It is pleasant to walk along the Lakeside strip where you can choose either the bustling road lined with restaurants, shops and cafes or the more scenic path alongside the lake. Popular day walks are to the World Peace Pagoda (begun by a boat ride across the lake), which takes about an hour from bottom to top and to Sarangkot (1592m), a 2 hour hike from Sedi, north Lakeside near the first paragliding landing zone. It is possible to walk from Lakeside to the city centre (Chipledunga), which takes around 45mins but its not advisable due to the amount of dust and exhaust fumes from traffic on the main roads.
There are both city buses and minivans which operate throughout Pokhara and nearby villages. They are usually overcrowded and uncomfortable but it is the cheapest form of transport and an adventure in itself! There is a bus station at Hollan Chowk in Lakeside, where small buses leave every 10-15mins for Chipledunga (Rs25) and larger buses leave every hour to Pamaya in the direction of Panchase. This route goes through north Lakeside, and along the north edge of Phewa Tal past Sedi & Maya Devi village.
The main taxi stand in Lakesideis at Hollan Chowk where taxis are available all day and night. It is usually very easy to get a taxi anywhere in the city and drivers often stop and ask you anyway! The number plates for taxis are black so check that you are not getting into a private car. If you are carrying anything of value with you, it is a good idea to ask the driver’s name on the journey so if you leave anything behind you have a chance of finding him. Taxis are now meant to have meters in them, but this doesn’t mean that the drivers use them. Some destinations have a ‘fixed’ price (Chipledunga Rs300/Rs500 one way/return, Sarangkot Rs1000/1500 one way/return, Peace Pagoda Rs800/Rs1200 one way/return, Nayapul Rs1800 one way, Phedi Rs1000 one way) but usually you will have to bargain before you leave and you shouldn’t take the first price offered!
Lakeside Taxi Driver Numbers:
Hiring a bicycle for the day (Rs100- 300) is a cheap and fast way to get around Lakeside and other parts of Pokhara, whether it be a trip to the Nepali city centre at Chipledunga or a leisurely cycle around the north shore of Phewa Tal. If you plan to ride up any hill such as Sarangkot, spend a little extra to hire a good quality mountain bike in good condition. Adjust it to your size before setting off and most importantly check that the gears and brakes are working well. Note that you will probably be in 1st gear or pushing most of the long way up!
Renting a motorbike or scooter is a great way to explore places around Pokhara for the day and there are several places in Lakeside where you can rent a variety of motorbikes, including Pulsars (150cc, 180cc & 220cc) and scooters, which cost Rs600-800 per day. There are also cross bikes (Hartford) available for approx. Rs2,500 per day. For renting Royal Enfields (350cc &500ccs) and Yamaha RXs (100cc & 135ccs) the best place is Hearts & Tears Motorcycle Club next to Busy Bee. Petrol costs Rs135 per litre. Pulsars use very little petrol and 3 litres is enough for a day’s adventure, while Enfields and Yamahas burn petrol very quickly. The nearest petrol station to Lakeside is on Manaswar Road 2km from Hollan Chowk on the right. Helmets are supplied by the renting office and it is compulsory for the driver (not the passenger) to wear one. It is advisable to note the owner’s number and to take the bike’s tax book with you (especially if you are driving out of Pokhara on the main highways) for the traffic police. No one talks about insurance and when you are driving on the busy roads take extreme care of everything in front of you as anything from children to chickens, goats or dogs can appear in front of you in seconds. The main ‘rules’ on Nepali roads are that you drive on the left side, giveway to vehicles pulling out in front of you (they will not look to see if you are coming) and in the mountains beep before entering a sharp curve – its a warning signal so traffic going the other way will slow down and stick to their side of the road. Finally drive carefully and anticipate anything.