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Pokhara, at the foot of the Annapurna mountain range, is a popular jumping-off point for multi-day treks in the Himalayas, but it’s also a rewarding destination in its own right. If you only have one day in the lakeside city, here’s how to spend it.
Morning: Sunrise at Sarangkot
Get up early and take a private vehicle up to Sarangkot, a hill above Pokhara, to see the sunrise over the Annapurnas. While the enormous peaks are somewhat visible from Pokhara city, the view from the top of the hill is spectacular. It can be cold up there, though, even in the warmer months, so don’t forget your sweater. After sunrise, head back down to Pokhara for breakfast, then spend a leisurely couple of hours shopping for souvenirs, walking along the lakeside promenade, or enjoying your hotel pool.
Afternoon: Paddle on Fewa Tal
Pokhara’s centerpiece is the pretty Lake Fewa (Fewa Tal), and the colorful wooden boats that line its banks are an iconic Pokhara sight. Spend an hour or two in the afternoon paddling on the lake, enjoying the peace and quiet and taking some impressive pictures. You can rent a small boat with an oarsman, hop on a slightly larger canopied boat that holds more people, or even take a kayaking lesson on the lake. Sightseeing-boat rides make a stop at the Tal Barahi Temple on a little island in the lake.
Night: Happy-Hour Cocktails at Sunset
Although Pokhara isn’t a large city, its Lakeside area has a lively nightlife scene, and visitors can find lively bars and restaurants any night of the week. Many of the bars with views of the lake offer happy-hour specials around sunset, so pick one you like, and relax as you watch the sky turn pink over the lake. Wrap up your visit with dinner at a local restaurant. There are many Nepali and international dining options in Pokhara, so you’re sure to find something to suit your tastes.