Saturday, January 19: After leaving the Hindu temple, we continue on our “City Tour” of Pokhara, which, other than the Buddhist monastery, turns out to be one disappointment after another. The things the Nepalis call tourist attractions in Pokhara are a far cry from what the rest of the world calls tourist attractions. I wish I hadn’t wasted my time and money seeing them on a “guided” tour. I have to qualify that I only have a driver who barely speaks English, so there is no “guiding” being done.
First we go to Manhendra Cave. According to the Mahendra Cave website (Mahendra Cave), this cave’s main attraction is that it is completely different from other gufa ( gufa being “cave” in Nepali). The other draw is that 95% of tourists visit it!! Wow! What a circular argument. It’s popular because so many people visit it, and people visit it because it’s popular. No reason is given for its popularity, nor do I find any reason for its popularity once I go there. We climb down into it and it’s barely lit. It has no walkways, so I find myself stumbling down a long twisted passage, tripping and stubbing my toes. And all this for what? There is absolutely NOTHING to see, mainly because there are no lights!!
The next stop is even better. Ha! The Seti River gorge is quite a sight to behold. Rough Guide to Nepal calls it “dramatic,” but I don’t see much dramatic about it. Why is it so dramatic? There is no answer to this question, as it doesn’t look particularly deep or even beautiful. What is the appeal?? The Lonely Planet Nepal says “if you peer down through the darkness, you can just see the water churning through the gorge.” (Lonely Planet Nepal: Seti River in Pokhara)
Hmmm. Again, I would advise it’s better to spend your time strolling aimlessly around the town of Pokhara and around the lake. Those activities are much more pleasant than visiting these “tourist sites.”
Actually, the bridge over the Seti River Gorge has more interesting sights than the gorge itself.
The best thing on this second half of the city tour is the Karma Dubgyud Chhoekhorling Manag Monastery. It’s a Buddhist Monastery with both Nepali and Tibetan monks. I can’t find much information about this monastery, but what makes it lovely is its colorful temple and the views of Pokhara from atop its hilltop location.
The Pokhara Regional Museum is okay; it’s just a small museum with displays on Nepali ethnic groups. The woman who takes my money at the door acts like she’s doing me a big favor allowing me on the premises.
After our tour, I ask my driver to drop me at a restaurant near lakeside so I can eat some lunch and enjoy the views of the lake.