Skip to main content

A short Backpacking Itinerary for Pokhara, Nepal



The best trips are those that were never planned and the best experiences are those that you never imagined. This is the best way I can explain my recent impromptu backpacking trip to the city of Pokhara in Nepal. I will be sharing a basic short backpacking itinerary that anyone can use to enjoy a few but exciting days in this city.

My trip to Nepal was not planned at all. Not a single thing had been decided including how I was going to enter the country and which places I was going to visit. This idea suddenly sprouted in my mind when I was chatting with a few friends I made at the place I was couch surfing at in Varanasi.


They said they were headed to Nepal for 3 months in a few days and that just left me dumbfounded. I wanted to go stay in the mountains for a while to relax & decompress as it was my first trip after my accident, a long gap of 15 months. So instead of going to North India, I joined my new friend Lukas and we left for Pokhara together.

This is the itinerary I would suggest for a short backpacking excursion to Pokhara:

·         Day 1: Arrive in Pokhara. Unwind and relax for the rest of the day/evening.

·         Day 2: Have breakfast and then explore the city of Pokhara all day. Have your lunch and dinner at one of the several amazing cafes or restaurants in the market or by the lake.

·         Day 3: Wake up a bit early and witness the sunrise by the Fewa Lake. Visit the Global Peace Pagoda, Devil’s fall and an ancient cave. Later, go for a chilled out boat ride or enjoy paddle boarding on the lake. Relax for the rest of the day.

·         Day 4: Dedicate this day for adventure sports. Paragliding, bungee jumping, zip-lining, hand gliding, kayaking and river rafting and ultra-flight gliding are some of the activities you can try.

·         Day 5: You will definitely ponder on whether to stay longer and go for a trek or leave this peaceful city and head to your next destination. Just enjoy the day and do nothing. Rent a bike (bicycle) and explore the places in and around Pokhara. Visit cafes, have a few drinks with your hostel mates and prepare for your departure.

·         Day 6: Leave this amazing city and proceed towards your next destination.


Yes, obviously I will be elaborating this itinerary and explain exactly what you can do. I will also cover the FAQs like places to visit in Pokhara, what to eat in Pokhara and others of the sort. But this is a glimpse of what I’m suggesting that you can copy or take a screengrab of & share with your friends if you want.

Before you read the detailed itinerary, let me clarify that I have built it for a short backpacking excursion. If you’re aware, most backpackers just chill in one place for a few days (at times even weeks if they like the place & the weather). So if you follow this plan, your day will be rather relaxed without too many strenuous activities except when you do the adventure sports of course!

I stayed in Pokhara for 7 days and literally did nothing. I simply enjoyed listening to music on the rooftop of my hotel with friends I made there, sipping on coffee or tea or maybe a beer. I roamed the streets during the day chatting with the locals, trying different Nepali delicacies and practicing speaking a little bit of Nepali. Here’s the detailed version of the backpacking itinerary for Pokhara, Nepal.

Pokhara Backpacking Itinerary

JOUR 1 (Jour means Day in French)

So you will arrive in Pokhara today either in the morning or at night depending on your mode of transportation and the place you’re coming from. Irrespective of when you arrive, all you will be doing is sitting back and relaxing in your hostel or homestay; maybe even making a few friends over some Gorkha beer (it’s a local brew).

How to reach Pokhara?

Now, there are only two modes of transportation connecting to Pokhara from anywhere: air and road. The Pokhara airport (PKR) currently caters only to domestic traffic and thus one can only fly in from 4 destinations namely Kathmandu (KTM), Bhairahawa (BWA), Bharatpur (BHR) and Jomsom (JMO) and there are 2 air carriers operational daily. But there’s some good news for international travelers. As of August 2019, plans are in motion to construct Nepal’s 2nd international airport so in a few years reaching Pokhara by air will be much easier.
Road transport on the other is abundant and significantly cheaper than air travel. Buses run on a daily basis from the Sonauli/Sunauli border near Gorakhpur, India to Pokhara as well as from Kathmandu. Barring a few bad patches of road in certain areas, Nepal is well connected by roads.

