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Outdoor Activities in Pokhara, Nepal: Adventure City Guide

Want to try paragliding or trekking? Then why not check out the Outdoor Activities in Pokhara, Nepal with our handy Adventure City Guide.

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Outdoor Activities in Pokhara

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.

Kayaking - Outdoor Activities in Pokhara

Kayaking – Outdoor Activities in Pokhara

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

Peace Pagoda

Travel Tips: Walk

Cost: Free (if you walk through the jungle without a guide, or take a boat for 300Rp)

Peace Pagoda - Outdoor Activities in Pokhara

Peace Pagoda – Outdoor Activities in Pokhara

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).

Outdoor Activities in Pokhara, Nepal

Outdoor Activities in Pokhara, Nepal

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.

Outdoor Activities in Pokhara

Outdoor Activities in Pokhara

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!

Sunrise at Sarangkot - Outdoor Activities in Pokhara

Sunrise at Sarangkot – Outdoor Activities in Pokhara

Paragliding

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

ParaHawking: www.parahawking.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.

Hiking in Nepal - Outdoor Activities in Pokhara

Hiking in Nepal – Outdoor Activities in Pokhara

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.”

BIO:

Outdoor Activities in Pokhara, Nepal

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?

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Dariece - Goats On The Road

    August 15, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    Great post! We also love, love Nepal and spent about 2 weeks in Pokhara after our trek through the Himalayas. There’s so much to do in Pokhara and the views of the mountains from some of the hotels are fabulous!

  2. Quyen

    August 15, 2013 at 6:46 PM

    Wow, Nepal is definitely a dream destination for me. Great tips!

  3. Kristy of Family Visa

    August 16, 2013 at 1:34 AM

    The view of the mountain on the last picture is truly amazing! I think all of your hard work are paid off seeing that awesome creation Lisa.

  4. Peter Lee

    August 16, 2013 at 7:33 AM

    Pokhara is so beautiful, I have realised today. I have included Pokhara in my bucket list.

  5. Jeff

    August 18, 2013 at 10:20 PM

    This is real fun. Hiking is my hobby and i will love to visit Pokhara to have real fun too.

  6. Yenny Lee

    September 4, 2013 at 4:18 PM

    I am not exactly into trekking and hiking but I think Pokhara will still be a good destination if I want to take pictures and do sightseeing. The place is so majestic in your photos. How much more if I see it for real?

  7. Travel Buddy

    September 24, 2013 at 6:43 AM

    The photo of sunrise in Sarangkok is really breath taking, I’d love to wake up to see that view.

  8. Pete R.

    January 30, 2014 at 4:41 PM

    Your love for Pokhara is similar to mine as well. The mountains! I went there to trek the whole Annapurna Base Camp for 7 days 3 months ago and I was hooked. It was my first trek ever, and to up the ante, I decided to trek without a guide or a porter. I also always thought I would be a bad trekker, but as it turns out , I survived, without getting lost. I think that’s a pretty good result for a first timer. 🙂

    You should definitely go back for the whole trail. It’s beautiful beyond words.

  9. Subigya

    December 20, 2014 at 12:20 AM

    I had hiked from Devis falls to shanti stupa about a year ago with some friends. It was a company outing. Had a great time seeing the eye-pleasing scenaries all throughout the way. Highly recommended to everyone.

  10. LM Bhusal

    December 30, 2014 at 8:13 PM

    I am so glad that you visited my country.But i would like to inform you that there other awesome places besides Pokhara.

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Adventure Travel

WHY WE LOVE TRAVELLING IN ANTIPOLO (AND YOU SHOULD, TOO)

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Antipolo is one of the seven most popular cities in Philippines which is located in the province of Rizal. The city of Antipolo is famous for being a pilgrimage site and is popularly known as the “pilgrimage site of Philippines”. Being the heritage city of the country Antipolo holds many beautiful and amazing places where you can explore your travel buds. The main and the enshrined attraction of the place is the marine image of the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage present in the Antipolo museum which was brought from Mexico during the year 1626.

There are many beautiful and extravagant places present in the beautiful city of the Antipolo where one can easily find peace and can explore the beauty of Philippines, the Antipolo style.  The city consists of many historic and natural sites which will blow your mind off and are worth visiting. We have some tourist attractions in Antipolo where you can go exploring with your friends or family or even alone.

Antipolo Cathedral: – Being the most historic and antique church present in the city the Antipolo church is widely famous for its renowned icon, the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage. The church is located in the proper town and every year on the month of May Antipolo becomes the centre of attraction for many of the visitors and tourists who travel from faraway lands and locals in order to pay homage to the Our Lady.

