Hi everyone! 🙂
On this week’s $10 series, let’s go back to Nepal… After covering what we could do within the budget in Kathmandu some time last year, today we have Raj from NEST Adventure to cover another city in Nepal: Pokhara.
Pokhara is the gateway to the Annapurna region, which is also known as the jewel of the Himalaya. Well, after covering Leh in Ladakh a few months ago, it’s great to have another alternative to explore the Himalayas isn’t it?!
So, how far could you get in the city for $10 USD?!
How Affordable is Pokhara?!
A few years ago, Forbes Magazine published “The 20 Best Value Cities For Budget Travelers,” and Pokhara Nepal came out of number #1 city. In 2019 the Travel’s Asia Backpacker Index shows Pokhara ranks cheapest at number 6 out of 31.
As a matter of fact, even in the year 2020, there are still so many things you can do in Pokhara for under $10 USD. If you are in budget, here is what you can do in Pokhara just under the budget.
Rent a Bicycle and Circle around the Lake ($2 USD for 4-5 hours)
The best way to explore the city is on bicycle. It is especially recommended to go bike around the lake.
On a clear day, it offers a magnificent shadow of Annapurna range, and Mount Dhaulagiri on the lake reflecting mountain views like a glass.
Renting a bike may come in different varieties, but the start-up budget bike suitable for the day wouldn’t cost more than NPR 40 per hour (equivalent to $0.4 USD).
Tips: A renting shop considers 6-7 hours as a full day, and often it is cheaper if you go for a full day or half-day 3/4 hour instead of just renting for a couple of hours.
Rent a Boat for Psshewa Lake Sightseeing and Hike Up to Stupa ($5 USD)
Boating in Phewa lake and Stupa hike is a must-to-do list while visiting Pokhara.
Just visiting a holy temple in the middle of the lake might cost as low as $1 USD (NPR 100) on a sharing boat, but it is recommended to take a private boat and go around do some sightseeing by adding a hike to Stupa Hill.
The logistics are, you rent a boat to cross the lake and start a hike to Stupa. It takes about 2.5 hours back and forth from the starting point with no special physical fitness required. Stupa hike is one of the popular hiking destinations around Pokhara, and you must take it.
Tips: During the rental process, you should remind them you are going for a hike so that they will give you a returned ticket at the same price. It is like a regular shuttle any boat can take you back.
Have Dinner in Phewa Lake Resort ($3 USD)
While you are in Pokhara, It is nice to have dinner by the lake along with the cultural show.
Phewa Lake resort is one of those who offer dinner while watching a cultural dance that represents a different ethnic group of Nepal. No prior booking requires. you can walk in.
They offer authentic local food, cooked in a wooden fire served in a brash plate. While it is also available continental menu, their local food test much better than anything else because of the way they follow the classical style while preparing.
Tips: Dinner starts at 7:00 pm. Go early and request for the best location, that offers the best view of the lake with night colorful light while watching a cultural show.
What You Need to Know Before Exploring Pokhara
You could say Pokhara has so much to cover just below $10 USD in one day.
If you start Lakeside biking in the morning and take the boat and hiking in the afternoon while attending dinner in the evening everything I mentioned in this article, it’s possible to include them in one day.
There are more Pokhara Tour options available, but you may need to increase your budget slightly higher.
Sightseeing around Pokhara city and Sarangkot sunrise hike could be another day. However, the expensive part is the entrance fee and transportation. If you are one of the few who would like to have a self-driving scooter, you can explore more and reach up to the base of the Himalayas.
Contributor: Raj Khanal from NEST Adventure
Raj was a mountain guide in Nepal Himalayas. When he realized that there is so much to explore, he started backpacking around the world whenever he gets the chance. Traveling and making new friends are his passion, and he firmly believes that seeing the world shouldn’t break the bank (at least not too much!). He has traveled a little over 40 different countries and more to go in the future. Apart from traveling, he also writes a blog for NEST Adventure and he loves to go to the movie theater, library, travel expo, and garage sale.