Sonauli Border to Pokhara:

Fare
Travel Duration
Flight (from Bhairahawa airport)
~ US$ 150
~ 25 min
Local bus
~ US$ 5
~ 09 h 30 min
Tourist class bus (without AC)
~ US$ 7
~ 09 h
Tourist class bus (with AC)
~ US$ 9
~ 08 h

Kathmandu to Pokhara:

Fare
Travel Duration
Flight (from Kathmandu airport)
~ US$ 150
~ 30 min
Local bus
~ US$ 3
~ 08 h 30 min
Tourist class bus (without AC)
~ US$ 5
~ 07 h 30 min
Tourist class bus (with AC)
US$ 10 to US$ 25
~ 07 h
*These prices are for travelers with nationalities other than Nepalese.

JOUR 2

Wake up as and when you like. Have some breakfast at your hostel itself or take to the streets and find a café. After you’ve sipped on some coffee, just roam the streets of Pokhara. It’s your 1st day in the city so just wander about making friends, chatting with locals at cafés or restaurants, maybe do some window shopping (at least that’s what I did LOL!) or just sit by the lakeside of the serene Fewa Lake enjoying the cool breeze & tranquility.



I know it looks like you would be doing nothing the entire day but that’s what I intend to share; doing ‘nothing’ isn’t as easy as it sounds. As a backpacker, you will often be chilling in a single place/destination for a rather long time and do nothing exciting. For me, that’s what makes backpacking & slow travel intriguing & fun.

Take my case, I spent a week in Pokhara and didn’t do a single thing a ‘tourist’ would do. The exception being, the day of Holi festival (Indian festival of colors) which I celebrated with my hostel mates for almost 8 hours in the streets of Pokhara. I had a blast throwing colors, drinking beers & dancing to amazing music with incredible people like Eimeil, Ludo, Vincent, Eve, Sophie, Pooja, Pierre, Rudy, Pol, Lenny, Amit, Asaf, Pritam and many others. So like me, sit back & immerse yourself in nature & the ambiance of the city for this one day.

We were blessed with this spectacular view while we were celebrating Holi


After 8 hours......

JOUR 3

Today you will be doing some touristy things that show up on Trip Advisor or Google when you search “things to do in Pokhara” or “Pokhara sightseeing”. Unfortunately for this you’ll have to wake up a bit early say by 5:30-6:00 AM and immediately head out to witness a bewitching sunrise by the Fewa Lake.

Have your breakfast at one of the several cafés or restaurants on the lakeside and then either take a local bus or hire a cab to visit the Global Peace Pagoda. On your way back to the city stop by the Devil’s waterfall and visit the ancient caves under it. After having lunch you can either enjoy a relaxed boat ride in the Fewa Lake or you can opt for something a bit more exciting like paddle boarding or maybe fishing.

Fewa Lake as seen from the Global Peace Pagoda



JOUR 4

The 4th day will give you an adrenaline rush that’ll probably last a few days. After doing some research on the internet & asking around in the adventure sports shops in the city, you can settle on which activities you’d like to go for. Keep in mind that all these exciting sports are usually a bit expensive so opt carefully. Being injured & suffering neurological damage I wasn’t permitted to do any activities that could cause further damage to my muscles/nerves but I definitely recommend every one of you to try out at least a couple of them. I hear the experience is enthralling.
I know you can get all this information that too in-depth on the internet but since you’re here, I have made a list of a few adventure sports activities available in and around Pokhara, and the prices.

·         Zip lining
Pricing: ~US$ 40.
Top speed achieved: around 100 km/h (60 mi/h).

·         Kayaking
Location: Seti River.
Pricing: ~US$ 65.
Duration: about 1½ hour.

·         White water rafting
Location: Bhote Kosi River.
Pricing: ~US$ 50.
Duration: about 1 hour.

·         Canyoning/Canyon Swing
Location: Panglang.
Pricing: US$ 80 to US$ 120.

·         Paragliding
Pricing: US$ 95 onwards.
Duration: 20 minutes to 1½ hour (cross country).

·         Hang Gliding
Location: Sarangkot.
Pricing: US$ 100 onwards.
Duration: 20 minutes to 1 hour.

·         Ultralight Flight (lightweight aircraft)
Pricing: US$ 80 onwards.
Duration: 15 minutes to 1½ hour.