Boso Boso church: – This church is mostly a remnant of a centuries old church which was destroyed during the Second World War. This beautiful remnant of the church belongs to the Spanish era that dominated the country of Philippines that for more than 300 years. It was constructed in the year 1700 under the Jesuits. After getting destroyed by earthquake in 1800, the church was abandoned in the 1930 and got into a fire scandal in the year 1945; it got restored back by the government in the year 1995. If you are a great lover of history and past things this place might fascinate you.

Hinulugang Taktak: – The name of the place means “where the bell was dropped”, is a waterfall that was designated by the government of Philippines as a national park. The mesmerizing waterfall got its interesting name due to a turn of event down the history. The priest of the nearby church on the demand of the town people had thrown the church bell into the river as it was causing unwanted sound in the town every time it rang during the Angelus.

Mystical Cave: – The cave is named as mystical because one can see the several religious images that appear inside the cave. Mostly the images are in stalactite and stalagmite formations that mainly resembles religious Gods. The cave consists of two floors but the visitors are allowed to explore the first one without permission.

Pinto Art Museum: – If you adore art and paintings and want to connect with the Antipolo’s culture then this art museum is an amazing chance you to get connected with the locals. The museum mainly displays the art, sculptures and paintings of the local artist bringing out the cultural background of the place.

Not only have these amazing historic places given you a clear image of the Antipolo’s beauty and history but there is a little more than just places that you will find fascinating. As the city of Antipolo is situated in a higher elevation than the Metro Manila, it gives you a breathtaking view of the metropolis at night, which is a sight to behold in the ancient city. In order to stay in the city you can easily find vacation home in Antipolo Philippines where you can stay and enjoy of your own.

Not only just places the city of Antipolo provides you exquisite food choices to make your taste buds go bananas or you can have fresh locally grown mangoes and cashews. The most famous dish in the city is the Suman, which is normally a local delicacy that is made from glutinous rice.

Antipolo is a breathtaking place hidden in the depth of Philippines with a mesmerizing history and culture. It will not only make you fall in love with itself but also will make your eyes reach with beauty.

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Adventure Travel

Top of Cappadocia day trek – with Middle Earth Travel

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Top of Cappadocia day trek with Middle Earth Travel

Trekking through the valleys of Cappadocia’s fairy chimneys with Middle Earth Travel feels more like the set of a Star Wars movie than a historical region once carved out and lived in by humans. Churches, homes and pigeon houses are scattered throughout the valleys, all waiting to be explored. The best part is, Middle Earth Travel know all the hidden secrets.

Standing at the top of Cappadocia

Top of Cappadocia day trek – with Middle Earth Travel

On the 26th of July (which just so happens to be my birthday!) Middle Earth Travel took us on their private and guided Top of Cappadocia day trek. From Pasabag, along the top of Cappadocia and down through the Gulludere Rose Valley to Goreme, we trekked 15kms in one day! (We recommend getting your bearings with this map)

Upon arrival to the Middle Earth Offices, we were warmly greeted by our new friend Atil whom we had met a few days earlier while mountain biking through the Kizilcukur Red Valley. We were then introduced to our guide and given a briefing regarding the day. Normally, the Top of Cappadocia tour would start from Çavuşin, however, since we had already explored Çavuşin Castle, they adapted our tour to compensate ensuring we would explore new terrain!

With charged cameras, plenty of water and our running shoes on, we were driven to our starting point of Pasabag. We wandered through the fairy chimneys, coming across camels and markets – then the true hike began.

Pasabag in Cappadocia

The police station in Pasabag, Cappadocia

Camel in Pasabag, Cappadocia

Camel in Pasabag, Cappadocia

It was a slow and gentle incline. With no trees to provide shade, I quickly realised why our tour guide had chosen to wear fully covered clothing! As the sweat quickly set in (a waterfall in Moss’s case) we snapped away with our cameras and enjoyed the entertaining shapes of Imagine Valley and the amazing view. We also passed a lot of rock piles, which according to our guide mean ‘father’ and are built to help lead the way.

Animal shaped formations in Imagine Valley

Animal shaped formations in Imagine Valley

Middle Earth Travel, Cappadocia

Making our way to the top of Cappadocia

Father leading the way (rock pile)

Father leading the way (rock pile)

The higher we trekked, the more breath taking the views became! As we walked along the summit of Bozdag mountain (the Top of Cappadocia) we could see EVERTHING – Pasabag, Çavuşin Castle, Kizilcukur Red Valley, Gulludere Rose Valley and Goreme. We were on the Father of Valleys! After a quick nod of agreement to the guide, we pushed ourselves the extra distance and made our way to the flag, as this HAD to be the highest point and was definitely worth a photo and a selfie or two!

