Pokhara Cyber Cafe
There are lots of internet cafes in Pokhara, and along the Lake Side there is quite a concentration. Try Pokhara Cyber Café which is good, honest and the computers are in good and updated shape. Cheap. They do a range of services for theri customers; travel arrangements etc, plus the normal auxillary computer services, printing, fax etc. It is located on the right hand side near Standard Chartered Bank up north on Lakeside.
4-wheel drive rentals in Pokhara
To reach remote road destinations outside the Pokhara Valley, an 4-wheel drive vehicle may be necessary.
However, to find such a vehicle is apparently extraordinarily difficult. Some hotels have connections, but the fee is very high.
The better the car, the rougher the terrain, the more Maoists, the richer appearance of passengers, the higher the price.
The only organised rental agency I have found is Vardan Vehicles. I made use of a Toyota landcruiser to a very rough area, and the price was high, 6500 Rs for about half a day. But then we crammed in 15 people. For a trekking group of say, 5-6 persons, 6500 Rs is affordable to get out to the trail head with allthe luggage, safely.
Local people often use Russian jeeps, Indian Mahindra or Savari jeeps, and some of them ply as public taxi services on rough country roads. These can be hired for charter as well (best through your local connections) and the 6500 may easily come down to 1800-2000 for the same distance this way, but with less certainty of arrival due to technical quality.
Travelling on the back bumper on a Russian jeep once from Begnas Bazaar to Taal Besi I counted 36 persons on board. This was probably not very safe, and if you do not want to go local, go for the more expensive hire solution. The more time in advance you ask, the more negotiation room you have. From the Lake Side or airport of Pokhara and two hours drive out, about 4500-500 Rs would be reasonable for a good vehicle.
The lake is the reason of the smooth climate of Pokhara. There are several small islands on the lake. We stayed in a hotel over one of them. You can have a boat trip on the lake between islands. We visited a small island with a Hindu Temple on it. It was quite good to travel over the unruffled water of the lake at dusk. I certainly recommend you to do it. Also, I wanted to swim here but I couldn’t dare.
Sarangkot view of the Annapurna ridges
Few places in the world offers such a panorama of peaks and ridges a stonethrow's distance from the town. From Sarangkot you can view the full panorama of the Annapurna massif. To the left is Annapurna South (or Modi Peak), the Hiunchuli and Annapurna 1.
The International Mountain Museum
The International Mountain Museum in Pokhara is a recent institution and was inaugurated during the 50th anniversary of the first successful Everest climb.
Here you find exhibitions and displays showing the history of mountaineering in Nepal, focus on key mountains and displays showing some of the mountain people in Nepal with a popish anthropological twist. There are also exhibits on animal and plant life and mountain ecology, but this takes second place. No doubt, the big interest behind seems to be the climbing elite.
I missed a more thorough focus on livelihoods, just to set the stage for the displays on the people of the Himalalya and out the technical climbing stuff in some perspective. Someone told me this will be improved.
Entry is expensive by local standards - 300 Rs. Gives you access to an outdoor exhibition and good restaurant facilities, too. Very nicely done, the whole place.