Bumpy Van Rides and More “momo” in Pokhara, Nepal

The 7-Hour Ride Journey

It was, what it seemed to be a great idea, in fact, a terrific idea to travel to Pokhara from Kathmandu, after the lovely flight tour to Mount Everest. It never occurred to me, the horror of 7-hour van journey by van or busses. Until, 15 minutes later after the ride, I was soaked in sweats and numbed from the overcrowded van seatings. I was seated in a congested van, with another 12 students, and it was a horrible feeling.

In between the 7-hours journey ride, there was 2 stops for toilet breaks and some leg stretching. Lunch was not provided, but the 2nd stop did came to a stop at a local buffet style restaurant. I didn’t had any, due to the long hours of sitting and neck pain, I skipped my lunch.

It is the same for the other way as well (from Pokhara to Kathmandu). The first stop was different, we stopped at a local coffee shop, that has an amazing mountain view, but the public toilets are pretty horrendous. So, keep in mind to travel with wet wipes, lots of tissue paper or toilet rolls and a bottle of clean water to wash the dirts. But the 2nd stop was nothing but an area of leg stretching.


Pokhara City

Pokhara is a much quest city, compare to Kathmadu. The place was dust-free, cleaner and less traffic. I stayed in a hotel, which is just as beautiful as the view provided, just across a mountain range and lake.

The street is filled with restaurants, souvenir shops and bars, outside the hotel. Most of the locals are very well-versed in English, so it was easier to communicate and negotiate.

GETTING AROUND
There are 2 ways, which I know of, travelling back and forth from Kathmandu and Pokhara. There is a longer route, by taking the land transportation, or a flight from a domestic airline.
Land Transportation
They’re reliable local operators, and I would highly recommend Klook, only because I’ve purchased other products from the same website, and they guarantee the right quality. But for alternative, you may have a look at Nepalbusses, which also seemed very reliable as well for land transportation.
Just remember, to enquire the transportation details before purchasing, and also ask for receipt or proof for purchase.
Approximate price range: US$ 5 or lesser (equivalent to RM 20 – according to XE.com 2018).
Flights
The flight is approximately an hour or less, which saves travellers more time on travelling and more on venturing. But it can be very costly, as well.
Approximate price range: US$ 120 – I only came to know of the price, 1 or 2 days before the departure date.

ACCOMMODATION
The hotel, which I stayed in, was a couple minutes of walk from many things, such as shopping and restaurants. Just across the street, there is a boat activity, where local guides gives the tourist a short tour at the lake and to the nearby mountain caves. Tourists are also free to take a dip to enjoy the fresh water.

FOOD & BEVERAGES
Foods in Pokhara are mostly westernised, so there wasn’t much local delicacies to try. One of the most enjoyable dinner I had in Pokhara is the The Harbour Gaurighat Entry side Glacier Hotel & Spa. The meals served in the hotel restaurant was large in portions, and they also offer a romantic ambience in environment and view, as well.

ATTRACTIONS
There was not much to see in Pokhara. Most of the sights are mainly focussed on the nature beauty, where presumable, their local revenue is generated from.
But there are plenty of shops, and they’re very expensive. The products sold in Pokhara can be found, exactly the same replica, in Kathmandu. The nice tour guide, insisted that we shouldn’t get any souvenirs here, as the prices here are twice as expensive as, it is sold in Kathmandu.


What I did…

Pokhara is indeed a different city compare to Kathmandu, and it’s not just because of the view, or the fresh air. Despite the natural beauty and how serene it seem. The locals (small ration of them) remain to be hostile with tourists. Locals who works in the hospitality industry, didn’t seem to be as hostile as the majority of the locals.
My advice to all female tourists (and guys, too, seriously), never walk in the dark, even if you’re with your friends. The night we arrived Pokhara, my friends and I decided to look a nearby bar where we could get some drinks before heading back. And to our amaze, when we asked the waiter at one of the restaurant we had dinner, he said that the nearest bar was couple minutes walk from our hotel. As soon as we paid the bill, we were ready to take a maximum of 10 minutes walk.
But, even after a 10 minutes walk, we were unsure of where we were. My friend had no choice but to use Google map, to locate the nearest bar. The map brought us to another 10 minutes walk before we reach the location. Everything was fine after that, we had our drinks, dessert and fun. So, we decided to head back, since it was late, and we needed to wake up early for tomorrow’s activity.
And a group of five girls left to walk back to our hotel. The street was extremely dark, and the street lights were not working at all. The street was pitch black, but of course, we could still see silhouette. But it was really creepy. Most of the time, we had our mobile phone’s torchlight switch on, just so we could stay together and see the road before us.
For what seemed forever, a friend jumped, which was like a domino effect, all of us jumped. A poor man was stood behind her, tapping her shoulder, begging for money. Creeped and scared, we quickly said sorry and walked quickly away. We got cat whistled along the way back and lured into their shops, but most of the time, we were just focussing on getting back into the hotel.
And before we know, we were so glad to see the lake and the hotel. So, please careful when you’re walking around at night, especially in Pokhara.


What I should’ve known…

Always bring (or get) a neck pillow – if you’re travelling for 7-hours

Get snacks and drinks during the long rides, to avoid dehydration and starvation

Never buy souvenirs from Pokhara, you can always get them back in Kathmandu

Be extra careful when having a stroll at night in Pokhara, there is barely any street lights that work – I had to walk around with my friends, with our mobile torchlights switched on

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