Are you looking for an insider’s adventure travel guide for the best outdoor activities in Pokhara, Nepal?
As part of our Adventure City Guide series, Lisa from We Said Go Travel shares with you her expert insider tips on the top adventure and outdoor activities to do in Pokhara; including how to get there and costs.
Why visit Pokhara for adventure?
When most people think about Nepal, their first thought is of climbing Mount Everest. While this high altitude mountain trekking has been a main draw for hundreds of years, after two months there, Pokhara is my top choice for adventure in Nepal. Set on a large lake, the town is small, accessible and filled with opportunities.
Adventure Activities to do in Pokhara
Travel Tips: Walk
Cost: Free (if you walk through the jungle without a guide, or take a boat for 300Rp)
At Fewa taal (Fewa Lake), the second largest lake in Nepal, you can rent a boat to paddle around or take the service to the other side to climb up to the Peace Pagoda. We choose to walk through the jungle and ignored the touts offering us their guiding service. Two soldiers in uniform called out to us to stop.
They said it was not safe for us to walk through the jungle so they would accompany us to the Peace Pagoda. It does say in the Lonely Planet that there have been a few serious incidents with solo travelers on this walk. They were enjoyable company and taught us many words in Nepali. The view from the top is spectacular and we enjoyed our day. We came back by stairs and boat (300Rp or $3.50usd).
Sunrise at Sarangkot
Travel Tips: Walk up the hill and stay overnight
Cost: Free if you walk up and back and do not go to viewing platform. Staying overnight ranges from 900Rp and up.
For Sunrise at Sarangkot, we left Pokhara by foot the day before. The four-hour uphill climb was mainly on a stone staircase and takes you from the Lake at 884m to the view point at 1590m. We were preparing for our upcoming treks and it was a perfect day hike. You can also go by taxi or motorbike.
Staying at Sherpa Resort (www.sherparesort.com) made more sense to me as it had a mountain view, nearly all the other lodges had a view of the lake. This lodge has great wifi, restaurant, rooftop views and you can see sunrise over the Himalayas without going to the viewing platform, which can get crowded and has asmall entry fee. From Sarangkot, the sunrises over views of Annapurna South and Machhapuchhare (Fish Tail) if there are no clouds. We had a clear sky and memorable vistas.
I highly recommend it!
Travel Tips: Go now. We heard that within five years you will no longer be able to paraglide in Pohkara.
Cost: 20 minute (80Euros) and 45 minute (120Euros) para-gliding experience options
Website: Blue Sky Paragliding www.paragliding-nepal.com
Do you want to glide through the air with a backdrop of the Himalayas? This is the place and now is the time. There are seventeen paragliding outfits to choose from and five years left to enjoy it. As Max, a trained paragliding instructor from Italy, explained to us, a new international airport is slated for the area. Once it is operational, the paragliding will not be allowed in the area above Pohkara at Sarangkot.
There are 20 minute (80Euros) and 45 minute (120Euros) para-gliding experience options as well as pilot courses, multiday paratrekking and parahawking, where a hawk eats out of your gloved hand while you soar through the sky.
Best time of the year to visit Pokhara for adventure?
Travel in Nepal is busiest from September-October, with the best weather. During our stay from early February to mid-April, the early part was cold and rainy, March or April would be the best time to visit.
Finally, the reason I love Pokhara for adventure is because…
of the mountains. At first, I was afraid to go to Nepal as I did not think I would be able to trek. After eight days trekking outside of Pokhara at Poon Hill, I can say I am a good trekker even surviving a late Winter rain which gave us one day in snow and ice in the Tadapani pass to Ghandruk. We took the public bus from Pohkara to Nayapul (42 kilometers) to start our adventure and had no guide or porter.
Namaste Yeti Trekking Shop run by Kamal and Sushita rented us all our gear and sold us fleeces to keep us warm. Pricing in Pokhara unlike Kathmandu is standardized by the TESA (Trekking Equipment Shop Association). A microfleece set is 850Rp (83 rp to $1usd), and it is 100Rp/per day for down jacket. 80Rp/day for sleeping bag, 60Rp/day for trekking poles. Trekking permits for two people costs nearly $100usd and there are several check points. Overall we had good food and accomodation and the trail was easy to follow.
