Imagine a place where the world’s highest mountains surround you; a place where many winding trails wait for hikers to explore them and colourful paragliders dance with the eagles in the fresh air above. This idyllic setting is why Pokhara is a popular tourist destination in Nepal. That being said, living in Pokhara as a digital nomad can be a completely different experience. However, if you crave a mixture of unique Asian culture, endless adventure and remarkable natural beauty which would revitalize your mind, body and soul; Pokhara is a must-visit and a great potential long-stay destination for remote workers.
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Planning in a hurry? Check these top tips for living in Pokhara…
Recommended SIM card: Check out Airalo for either a local, regional or global eSIM. Airalo is the world’s first eSIM supplier, so you can purchase the most suitable prepaid data plan before you’ve even arrived.
Best Accommodation for Living in Pokhara: Pokhara Backpackers Hostel is the greatest to make new friends and connections. For a gym and swimming pool, Hotel Middle Path & Spa would be a great base. If you’d prefer an outdoor swimming pool with a view, choose the Bar Peepal Resort.
Insurance for Nomads: SafetyWing is travel insurance for nomads, by nomads. If you are unsure how long you’ll be travelling for, or you haven’t committed to any destination just yet, SafetyWing is convenient, flexible and simple.
Best Tours: Take a half-day or full-day sightseeing tour to find your bearings, then paraglide in one of the best places in the world to do so, Pokhara. To gain an insight into the local culture, learn to cook the top two dishes of Nepal in a cooking class.
What You Should Know about Living in Pokhara
Nepal has approximately 123 native languages, but Nepali is the official language of Nepal. The Nepalese do not typically speak English at a high level, but you should still be able to discuss basic topics such as food, transport and shopping.
The currency of Nepal is the Nepalese Rupee (NPR). There are ATM cash machines in most large towns, cities and hotels.
Tourist visas can be obtained upon arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. The process is quick and simple, although some queues are expected during the peak season. Upon entering immigration at the airport arrivals, visitors are guided to self-scan their passports with one of the purpose-built computers. This shouldn’t take any longer than 5 minutes. Once completed, take a picture of the on-screen confirmation page to the payment desk. There are visas available for 15, 30 or 90-day stays with the prices varying depending on the length of time. Payment is accepted in the local currency, USD or Euros.
Nepal is a relatively safe country to travel throughout, with a reputation for being extremely friendly and hospitable towards tourists. My own personal experience would reinforce this notion, as I personally, did not experience any issues.
With the overall crime rates being fairly low, it could be argued that the greatest dangers are what lie in nature (earthquakes, landslides, freezing temperatures and the high altitude). In addition, Nepal’s many modes of transport (motorbikes, planes and buses) aren’t particularly the safest either.
Most areas of Pokhara are walkable, especially around the lakeside. However, public transport may be necessary to discover various tourist hotspots.
🚕 Taxis – Cab drivers will make themselves known to visitors across the city by beeping their horns as they pass by. These vehicles should have a taxi sign on the roof and black license plates. It’s also worth noting that they do not work from a meter system, so you will need to negotiate a price beforehand.
🚌 Bus – The local bus network runs to most corners of Pokhara.
🚣 Boat – There are a few popular tourist sites that require the use of a boat on Phewa Lake. You can catch one from the Phewa Taal Boating Terminal.
🚴 Bike – There are a few shops around the lake that will rent bicycles to tourists. This would be a great way to explore the banks of the lake.
Wifi Speeds – According to Ookla’s SpeedTest, the average download speed for fixed broadband in Nepal is 48.45 Mbps.
Data Plans – It is worth investing just a couple of dollars for a data plan to ensure your trip is as convenient as can be, especially since Nepalese SIM cards are so cheap. You’ll find two mobile network shops once you’ve passed the airport immigration in Kathmandu; Nepal Telecom and NCell. The coverage is similar for each of them, though since they are so affordable, you could buy both to increase your odds of having a good signal.
In my experience, I was content with a prepaid Nepal Telecom SIM card. There weren’t any 12 GB packages left, so I opted for the 25 GB. The company will request a passport photo to process the order, but if you are without one, the staff member can take a quick picture with his webcam for a small fee.
|Duration||Data Plan||Price (USD)||Price(NPR)|
|28 days||25 GB||9||1200|
|28 days||12 GB||6||800|
If convenience is your ultimate goal, check out Airalo for either a local, regional or global eSIM. Airalo is the world’s first eSIM supplier. You can purchase the most suitable prepaid data plan without visiting any shop or swapping physical sim cards. This is the technology we digital nomads have been waiting for!
