Pokhara & Lake Begnas, Nepal
Pokhara is a beautiful town on the lake with great nightlife, cafes, restaurants, delicious coffee and much more to explore.
After being in Kathmandu, Pokhara seemed like a breath of fresh air. The bus ride was 1000 rupiah($10 each) and took 8 hours. It was a very windy road, but the driver made a few good stops for fresh samosas and dhal bat! One of them being Culture Village in between Dumre and Damauli. Culture Village had a great coffee place and an unbelievable buffett style spread of typical Nepalese food.
We headed to Pokhara before the Annapurna Circuit because we knew we would spend a few days there after our trek chilling out by the lake with all the fellow hikers we met along the way. This also allowed us to store our extra belongings at our hotel while we were off trekking.
We stayed at Hotel Venus which was lakeside and offered stunning views of Lake Phewa from the roof terrace. It came out to $5 per night. It’s a family run hotel. They are very accommodating with setting up transportation, laundry and anything else we could have wanted.
There is a walking/jogging path around the lake. I will warn you that when you go for a run people tend to stare. I was distracted by the cow by the lake and fell face first into the ground so do be cautious when running on the uneven payment.
Pokhara has a multitude of coffee shops and cafes with beautiful views of the lake. There is live music at night offered in multiple venues and lots of socializing to be done. You’ll see a lot of your fellow trekkers out and about and it’s nice to reconnect when you finally feel clean and have energy to socialize! Busy Bee is the most popular spot to get hookah and a beer while watching the live band!
Around Pokhara there are a few places to explore such as Sarankot for sunrise or sunset, the Tiger Cave, and a few beautiful waterfalls.
My favorite spot just outside of Pokhara by 15 kilometers is Lake Begnas. This beautiful lake is swimmer friendly with gorgeous views of Annapurna II. We stayed at Sanu Lake Guesthouse for three nights. It was right on the lake and completely zen. They play amazing music and the staff is unbelievably friendly. It is a family run guesthouse with five rooms, full service restaurant and stunning views of the lake. We happened to be visiting during the Diwali festival and were quickly treated like apart of the family. The taxi ride from Pokhara should not be more than 300 rupiah a person or you can take the bus for 50 rupiah. The town of Lake Begnas is full of samosa and fruit stands. You must try out Mom’s Bakery at Begnas Tal while you are visiting as well. A French Canadian couple opened it last week and offers amazing desserts such as lava cake, brownies, banana bread and little fudge chocolates. Many of the restaurants and guest houses purchase they’re bread from this bakery as well.
We spent three days swimming, reading, practicing yoga, running and chilling lakeside. They served delicious fish dishes and continuously surprised us with cooking classes and incredible amounts of hospitality.
Things to do in Pokhara:
- Lake Phewa walking track
- Tiger Cave
- Busy Bee at night for live music
- Old Blues Bar for live music
- Temple on the hill
- Sarankot at sunset or sunrise
- Lake Begnas day trip or pack your bags and stay a few days like we did. A jeep shouldn’t cost you more than 250 rupiah per person!
Places to eat:
- OR2K- great place to relax and grab a coffee or anything off of their eclectic vegetarian menu.
- Himalayan Java Restaurant- across from OR2K- great espresso and delicious masala omelette.
- Sanu Lake Restaurant- grilled fish for the win! The chef Dependro definitely knows what he’s doing!
- The New Marwadi Restaurant- the best Indian food in town. Super cheap and undeniably scrumptious.
- Sukra Bar- below is a photo of the Israeli breakfast. It was huge and delicious!
- French Creperie- if you are craving a salad or a crepe you can get one here for less than $4!
- Godfather’s Pizza
Where to stay:
- Hotel Venus in Pokhara- $15 per night for a triple room
- Sanu Lake Guesthouse - $15 per night for a triple room
Enjoy Pokhara and Begnas lake! It’s truly a dreamy little spot!