Get involved in Pokhara: I highly recommend eating at Everest Momo which started serving in December 2012. Their tagline says: “The Momo Addiction starts here!” I asked for more information from Prem, he told me, “This PEP Nepal Youth empowerment income source generating program is supported by Purna Yoga and Treks and Team 5 Nepal who opened a Momo house so that trekking porters have a job in the off season and can make some money.” Order vegetarian (45rp), cheese (75rp), Buff(50rp) or chicken (70rp) momo but they also have chow mein and delivery service. Personally I love the cheese momo, they reminded me of cheese tortellini. The food tastes better on their environmentally friendly leaf plates made from the ancient Nepalese technology “Tapari.”
Lisa Niver Rajna is a passionate writer, speaker and global citizen who has traveled to over one hundred countries and six continents. She and her husband, George, co-authors of Traveling in Sin, are spending a sabbatical year in Asia, follow their journey at We Said Go Travel.
Have you visited Pokhara or Nepal before? What are your favourite Outdoor Activities in Pokhara?
Is It Time to Find a New You at a Thailand Retreat?
If you feel like you a lacking a little direction, or that you have become lost in the hustle and bustle of your faced paced life, do not despair. There is hope. Spend too much time buried by work and inevitably the world will grind you down, but it needn’t. You can do something about it. The answer is a lot simpler than you may think (and more affordable, too).
You have to act though. Indifference or accepting that nothing will change will result in exactly that, nothing changing. What you need to do is interrupt your life and take a step back. Now this doesn’t mean falling off the radar, or a sudden change in your career. You just need to invest a little of your own time in yourself and book yourself into a personal development course at a Thailand retreat.
Isn’t That Strange?
No, it isn’t. Again, you are not changing the world in which you live, rather you are looking to change how you live in the world. A getaway at a retreat can help you do this. So, lose the negativity and cynicism and think about the possibilities for a moment. If you feel strange about going alone, why not round up your best buddies and go together? (Click here for more guy adventure tips)
A Little Self-Therapy
If you work hard, and feel constantly exhausted, at some point things are going to get even worse – be that your physical or mental health. By looking after both your body and mind and learning healthy practices at a retreat, you’ll fortify both your mind and body ready for the rigours of daily life once you return to it. The techniques, practices and understandings that you will gain by attending a Thailand retreat will help you to not only cope, but to thrive. It is like learning a shortcut to happiness that many simply do not know about. Brilliant right?!
Burnout is a real problem in society, and prevention is a much better solution than trying to find a cure. It is likely that you will have to keep working in your employment and that life will throw all manner of things at you as you battle onward, but learning to cope whilst smiling, with a stronger fortitude and greater will to succeed is a more certain way of becoming a success before you become a casualty.
Through mindfulness practice, physical activity such as yoga and stretching, and incorporating meditation, you are adapting a holistic approach to your own health, happiness and self-development. This can help you become mentally stronger, physical fitter, more at ease with yourself and life, and aware of the world in which you live. You can actually learn to live rather than exist. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?
Life begins at the very edge of your comfort zone, on the outskirts of familiarity and away from your normal habits and routine. Rather than shun it, or even fear it, you can learn to embrace, experience and even enjoy it too. This isn’t changing what you do, but how you do it. It isn’t changing who you are, it is letting you become the true you, unleashing your full potential.
A Thailand retreat based around health and self-development puts your wellbeing at the very heart of the programme. This isn’t self-indulgent but rather self-fulfilment; letting your life exist beyond the limits of your expectations. It is time for you to look after yourself that little bit better.
Preparing A Holiday With An Anxious Relative
As much as you love going on holiday and planning a trip to a region of the world that you don’t know, it can be a little frustrating to travel with relatives or friends who are naturally nervous about discovering new things. You know the kind: They won’t try exotic food in a restaurant, in case it wouldn’t agree with their stomach. They look at your travel pictures with envy but always find an excuse not to join you on your next adventure. And more importantly, they try to avoid travelling abroad if they can at all help it. Be kind before you launch into criticism. They can’t help feeling anxious about everything. And maybe, if you want to help them relax a little, it’s your responsibility to make travelling as easy and enjoyable as possible. However, you’re in luck, because we can help you with that. All it takes is a little bit of planning and thinking ahead to get them sorted.