View from the top of Cappadocia

View from the top of Cappadocia

Flag at top of Cappadocia

From the flag we looked down upon Aktepe Hill which is known as a popular destination for watching the sun set and could spot Kizilvadi Restaurant, our destination for lunch! Kizilvadi Restaurant is an attraction of its own. With its own historic winery and Grape church, plus some Middle Earth Travel treks even stay there for the night! After having a massive feed of soup, salad and pasta plus a surprise birthday cake, we made our way down into Gulludere Rose Valley.

Kizilvadi Restaurant

Kizilvadi Restaurant

The scenery is amazing, with strong colours visible in perfect layers on the chimneys, you would wonder what an artist was thinking, had it been a painting. Also, hidden to the side of the track we walked across a little bridge and not expecting anything to be there we were wowed by the massive church carved. It was absolutely huge and hard to believe that its most recent use has been as a pigeon house!

Coloured chimneys in Cappadocia

Coloured chimneys in Cappadocia

Pigeon houses in Cappadocia

Pigeon houses in Cappadocia

Church in Gulludere Rose Valley

Hard to believe this Church is carved inside a fairy chimney!

Middle Earth Travel Review

  • The team at Middle Earth Travel were extremely knowledgeable and certainly know Cappadocia’s hidden secrets. They have friendships with local tea garden owners which is also of benefit as it gained us entry to locked churches and hidden rooms that we would not have otherwise seen.
  • We covered a lot of ground, however we did not feel rushed. The whole day focused on showing us the region, therefore we had as much time as we needed to explore each church and to take ‘just one more photo’.
  • It wasn’t all about trekking. With a whole day and 15kms to cover, there were a few silly poses (especially in Imagine Valley), and we learnt a lot about the myths, legends and way of life in Cappadocia.
  • In conclusion I highly recommend Middle Earth Travel if you wish to go trekking or mountain biking in Cappadocia.
  • Cost: Day treks with Middle Earth Travel range from 50-90 euro, depending on the number of people taking part. This includes lunch, guide, vehicle transfers and entrance fees to historical sites, but excludes alcoholic and soft drinks.
  • Middle Earth Travel are outdoor enthusiasts and offer multi-day over night treks, mountain biking, abseiling, or custom made itineraries, in multiple regions throughout Turkey.
  • www.middleearthtravel.com

Disclaimer: We were provided with a discount for the trek with Middle Earth Travel, however, as always our thoughts on our adventure travel blog our own.

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Adventure Travel

Tibet Cycling: The Complete Guide to Lhasa to Ganden Monastery Cycling Tour

Tibet Cycling: The Complete Guide to Lhasa to Ganden Monastery Cycling Tour

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Tibet appeals to travellers in many ways. The first and most important thing is the beautiful natural scenery. However, Tibet is a bit different from the other scenic spots. There is a charm to this place, which is not found anywhere. Travellers have a mind which wanders and loves to explore new things. They can get this experience for their Tibet travel as the various associated activities can completely thrill them. From photography to trekking and cycling, the options never seem to end.

Almost everyone is well acquainted with the various joys of cycling in Tibet, the atmosphere is absolutely perfect. Tourists can pass through several spots and they can enjoy every bit of this beautiful natural land. Cycling happens on various routes and these routes have to be understood thoroughly. In this article, we will discuss about the cycling tour to Ganden Monastery from Lhasa and provide you every detail that you need.

Why travel to Ganden Monastery?

Tibetan Buddhism has a unique appeal which calms the soul of all wanderers. They are struck by wanderlust and the monasteries in Tibet, offer them something to cherish about forever. For those who love religious places, Tibet has plenty of offerings. The monasteries, the temples and the rituals, Tibet’s heritage have always echoed through the ages.  This brings us to Ganden Monastery, which is truly a magical place. It is an absolute wonder in front of the eyes and the viewers are left completely captivated. This was the very first monastery, which laid the foundation of Tibetan Buddhism. The vast expanse of land on Tibet’s western site is absolutely heavenly. Emperor Yongzheng who was from Qing Dynasty gave a very special name to this monastery and called it “Yong Tai”. Situated at a height of 3,800m from the sea’s level, the elevation is majestic. Lagyi Hall, Angyiukang, Yangbagyain Hall are the major construction in this monastery.

