Tuesday, February 11, 2014

5 OFFBEAT experiences in #Pokhara, Nepal you should not miss!

Pokhara is an adventure lovers paradise, as well as being a place to relax. Her e are five experiences you might not have though about, which will highlight your stay in Pokhara.

Visit / Stay at a COFFEE FARM in Begnas

Suriya Adhikari is a renown agriculturist in Nepal, and he and his wife run a small Permaculture farm high above Begnas lake. His farm is registered in the WWOOF list (look it up if you do not know what that means), so he gets a steady stream of WWOOFers come in and work on his farm. This is the real simple life, and you cannot experience it better than here. Be warned - its basic (not no toilet basic, that is there!). Alternatively, you can camp at a campsite above his farm, at TaraKuti

CYCLE to Pame

One of the best ways to spend the afternoon can be to just take a cycle from either the street vendors (dirt cheap, but the pedals might be crooked and the chain might slip a couple of times, or from the more professional outfiters (if you want to have fun on the ride and do not worry about mechanical problems). Then you follow the edge of the lake north. Until you cross the Paragliding landing zones, it might be a bit dusty and there will be a little traffic on the highly broken up road. But after that, its great. If you do find it, there is a pontoon pull-it-yourself bridge across the stream just before Pame, which you should cross and follow the stream on a nice non-technical single track, which then joins up into a forest edge jeep track that leads you to Pame. You will not believe you are so close to Pokhara. The beer later is worth it! Add another TO DO at Pame - have a local tea.

Paraglide with Raptors

If you are lazing around Pokhara, it is inevitable that the paragliders up in the air will lure you, there are hundreds of them in the air at any given time. If you are lured, or adventure inclined in the first place, the most interesting way to do the flight is by Parahawking. Scott runs a raptor rescue project and while the rescued raptors fly for exercise, he combines it with a paraglider (yeah, you can go tandem). This is called Parahawking, an amazing experience. Parts of the profit go to the welfare of the very birds you flew with. This is the top rated activity in Pokhara on TripAdvisor.

Walk up the Peace Stupa

This is not as OFFBEAT as the others, but here it goes anyways… Want a taste of what a real trek is like? just take a boat across the lake (say after breakfast) and start your hike up to the Peace Stupa. It takes only around an hour and half, but it will have you huffing (or wheezing if you are a smoker). if you are smart you walk at Nepali pace (where you can talk to each other), which is a steady “I can walk all day pace” while you catch up with the latest happenings in your companions life. Up there you are rewarded with fantastic views of the lake and the mountains (on a clear day), and a little spiritual feeling (the vibe up there is great). Later walk down around the south side of the lake and walk back into town. Oh, remember to have lunch up there, in the tiny “serve only instant noodles” restaurant. Makes a great day.

Get massaged by the BLIND

This is a project that won the social entrepreneurship award in Nepal. Seeing Hands masseurs are all blind, and have been trained by professionals from the UK and Australia in sports massage, Ayurvedic massage and other forms of healing massages. Apart from getting rejuvenated after a trek, or simply from lazing around Pokhara too much, you do get a feeling of having done tremendous good. The masseurs are also amazing people, always ready to share the happiness that they radiate.

This list has been developed by socialtours, a five time responsible tourism award nominated company based out of Kathmandu.

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