Get informed at first
If your friend or relative doesn’t travel often, the best thing you want to do is to convince them to come on a trip with you that is poorly planned. First things first: It’s about defining when it the best time to visit your destination of choice. You wouldn’t want to accidentally pick the monsoon season when going to a tropical country, for instance. That’s exactly what this handy website is about : It helps you to find out when is the best time to visit where with monthly weather overview based on observations from the previous years. In short, if you’re travelling with someone who hates being cold, you can direct them towards countries that are warm in winter, for example. As silly as it might sound, knowing what kind of weather to expect can be a great help for a nervous adventurer: Knowing what to pack is already a step out of the unknown zone.
Get the health check
You can’t easily decide to travel to any country without planning. For health reasons, there is a number of regions in the world that require vaccinations to keep you safe. You’d better keep yourself informed of the health requirements in advance, as some vaccinations need to be started up to 2 months before your departure. The typical countries where you’d be expecting additional health vaccines tend to be around the south and south-east Asia. Hepatitis A and B is a common risk in Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, China, and even the Fiji. In India, you need to be aware of risks of rabies and Japanese encephalitis in addition to more common vaccinations. You also need to ensure that you and your relative are up to date with routine immunisations such as tetanus and diphtheria. The bottom line is that even though there are little risks for cautious travellers, you don’t want to take any chance.
Do you need authorisation?
If your friend or relative has only travelled to safe and known areas, such as Europe for instance, they may not be aware that certain countries require visitors from abroad to apply for a visa, aka an official authorization to entry the country. If you intend to visit Belarus, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine, you will need to apply for a visa, which can take several weeks and require an official letter of recommendation from your destination hotel. Visiting South Africa, North America also require a visa, as well as some areas of Asia. Additionally, you need to ensure that you have free pages for control stamps in your passport. It might sound stressful at first, but it’s something that you can easily clarify in advance so that you don’t need to worry about it during your trip.
Protect your holiday
The main reason a lot of people feel anxious about travelling abroad is that they worry that anything might happen to them while they’re outside of the country. The fear of not knowing how to sort out common health and finances issues forces a lot of people to stay at home while they should be thinking about travel insurance instead. If your friend or relative is worried about falling ill on holiday or about losing valuable items abroad, you should take a look at standard travel policies to ensure that you can find an appropriate answer to their worries. From overseas travel insurance to snow sports insurance, you can find a lot of options to cover for most accidental situations smoothly and easily. More often than not, you can get an expert insurer to define the best-suited policy for your holiday. This will save you a lot of time searching as an insurer will be able to rely on the data of previous travellers to advise you.
Know how to spend the time
But I can’t travel to India: It’s a long flight, and I’ll get bored!
If that’s the kind of comments you get, you can reassure your friend or relative immediately: There are plenty of solutions that stop you from getting bored during your long journeys. Reading always is a good idea, especially if you’ve got a Kindle so that you can fill it with several books to keep yourself occupied while travelling. Some people might prefer audiobooks, however, if you’ve got a long flight, you’re likely to want to use earplugs and rest your senses. There are also plenty of online games that you can play with a smartphone, so it’s impossible to get bored!
Not one for tech gadgets? A simple crossword or sudoku book can do the trick and keep you busy until you’ve reached your destination. If you’re sitting aside, nothing is stopping you from playing a card game or a small board game. In short, getting bored is not a fatality!
Get a guidebook
How do you know about the best places and monuments to see when you’re visiting a new place? It’s obvious: You get a guidebook like every other traveller. Guidebooks might sound old-fashioned, but they are filled with useful information about an area, from where to stay to what to see. More importantly, you get a detailed breakdown of prices, which makes it a lot easier to plan your trip. As a traveller puts it, in a guidebook you find information that you didn’t know you needed, which helps you to prepare the best you can for your holiday. Besides, you can be sure that gathering knowledge about your destination will be handy to reassure your nervous co-traveller. Knowledge remains, after all, the best weapon against the unknown.
