail Lodge

After you board a raft and cross the lake to get to Fishtail Lodge, it will be evident to you that The Fishtail isn’t a normal run-of-the-mill lodge. With spacious and well-tended-to lawns punctuated by hammocks stretched across poles, a swimming pool promising lazy afternoons and the view of the Machchhapuchhre himal in the distance, you will be immediately affected by the lodge’s posh environs. The Lodge has been Pokhara’s favorite getaway for Nepal’s former royal family members, former US President Jimmy Carter and tennis superstar Martina Hingis to name a few distinguished personalities. Book your stay at the Fishtail Lodge and enjoy services that are literally, of regal standards. (For more information, contact 61465071/014229647 or email at info@fishtail-lodge.com.np )

Athiti Resort & Spa
If you want some pampering, then Athiti should top your choice. This five star boutique hotel is synonymous with luxury when it comes to Pokhara. You can take a dip in its beautiful swimming pool or enjoy the spa after a long day discovering the city. The hotel is also determined to give you an eco friendly experience with minimal use of plastic and organic food and dairy procured from its own farm that is served in its two restaurants. (For more Information, contact 61466760 (Pokhara)/014002077 (Kathmandu Office), or email at info@atithiresort.com.)

Fulbari Resort
The Fulbari Hotel and Spa is unapologetic about the lack of signs leading to it from Pokhara city. As the hotel appears in sight, one will notice its fantastic location on the edge of a gigantic gorge. The idea is clearly to not be found easily, for guests who want to lose themselves in Pokhara’s and the Fulbari’s beauty and for the hotel itself that wants to protect its oasis-like location.

 Beautiful Newar architecture, stately rooms, extensive gardens and a view of the Himalayas that is unchallenged all work in favor of Pokhara’s largest hotel. However, it is the care that has gone into the details that casts the deepest impression. Needless to say, great food and amenities are a part of the experience. (For more information, contact 61432451/014464388 (Kathmandu Office) or email at resv@fulbari.com.np.) 

For the Tourist Tourist


Leaving the busy streets of Lakeside, you can just ride out to the quiet side of Pokhara. You can reach Pame from the tourist hub of lake side in 20 minutes of relaxed cycling. The ride can help you exercise as well as relax your body and mind. The sunsets on wheels are to write home about.

Boating in the Fewa Lake
A trip in Pokhara without boating in the Fewa might as well be called a boring business trip. Boating around Fewa, whether in the paddle boat or the classic rowing with oars, enjoying the perfect breeze in the lake is just the thing you need to do to enjoy Pokhara trip to the fullest. However boating the lake just to reach the Tal-Barahi temple cannot be counted as a boating experience, go explore! 

Busy Bee

Going to Busy Bee for a night of drinking and live music is like a ritual for those who visit Pokhara. Ask anyone who has been to Pokhara for the typical things to do in the city and night out at Busy Bee will be amongst the answers. Expect a good ambience but a lot of people. Good music, friendly service and tasty food; everything checks out for an awesome night.

Temple Tree

Situated near the Lakeside, Temple Tree Resort and Spa is a heaven for all the tourists visiting this city. A boutique hotel showcasing the distinctive architecture and culture of Nepal’s Western Himalayas, this resort offers peaceful and relaxing atmosphere after a long tiring day. The wall decor will remind you of rural landscape while the two restaurants offer great food. You can also take a dive in the swimming pool or just enjoy the hammocks in the garden. (For more information, contact 61465 819 /01421 5952 (Kathmandu office) or email at info@templetreenepal.com)


Pokhara T-Shirt from Sherpa 
Sherpa is a well known brand when it comes to mountaineering apparels in Nepal. Apart from jackets and trousers, the brand also offers shirts and shorts. But why Pokhara T-shirt you ask? Because, it’s only found in the Pokhara outlet of Sherpa situated at Lakeside. This will be a perfect token for your Pokhara memories. 


Bat Cave
If you want to see where all the bats in Pokhara go during the day, then the Bat Cave is where you need to go. You can see hundreds of bats resting on the ceiling of the cave. 

Mahendra Cave
If you don’t like bats, but still want to go inside a caves, then you can go to the Mahendra Cave. Its just 800m away from the Bat Cave. While you are there, take a look at the natural limestone formations.

Davis fall
If you are bored with the lakes in Pokhara, then go to Davis fall. The waterfall is located in the southern part of the city. What makes the fall interesting is that the water from passes through a natural tunnel, leading to the Gupteshwor cave, another place to see limestone formations.

Peace Pagoda
A stretch of legs in the morning for a hike to a white pagoda that is balanced on a narrow ridge high above Fewa Lake could prove to be as good as meditating.  The pagoda that symbolizes the search for world peace is a fine destination to get a spectacular view of the lake, the lakeside and the Himalayas. 

For the Lone Traveller


Mandala Spa
Visit Mandala Spa located inside Mt. Kailash Resort in Lakeside for a relaxing massage session after a hectic day. Choose from a variety of massages the spa offers, like Sacred Hot Stone Massage or Ayurvedic Massage, or opt for facials, manicures, pedicures and sauna. This experience is sure to leave you feeling fresh and rejuvenated for another great day in Pokhara. (For more information, you can call the Head Branch of Mandala Spa in Kathmandu at 014413482/9751004312.)

Get up close with birds of prey, while learning about them at the same time. Parahawking is not just about flying, it is about interacting with the bird of prey as well. Plus, a certain amount from each flight goes towards the funding of a vulture-feeding site. (For more information visit their website at www.parahawking.com)

Standup Paddle
Standup Paddle is for those who are brave enough to do things alone, and also for those who can balance on a board! The best thing about this sport is that you don’t need your friends unless you want someone to cheer you up. This solitary sport is an experience of a lifetime. (For more information, go to page XXX or to book, call Standup Paddle Nepal at 9806601684 / 61463698.)

Maili didi ko Bhanchha Ghar

Drop in for a plate of Thakali daal-bhat at Maili didi ko Bhanchha Ghar, a local eatery that is all about the daal-bhat (the only item available) that this place offers. You can choose the vegetarian set, the set with mutton or the one with chicken curry. The tastes are simple yet delicious. The experience is satisfying for both for your taste buds and your tummy. Also, don’t forget to ask for the extra ghee!


Trek-O-Tel has been around for almost 13 years. Situated right across the Fewa Lake at Lakeside, this hotel has been a favorite for many because of the location and its views. With neat AC rooms, the hotel is here to provide you the best service with friendly staff as you wander around the Lakeside. Or just stay in, sipping coffee at its restaurant and garden. (For more information, contact their Kathmandu office at  01-4410432 or visit www.acehotelsnepal.com/trekotel)

Urban Yeti Tees

The small but artsy showroom for Urban Yeti T-shirts at Lakeside, offers a wide variety of t-shirts with creative designs mostly themed around (yes, you guessed it right) the mysterious yeti! The designs on the t-shirt are fresh and edgy. There is a good range for both men and women.