If you are a travel enthusiast, love mountain sceneries and planning to take a holiday tour shortly, then I would suggest not to miss Nepal. Nepal is nestled in the lap of the great Himalayas with its jaw dropping beauty. Nepal is considered as one of the most spectacular and worth viewing travel destinations in the world. Incomparable natural beauty, daunting mountains, pristine lakes, and scintillating adventures make Nepal a wonderful tourist destination.
Among the range of jaw-dropping tourist destinations in Nepal, the Phewa Lake or Phewa Tal in Pokhara is considered to be one of the major attractions not to miss. This scenic fresh water lake located at a high altitude of 784 m above sea level offers you with a vivid range of activities and experiences. But the area is actually home to a wide range of little-visited attractions like ancient bazaars, stunning temples and beautiful lakes. If you want to make the most out of your visit to Pokhara and the Phewa Lake, I am here to share my experiences.
1. Witness the spectacular sunrise from Phewa Lake
You can’t visit Pokhara without seeing its stunning sunrise. Best is to visit the Phewa lake early morning between 6 and 6.30 am to see the sun rising above the mountains. The lake is quiet and you have the best chances of seeing the Machapuchare & Annapurna mountain ranges.
Riding a typical Nepali boat known, as Doonga is a great option for you to explore the beauty of the serene Phewa Lake. I thoroughly enjoyed my journey across the lake in the beautifully painted boats. The bright and colorful doongas are available on the lakeside in bulk, which you can hire for 450 Rupees an hour or take a stroll along the scenic lakeside walkway either in the early morning, evening or night amid plenty of glow worms creating a divine ambience.
Bring a visit to the Barahi island temple located in the middle of the serene lake water. Inhabited with plenty of pigeons, the small island looks absolutely beautiful and tranquil.
Don’t miss out on this magnificent view during your trip to Phewa as it will be an unforgettable experience for you to cherish throughout.
2. Enjoy lesser known Begnas Tal and Rupa Tal
If you want to get away from the more crowded Phewa Lake then you will definitely enjoy the two lakes located 15 km to the east of Pokhara in Begnas and Rupa Tal. From here you also have magnificent views on the Annapurna Mountain. Rent a boat and enjoy the stunning scenery. If you want to stay overnight, there are a couple of guesthouses in the vicinity.
3. Visit the World Peace Pagoda enroute Phewa
When I went to Phewa Tal, I was delighted to know that a small trek from the shoreline of the lake would lead me to one of the eighty Santhi Stupas or Peace Pagodas on the planet. It is an easy and well-directed trekking trail passing through cozy localities.
The higher you go, the better the view of the peaceful town of Pokhara lying below. On reaching the Pagoda located at a height of 1100 meters, I experienced pure peace and inner enlightenment. Take rounds of this Buddha Stupa in a clock-wise manner as a commitment to practice and spread message of peace and non-violence. On your way spend some time in the cozy roadside cafes and view the glory of Annapurna. If you want to spend the evening in some shopping spree set on a foot trail towards Pardi Bazaar.
4. Enjoy delicious food at these great eateries
Enjoy your breakfast, lunch or dinner at the Freedom Café overlooking Lake Phewa, a wonderful and relaxing place with a great menu. Lakeside-6, Balglad Pame Road, Pokhara.
Another nice restaurant is High Tide. You will simply love your eating session here in a great ambience along with live music. Also don’t forget to buy a cup of fuming coffee from Mike’s Breakfast while enjoying the surrounding views on foot.
5. A hidden gem to stay overnight
This is no doubt Pokhara’s best-kept secret, The Castel Resort. It is located at the far end of the Phewa Lake following a 15-minute trail up the hill. It is an easy hike and really worth the effort!
When arriving at the top of the hill you will see a lovely castle and a rural Nepali farmhouse. The castle is nestled against the backdrop of famous Sarangkot Mountain. From here you also have beautiful views of the lake. The place is quiet with a lovely garden full of flowers and some hammocks where you can relax. You will feel at home immediately. Oh yeah, and they also have a swimming pool. The food they serve is typical Nepali food and is out of this world. You will definitely enjoy this lovely place.
6. Enjoy trekking in the beautiful surroundings of Pokhara
Most travelers are not only coming to Pokhara to enjoy this lovely place, but also to do a trekking and it is truly stunning to do a one-day hike or even several days. Trek alongside beautiful golden rice terraces and the vast expanse of the Annapurna Mountain range. Pass through magnificent rhododendron forests in which various species of bird’s nest, meet the warm-hearted and hospitable Gurung people and enjoy the wonderful vistas these trekkings provide. If you are looking for a great travel guide then meet Bhakti who can take you for a great 2-day hike up to the Australian Camp or do a 3-day hike with Min to the Sarangkot and Dhampus Pedi. For more information about trekking in Nepal check out KimKim that provides some good up-to-date trekking information.
7. Immerse in local Nepali Life
If you really want to stay off the beaten track then enjoying the lovely farm of Deepak and his wife is a great option. Deepak is also a trekking guide who can show you the beautiful surroundings. You have the chance to really immerse in local Nepali life, help with planting and harvesting crops or taking care of the animals. You can also just relax and soak-up the peaceful environment. His farm is located in Dhital, not far from Pokhara.
Being a snowy abode of the intimidating Himalayas Nepal has always been the fantasy of mountaineers, adventurers, travel enthusiasts and nature fanatics. Pokhara and the Phewa Lake are a must see on your Nepal holiday trip. The best times to visit the region are the autumn peak season (late September to late November) and during the spring (February to mid-April).
So, get ready to explore this serene destination and bring home a bagful of thrilling memories.