Do you need to know the language?
Most travellers would tell you that speaking English is enough to get by in any destination of the world. However; you need to be aware of one important fact: Just because English is the proxy language by definition, it doesn’t mean that everyone will understand you. A lot of people don’t speak English at all, and therefore you’ll need to be able to ask for directions or a cup of coffee in the local lingo. Why does it matter? You don’t need to be fluent to ask for things you need abroad, but you can be sure that locals are more likely to help and understand if you say it in their language. More often than not, you can get by with a simple phrasebook, from ordering food in a restaurant to finding the way to the art museum.
Prepare a visit plan
What if your friend would agree to go on a holiday but doesn’t know where to? You could inspire them with a list of the most wonderful sites to visit in the world. Stonehenge in England is a great destination for history lovers to enjoy the mysteries of the past. You can even organise walking among the famous stones on specific days! If you want to take their breath away with a fascinating historical site, try to Pyramids of Giza in Egypt. If you want to seduce a nature-lover, take them to the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, which is the world’s largest mirror. Or you could visit the Great Blue Hole in Belize, which is 407 feet deep and can be easily seen from above – no need to dive, thankfully!
Decide on a budget in advance
Let’s be honest: Most people avoid travelling because they’re afraid of spending too much on the go. In reality, it all comes down to clever planning: If you know in advance where you’re going to stay and what’s around to see and visit, you can plan your budget accordingly. Of course, there will always be the unexpected expenses in the form of a cocktail night at the local bar, or a really cute jumper that you simply couldn’t live further without. But for all these, you can rely on a budget app such as Trail Wallet to keep track of your expenses throughout the day. In a few clicks, you can get an overview of how much you can afford and how much you’ve already paid.
In conclusion, the secret to turning a travel-anxious friend into a travel-happy holidaymaker is to share your planning secrets with them. Yes, travelling takes a lot of preps. But it means they can enjoy their trip with their mind at peace!
Top 5 Things to See in Dubai on Your Next Holiday
Dubai has quickly become a top destination for travelers from around the world. It offers an impressive mixture of the best of modern architecture, stunning scenery and is a shopper’s paradise. So, what are the top things to see during your holiday to Dubai?
You can’t miss the Burj Khalifa when you visit Dubai – at 828 meters high, it is the world’s tallest tower and dominates the city’s skyline. But the building is far more than admiring. There is an observation deck on level 124 that is a must-see part of visiting the city while At The Top Sky Lounge is on level 148. If you want a meal amid the clouds, At.mosphere on level 122 offers quality meals.
Another impressive man-made wonder of Dubai, Palm Jumeirah is a palm shaped man-made island and one of the largest artificial islands in the world. It is home to a host of high quality hotels including the Waldorf Astoria and the Atlantis, The Palm. It also has its own monorail that runs along the ‘trunk’ of the tree to connect it with the mainland.
The Dubai Mall
As well as enjoying the glamour of Dubai on your next holiday, you can also enjoy some of the highest quality shopping. The Dubai Mall is more than just a shopping mall – there are 1200 shops, 150 restaurants, an indoor theme park, a waterfall, ice rink and even an aquarium and underwater zoo. It takes shopping to a whole new level!
The Dubai Fountain
Standing outside the Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Fountain is equally impressive and stands at the entrance to the Dubai Mall. It is the world’s largest choregraphed fountain system reached 150 meters high with colorful, illuminated jet sprays that are timed to various musical pieces. There are two shows a day on afternoons and evenings so plenty of chances to watch it in action.
Dubai is the epitome of a modern city but that’s not to say there isn’t history amid the stunning skyscrapers. Dubai Creek is the heart of the old city, where the original Bani Yas tribe settled. Here they started the pearl diving and fishing trades and the area slowly built into a trade center. Now you can visit the gold, textile and spice souks as well as take a ride in a traditional abra boat. It is also great value at just AED1 for a ticket.
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We have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...
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