Diary Nepal: Pokhara, Bandipur and Kathmandu

Last Updated on by Charlotte van de Sande

After a beautiful but exhausting 12-day hike in the Himalayas, it’s time to recover. And where to do that better than in the cosy city of Pokhara full of hip restaurants and spa’s in the midst of a beautiful landscape? In this blog, I tell will you more about our last two weeks in Nepal. Click here to read our previous blog about the Annapurna Circuit.

Pokhara lake


Ultimate relaxation in Pokhara

After having driven the bumpy roads of Nepal for eight hours, we arrive in Pokhara by jeep. We have been here a few days before we started our hike and are now sleeping in the same nice hotel as two weeks ago. After a good night’s sleep, we wake up rested the next morning. For the coming days, we have no real planning nor do we know how long we will stay. First, it’s time for a good breakfast (at Little Windows) and spending a few hours on writing new blogs. It is a strange feeling to write again after a break of twelve days. In the afternoon we walk through the main street of Pokhara and decide to spontaneously participate in a sound bowl session. This is a kind of meditation session in which you hit different scales to open your “chakras” with this sound. My chakras are scared every time by the loud sound of the scales and so it doesn’t really work relaxing. Ah well, we have tried it. After this, we do a yoga session that is much nicer!

In the evening we eat pizzas with Elien and Yannick (our Belgian friends) and watch the movie Interstellar in the Movie Garden. This is an open-air movie theatre and it really is special to watch a movie under the stars.

Pokhara Little Windows

Being sick and clouds at Sarangkot summit

Oops, I have had nightmares all night about yesterday’s movie and in the morning I wake up with a small fever. The first hours of the day I stay in bed while Ries sits next to me and edits the latest photos. In the afternoon I feel a bit better and we relax in the garden of Jiva Cafe and Spa, enjoying the warmth of the sun. It is 25 degrees in Pokhara.  What a difference between the days high in the mountains!

Pokhara Jiva Spa

At the end of the day, we take a taxi with our Belgian friends to the Sarangkot viewpoint. From this point, which is at an altitude of 1600 meters, you should have a beautiful view of Lake Phewa, Pokhara and even the white snowy Annapurna range. Unfortunately, it is completely cloudy when we get there. Well, the mountains are always very unpredictable, so this can happen. Anyway, Ries became creative and managed to take a cool shot with his 100mm-400mm telelens.

Sarangkot

Yoga and a three-hour massage

I feel good again and so we start the day with a yoga class. Afterwards, we visit a number of nice restaurants where we have breakfast, drink coffee and work. Pokhara is full of hip restaurants and cafes, it is lovely to discover these places and finally eat something different after 12 days of eating mainly rice and curry (Dal Bhat).

In the afternoon, something special is planned: we have planned a three-hour Ayurvedic massage which was a present from Ries’ parents. And those who know me a little, know that I am very keen on massages!

The full body massage is wonderful and our legs, back and shoulders get a lot of well-deserved attention. We end the massage with an oil session in which oil is dripped onto our foreheads for half an hour. A very special experience, but one you need to learn to appreciate I guess. The following days I have pretty greasy hair, that oil stays in place ;-). We booked our massage at Ayurvedic Health Home

Pokhara Little Windows-2

Even more blogs and cloudy mornings

Every morning the alarm clock is set at 5 a.m because we hope to see a beautiful clear sunrise from the World Peace Pagoda, a temple nearby. Ries sleepily gets out of bed every time to look outside for stars (a sign of a clear sky), but every time he immediately crawls back into bed. It is cloudy every morning. And so we start the day a few hours later with a yoga session followed by delicious breakfast

Initially, we considered doing a multi-day yoga retreat after our hike to make our stiff muscles flexible. However, the retreats are pricy and we also want to write a lot of new blogs, so every day we follow a yoga class and do some yoga ourselves on the roof of our hotel.

Farewell dinner with Elien and Yannick

At the end of the day, we want to take a hike to another viewpoint in Pokhara where one could see the beautiful Annapurna mountains, however, that endeavour fails since there are all false dogs (or at least they look like mean dogs) living along the road. I am not a big hero when it comes to dogs and therefore we decide to stay ‘safe’ and go back to our hotel.

Very good is the farewell dinner that we have with friends Elien and Yannick. We have seen each other almost every day for the past two weeks and have really become friends. That, of course, asks for a propper goodbye dinner with a glass of good wine!

Annapurna Circuit

The last day in Pokhara: the Peace Stupa

On our last day in Pokhara, the weather is finally a bit clear. And so we make a hike to the World Peace Pagoda, a temple that overlooks the large lake adjacent to Pokhara. It is a beautiful temple! Afterwards we walk a little further along the lake and we take a boat back to the city.

Peace PagodaPokhara lake boats

We have lunch at OR2K, perhaps our favourite restaurant in Nepal. It is Israeli and the falafel is so delicious! Afterwards, it’s time to pack our things because tomorrow we’ll be travelling again!


Bandipur: a nice village surrounded by beautiful nature!

A few hours on the bus followed by a short ride with a jeep and we are at our next destination: Bandipur. This is a beautiful village entirely in Newari style. The buildings in the centre almost all date from the 18th century and have been exceptionally well preserved. There is a relaxed atmosphere and so we decide to stay here for three nights.

Bandipur town

Discover Bandipur in three days

On the first day we make a hike to the Siddha cave, where the hike itself is particularly beautiful. After that, we see a beautiful sunset from the nearby Thani Mai Temple.

Bandipur itself is also on a mountain, so you have a unique view of the surrounding villages.

Are you going to Bandipur? Read here the travel guide full of information about activities, hotels and nice restaurants!

Bandipur Ramkoth-7

Brainstorming about our marriage and a nice hike

Today it is a public holiday in Bandipur, although we do not notice much of it when we get up at 6:30 am. After a nice breakfast at a cute coffee shop, we get started with some first wedding preparations. In March Ries asked me to marry him and even though it will take a while before we will get married, we are slowly making our first steps preparation wise. We email some locations, make a budget and brainstorm about which things we find important. So nice, we agree on almost everything, well except on the budget ;-).

In the afternoon it is time for something active. We hike to the small village of Ramkot, where time seems to have stood still. Unfortunately, everything is closed due to the festival and when we arrive back in Bandipur a few hours later, starving, we see people singing and dancing everywhere. The party has begun!

Bandipur Ramkoth

Butterfly Nepal


Return to Kathmandu

On our last morning in Bandipur, we climb the mountain of the Thani Mai Temple for the last time. We work together with the company NOMAD and want to shoot some new photos with their products during sunrise.

The rest of the day we are on the bus back to Kathmandu. Enjoy listening to podcasts and staring out the window. Travelling by public transport is not that bad at all! Especially if you drive through the beautiful landscape that we now come through. Clear rivers, mountains and the occasional waterfall.

Bandipur Viewpoint sunset-2

Bandipur Viewpoint sunrise-2


The last days in Nepal

Our last two days in Nepal we take it easy. We buy some souvenirs, enjoy the last MoMos (Nepalese dumplings) and visit the Bouddhanath Stupa. The latter is really a must if you are in Kathmandu! Such a beautiful temple, especially during sunset. We also map out our coming months in terms of travel. One of the destinations that we are likely to visit is the east-coast of Australia!

Boudha sunset-5

After a last nice night at hotel Newa Home, it’s time to say goodbye to Kathmandu and Nepal. We board the taxi and then fly via Kuala Lumpur to our next destination: Sri Lanka! More about this beautiful country will follow soon!



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