Woosh! The wind blows in our faces as the taxi makes a hairpin turn onto a main road. The dust kicks up off the dirt road every now and then, but it doesn’t impede our senses as we continue to soak in the breathtakingly lush environment, mountainous landscape, and sites of the city around us. As we speed down the unpaved street, passing by numerous shops on our right, everything suddenly slows down — on our left we catch a glimpse of the gorgeous, placid Lake Phewa. It’s gone in moments as we head up a side road. The compact Maruti Suzuki pulls into Hotel Trekkers Inn. We exit the taxi and are instantly greeted by a warm smile: “Welcome to Nepal! We hope you enjoy your stay with us here in Lakeside, Pokhara.”
QUARTER FINALIST 2013 FTF TEEN TRAVEL WRITING SCHOLARSHIP
Dear reader, I’m so glad you have decided to join me on this trip! Pokhara, a forgotten pocket of the world, is usually visited by tourists who come down the Annapurna mountains for a trekking break in this offbeat semi-tourist city. There are plenty of captivating activities in Pokhara but the most appealing aspect is that it readily embraces all socio-economic statuses; the streets are lined with little general stores, boutiques, and restaurants. If you feel homesick, there is an Italian restaurant two minutes from our hotel as well an Indo-Chinese joint. Lakeside Pokhara also has plenty of little cafes. Let’s go meet my friend David who owns the legendary AM/PM Organic Café, and have some of his German pastries. Food is one of the best ways to get a feel for any location—and the food in Pokhara is delicious—but the heart of Lakeside Pokhara lies in its beauty.
Just one look at the landscape will turn anyone into a nature-lover; verdant mountains surround the entire city, rolling hills hug the countryside, and snowcapped peaks of the Annapurna Range give Pokhara a mesmerizing backdrop. A mixture of sun and clouds in the Pokhara sky and the high altitude of Pokhara creates a climate balanced between a humid heat and a cool overcast. In the center is heavenly Lake Phewa, which is a must for any traveler’s bucket list — one of the sites one must see in their lifetime. It would be treasonous not to share a quick snapshot!
For me, Nepal’s people are amazing. The poverty in this country is severe to say the least as a majority of the citizens live on less than $1 USD a day. Yet they fight to endure the lack of a stable, non-corrupt government, poor secondary education, and no desirable exports — these hardworking citizens still offer a warm smile. When I am in Lakeside, it becomes a second home because the people are so friendly and they desire nothing but love from me. Like most travelers that become drawn to a destination, I have decided to return to Nepal ever since the first trip at age 14. Now I am 17 and I have so much appreciation for the citizens. I have decided to support this community and have built a Girls School in Pokhara – check out my website www.nepalhouse.net and get insights on what’s going on with Pokhara beyond tourism. This month marks 3 years of the school being established with 25 girls enrolled.
I am so glad you made the trip with me to take in the sites, sounds and incredible memories of a place that is more than just a tourist spot.
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