Digital Nomad Community
There isn’t an immediately obvious community of international digital nomads in Pokhara, but you will find like-minded individuals once you begin exploring the cafes, coffee shops and yoga studios of the area.
ALSO: The 9 Best Cafes to Work in Kathmandu as a Digital Nomad
Trip Planning Tips for Pokhara
Best Time to Visit Pokhara
Pokhara can be visited throughout the year, though experiences will differ between the various seasons.
☀️ Summer (March to May) – This is the peak tourist season in Pokhara as most activities can be enjoyed during the summer climate. Temperatures can reach as high as 31°C.
☂️ Monsoon (June to October) – Expect heavy downpours daily during the monsoon season. With uncomfortable humidity and regularly flooded streets, this season is not the best time to visit Pokhara. On the other hand, a cool breeze and a slight drop in temperature could be preferable for some visitors. Temperatures can range between 20°C and 30°C.
⛄ Winter (November to February) – Pokhara’s temperatures can be between 4°C and 22°C during the winter period.
How to Get from Kathmandu to Pokhara
Pokhara is well-connected by road and air passage from Kathmandu, and other popular tourist destinations in the country. Each mode of road transport travels along the same highway between Kathmandu and Pokhara, so neither the local bus, tourist bus or car transfer will necessarily arrive earlier than the next.
🚍 Public Bus – Local buses are the cheapest option. They leave throughout the day, approximately every half an hour, and mainly from the Gongabu Bus Park. These buses could potentially be slightly faster, but at the cost of fewer comfort stops and perhaps even your road safety.
🚌 Tourist Bus – It will be most convenient to organise your tourist bus through your hostel or hotel. Otherwise, the majority of the buses depart Kantipath Road near Thamel at 7 am. To be extra organised, you could also book the service online. Tourist buses include a bottle of water, air conditioning, onboard wifi (which is a rarity), reasonably frequent stops, clear aisles and a guaranteed seat. This is the most popular choice, so you are likely to meet many fellow travellers onboard.
RELATED: Kathmandu for Digital Nomads (Everything You Should Know)
🚗 Car Transfer – To avoid the extra bother of public transport, take a transfer between Kathmandu and Pokhara in a private, air-conditioned car with an experienced driver. The added bonus of taking a separate vehicle is that you can ask the driver to stop at any service station whenever you feel that it is necessary.
🛩️ Flight – Flying is the quickest and most comfortable way of travelling between Kathmandu and Pokhara. By doing so, you’d skip the uncomfortable bumps along the roads, and, if you sit on the better side of the plane, you’ll also be offered a very scenic panorama of the Himalayas. A number of flights are scheduled each day, taking approximately 30 minutes. Click here to secure your ticket.
Bonus: Pokhara Recommendations
TIP: Check out 'Nirvana Singing Bowls Pokhara' for free sound healing sessions every day.
Working Remotely from Kathmandu
Living in Pokhara is made simpler with so many cafes, coffee shops and restaurants welcoming digital nomads who work remotely. If you’re in search of a good place to be productive with free wifi, here is a list of some recommended places.
Recommended Coworking Spaces –
Suggested Coffee Shops & Restaurants –
Coffee shops could easily become a second home for digital nomads, and with so many delightful places in Pokhara, it might be a challenge to find the best for you. Click here for other recommended coffee shops to work remotely.
Accommodation for Living in Pokhara (Temporarily)
Airbnb is the most convenient website to find a place to stay for living in Pokhara, particularly if you are staying for less than a couple of months.
Below are a few recommendations for short-term stays…
With a very sociable community, warm-hearted staff and a fun-filled bar, the Pokhara Backpackers Hostel was my personal favourite.
Just a 5-minute walk from the lake, Hotel Middle Path & Spa would be a great base. It also has a gym, swimming pool and panoramic views.
Would you prefer an outdoor swimming pool with a view? The Bar Peepal Resort offers rooms with lake views, desks and a balcony.
Alternatively, you could have a whole apartment or house to yourself! Why not stay in wonderful homes by house-sitting and caring for adorable pets? This experience would not be for everyone but you could find yourself in free accommodation, whilst you live a more authentic lifestyle in the local area, by joining Trusted Housesitters.
RELATED: 19 AMAZING Things To Do In Pokhara (Day & Night)
Where To Go After Pokhara
Are you wondering where you could visit during, or after, living in Pokhara?
Kathmandu – Take a 30-minute flight or a 7-8 hour bus ride back to the capital city.
SEE: Kathmandu for Digital Nomads (Everything You Should Know)
Chitwan – Chitwan was the first national park in Nepal. It’s a 5-hour bus ride from Pokhara.
CHECK: 3 Days & 2 Nights Chitwan National Park Tour from Kathmandu
Did You Know…
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