Sat on the lush shores of Lake Phewa in the shadow of the Annapurna and Manaslu mountain ranges just 20 kilometres away, Pokhara offers both incredible scenery and a laidback vibe. Occupying a balmy valley, the city has become the hub of Nepal’s adventure activity scene, from paragliding and whitewater rafting to trekking the Annapurna circuit. Of course finding a spot beside the lake to savour the contrast between the green valley and the 8,000 metre plus towering mountains is a must.
Nepal’s second largest lake, legend tells that Phewa was formed when a goddess disguised as a beggar was scorned by the people of the valley, causing her to fill it with water. Whilst on the Pokhara side the lake shores are lined with hotels, bars and restaurants, the rest of the area is densely forested and excellent for bird watching. You can take to the water on a boat, walk or cycle around the lake or visit the Tal Barahi Temple at the lake’s centre. On a clear day the reflections of the Annapurna range in the lake’s waters is unsurpassed.
There is no better place to learn about Nepal’s peaks than in the shadow of two magnificent ranges, and the International Mountain Museum is devoted to all things mountain. Displays on old mountain climbing gear is side by side with information on the Himalaya, including its geology, flora and fauna, history and people. Pokhara is the location of the last of Nepal’s Gurkha training centres – the Gurkha Museum celebrates the achievement of this elite unit and covers its history from its formation in the 19th century.
Pokhara has an unsurpassed location and while the views from the town itself are breathtaking, if you head up to the World Peace Pagoda or Sarangkot the view gets ten times better. The World Peace Pagoda sits on a ridge above Phewa Lake. Constructed by Buddhist monks from Japan, there are trails to lead you up to the pagoda and cafes up there to refresh you. From the village of Sarangkot you can enjoy sweeping panoramas of the Annapurna range – sunrise and sunset are particularly fantastic.
The Landmark is a heritage hotel constructed from local brick and carved wood demonstrating the best of Nepali craftsmanship. Located just over 200 metres from the edge of Phewa Lake relax in Pokhara's laidback ambience and enjoy the hotel's spa, an award-winning restaurant and complimentary Wi-Fi.
In the shadow of the jagged, snowy peaks of the Annapurna range, the Shangri-La Village is designed and built to reflect a traditional Nepalese village. In the heart of Pokhara, the hotel is wonderfully comfortable and relaxed and focussed on the breath-taking Himalayan views that are the town's trademark. Relax by the outdoor pool, admire the views from your private balcony and make use of the peaceful spa.
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The world’s largest and most populous continent, Asia is a vibrant and rambunctious fusion of ethnicities, cultures and customs; an incomparably rich and turbulent history showcased by mindboggling feats of architecture and engineering; a geography that encompasses towering peaks, unfathomable gorges and paradisiacal beaches; and a biodiversity that is so abundant that you’ll be reaching for your wildlife guide.