·         Bungee Jumping
Pricing: US$ 30 onwards.
Height: 160 meters.

*The prices that I’ve mentioned may vary depending on the influx of tourists as well as the adventure company you opt.

After an action-packed day, return to your hostel or homestay and enjoy the peaceful clime that is Pokhara.

JOUR 5

Just like your 2nd day in the city, you will simply let loose and relax. Roam the streets, try local cuisine, and maybe learn a few words of a new language from your hostel buddies like I did with my mate Vincent who helped me with German. Use this day to plan your onward journey- where you’ll be going and for how long. Spending this day may seem unnecessary but I recommend you to take some rest and unwind.

The view from the rooftop of my hostel- Bespoke!

I made a friend on the lakeside and we hung out for a few hours!

What to eat in Pokhara?

All sorts of cuisines as well as ‘dietary preference’ friendly are available in Pokhara. Vegetarian, Non-vegetarian and Vegan cafés and restaurants are spread out in the city. Those interested in local cuisine must try momos, jhol momos, thukpa, and Newari khaja. Hummus, pita bread, shawarma, and falafel are quite popular in Pokhara along with strong freshly brewed coffee, rice beer called Chhang and rice whiskey known as Rakshi.

My vegan breakfast

Jhol momos and some Rakshi

JOUR 6

Bid farewell to the wonderful city of Pokhara and leave for your next destination.

That’s all folks! Hope you find this itinerary useful to plan your trip to Nepal and have a fantastic backpacking experience in Pokhara. Do share your thoughts about my itinerary. I will keep updating this post twice a year so that all the information is accurate.Bon Voyage! Have you backpacked in Nepal?


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Reminiscing: How extending my stay in Leh led to unforgettable memories!

When you plan a trip and everything goes accordingly, the immense joy you feel is one of a kind. But, completely dismissing the idea of spontaneity while traveling so that you can simply relish the climate a bit longer and marinate in the travel vibes won’t do you any good.

Sometimes, listening to that inside voice and following it can lead to some quite spectacular experiences like mine.
I had just completed my second year of engineering, the results were out and surprisingly mine was good! But I decided to drop out and head north, into the Himalayas to begin my journey in traveling (see what I did there!) and writing. I’m with 100% you! It definitely is a cliché but that’s what I did. I went on a bike trip, like everyone does after dropping out of college, to the most adventurous and respected bike riding destination in India, Ladakh. I rode from Manali to Leh and other fascinating parts of Ladakh over a period of 10 days. It was amazing but what happened after I made the decision to …

My Accident, Recovery and Facing & Accepting Reality

It’s been almost two years since my accident today, as I write and publish this blog post. I was avoiding writing about my accident and kept postponing it, ignoring people when they told or rather urged me to share about my accident.Family, friends, fellow travelers and every person who has met me after my accident said “why don’t you write about this? Have you written about this ordeal on your blog?” But now I think it’s high time that I share the story. Honestly, I’m at a loss of words, literally, and am clueless as to what title should I give to this blogpost. So the title that you see is the last thing I’m writing before I publish this blog.Disclaimer: This is a rather long blog post with very few pictures and a lot of reading is required. There are pictures of my wounds just after the accident as well as after my surgeries and they might be too graphic for some people. I am going to share the story of my accident and my recovery (which is still ongoing) in detail. Some of these de…

How To: 7 Ways to Pack like a Minimalist

Many people say that they are a Minimalist but when you see their backpack, this myth is instantly debunked. There are certain ways to pack a backpack that can be considered as minimalism.
Very often it happens that people overpack their backpack because they’re paranoid and think that they “need” multiple changes of clothes or that pair of shoes or that extra fleece jacket. That’s the paranoia speaking and if you listen to it, you end up lugging around a sack of potatoes on your travels, not a backpack. The gist of Minimalism is – take what you actually need – the bare minimum – the basic essentials with which you can survive anywhere. Anything else that doesn’t come to your mind when you think of essential items doesn’t have a place in your backpack. Here are 7 ways a minimalist usually packs their backpack, often, irrespective of the length of the trip. Now, I follow all these methods as well as have seen numerous other backpackers follow them and have found them to be quite helpful…