You might think you’ve been everywhere in Pokhara! On your next visit, check out this list and see if you’ve been to these interesting spots.
Nestled in the hills about an hour’s drive from Lakeside lies the serene, accommodating stretch of teashops and lodges and the take off point for the Annapurna Base Camp trek. There isn’t much to see in Hemja itself but the drive there is exceptionally lovely with roads stretched for miles and evenings are the best for a nice drive down cornfields and old-fashioned mud-and-straw huts. Be sure to stop at the Tibetan Refugee Camp on the way for yummy servings of lovely momos and lafing. Once in Hemja, try a cup of their hot farm-fresh dudh-chiya at one of the many teashops there; it’ll certainly freshen you up!
Once an unknown spot, Khapaudi is quickly turning into one of the most-frequented destinations in Pokhara. Tired of the noisy Lakeside buzz, locals and tourists alike have started flocking to this more serene and tranquil haven laced with greenery and pitched right next to the calm Fewa lake. Eating fish is a must here and Duna Tapari do the best Nepali-styled BBQ fish you will ever taste in Pokhara. Grab a chilled beer and watch high-flying paragliders and eagles glide across the sky in the evening. If you crave a spicy snack, try the family-run Newari restaurant Khya, which is the perfect spot for a sundowner.
This one’s a bit of a strange choice but you will definitely enjoy this spot. The Powerhouse lies on the way to the popular Devi’s Fall: a 2-minute-drive from the main road. After going down steps almost at 90 degrees (of course, you gotta walk back up too when returning!), there won’t seem like there’s much to do except for a picnic but walk further up to the next hill and after about 15 minutes, you will reach the lovely Bahun village which is a wondrous thing in its own right Opt to picnic here instead while gazing down at the speedy rivers below and the endless greenery surrounding the waters. Also, try and cross the suspension bridge to reach yet another lovely village if you have the time and energy.
It’s a sad fact that the once-bustling hub of Damside is now almost neglected by tourists and has morphed into a sleepy street lined with sekuwa-houses and small grocery shops mostly frequented by locals looking for a place to indulge in cheap booze. Damside obviously hasn’t lost its beauty and if you do happen to go there, check out the Don’t Pass Me By Restaurant and try their Spaghetti Napolitana (they do an awesome marinara!) if they’re serving (they sometimes don’t). Grab a beer and sit in their large wooden chairs and relax in their magnificent garden.
It’s been about five years since tiny, cute, and cozy cafes and restaurants have started blooming right next to the lake and it’s the best place for sundowners while enjoying the perfect view of the lake and the sunset while penning a poem or harboring solipsistic musings. Mike’s Breakfast do the best breakfasts at Lakeside if you’re thinking of going in the morning. Just try their lovely quesadillas!
Movie at the Midtown Galleria
If you happen to be in Pokhara for more than a week and have already seen and done everywhere, you will long for an hour or two at the movies and where better than this new hotspot at New Road (about 10 minutes drive from Lakeside). They have a slick, modern building with two theaters that feature a range of Nepali, Hindi and Hollywood films. There’s a trendy bustling coffee shop on the ground floor and if you feel like it, treat yourself to a facial at the ultra-savvy salon on the 1st floor!
You may not be the religious type but visit the legendary Bindabasini Mandir anyway to soak in the ever present smell of incense, butter-lamps, and puja-offerings. Surrounding the Mandir is the old market with old-fashioned stores that sell everything from puja-offerings to chic, modern clothing. Try one of the many bustling tea shops there and enjoy some fresh, yum sel-rotis and dudh-chiya. Or try heavenly sweets at any of the Marwadi sweetshops there.