Located 47Km away from the capital city of Lhasa, this monastery witnesses a huge influx of people every year. This is an important structure as far as Tibet’s cultural heritage is conserved and it is preserved for this reason. The cultural and artistic significance is terrific and Ganden will always be the centre of Tibet’s attraction. It joins the famous Sera Monastery in a unique list, which also features Drepung Monastery. These three temples are considered “great” and the visitors value them greatly. Tibetan Buddhism features many activities and some of them are grand and marvellous. Once in a year, a giant picture of Buddha is unfolded and it easily attracts disciples from all parts of the country. Cycling to this monastery can provide a great experience, but you must follow the basic guidelines. Once these points are followed, your trip will not only be great, it will be perfect.

Highlights of the amazing cycling tour from Lhasa to Ganden Monastery

Cyclists are of different types and they begin their journey, by having different trips in their minds. We have introduced trips of various lengths and they are tailor-made for each type of traveller. Some people can opt for the short and customized tour, while, others can choose the longer version. The distance from Tibet’s Lhasa to this amazing monastery can vary slightly, depending on the route taken. Cyclists have to travel 60Km to reach their destination and not much difficulty is faced in the process.  Don’t forget to be in a relaxed mood, as you take this trip. Lhasa is a great spot to be in the right frame of mind and two days can be easily spent here.  The famous trip begins from Lhasa River and cyclists go upstream.  Picturesque villages and some amazing farmlands fall between that and they are just perfect. Reaching Ganden is easy and once you reach here, your soul will be touched by a positive vibe. The environment is filled with peacefulness and everything seems perfect here. One night can be spent here to soak in the feeling. The return journey can start next day and Chubuxi village falls in the route. Tibet is all about the unique lifestyle of the locals and this is something you can’t afford to miss.  From Chubuxi, the trekking trip to Samye commences.

The most classic 6 days Lhasa and Ganden Monastery Bike tour, you will enjoy the cycling joy and Tibet wonderful natural landscape and Tibetan monasteries architecture. Most tourists can complete this short ride after relaxing yourself in Lhasa for two days. The ride route begains upstream along the Lhasa River, and you will pass some farmlands and small villages. Then arrive in Gandan monastery, one of six Gelug sect monasteries, and worship this famous monastery. Then you are expected to spend a night at Gandan monastery to experience the peaceful environment. Next day, you will head back to Lhasa, and visit Chubuxi village at the foot of Gandan monastery. On the way you can experience the daily life of local people. Moreover, Chubuxi village is the starting point of Ganden to Samye trek. Finally we move back to Lhasa and the ride ends.

Tackling the changing altitude on the way to Ganden Monastery

The altitude in Lhasa is about 3600m, and that of Ganden Monastery is 3800m. There is no strict change of altitude, so it’s relatively easy for travellers who want to try short cycling in Tibet.  Cycling is a strenuous activity and it can take a toll on your health. That being said, cycling in the rough terrains of Tibet is even more challenging. Ganden is situated high above the normal sea level and this steep rise can often weaken cyclists. The high altitude woes will continue, if proper precaution is not taken. Carrying additional oxygen cylinders is a must and this should be done in advance. The temperature changes greatly and travellers should also be aware of this. However, if you choose us for this trip, everything becomes easier. The freezing months can pose a far bigger threat and that should be avoided at all costs.

The perfect time to take Lhasa – Ganden Monastery cycle tour

Tibet embraces every season fabulously, though the conditions are not favourable every time. Travellers and especially cyclists must understand the timing absolutely well. If the activity is done in a pleasant month instead of the harsh winter, the fun can increase manifold. The best time for cycling is from May to October because good weather and temparature. The other months can be targeted as well, but the safety issues become important in the hilly roads.

Getting the Tibet Travel Permit – How can we help?

Exploring Tibet is a fun activity, but Tibet travel permits matter greatly. Foreign travellers must fulfil the necessary travel guidelines to get in this region and we can help you from all sides. We make the process easier, by getting you the right documents at the right time.

What to pack for this cycle tour? – Bicycle Rent and Other Tips

Taking the most essential things can do the job here. The all-important ID card and travel permit is absolutely essential and it gets the first priority. Take a medium-sized backpack to put in your things and pack it with the right kind of warm clothes. Waist packs also come in handy, as they store many important things. This is a place where you will see high elevation, so oxygen should be there in abundance. Avoid getting sunburn by taking a good sun-screen cream or lotion and lastly don’t miss out on the medicines. Helmets and other cycling wear can be taken, as it is very essential. The bicycle can be rented easily and it is supplied by the tour operator itself. An important trip in this aspect would be to prepare for the changing weather. It can stay sunny or it can rain, so plan accordingly.

The challenges in Tibet are quite tough, but it will gift you an experience, which you will not forget in a long time. Cycling here is precious and it is an important aspect that strengthens Tibet’s tourism.

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