Written by SeenThat on 14 Nov, 2005
Pokhara Valley is Nepal’s second major tourist destination after Kathmandu. A peaceful valley set in the center of the country, Pokhara combines a warm, subtropical climate with amazing mountain views. The mountains rise more than 7,200m above the town. On the northeastern side of Pokhara is…Read More
Pokhara Valley is Nepal’s second major tourist destination after Kathmandu. A peaceful valley set in the center of the country, Pokhara combines a warm, subtropical climate with amazing mountain views. The mountains rise more than 7,200m above the town.
On the northeastern side of Pokhara is the Sarangkot Peak, which, at 1,592m above the sea level, is slightly over 700m above the city and offers awesome views of the town and the Phewa Tal Lake as well as of the Annapurna Himal Range, on a clear day. It is the perfect day walk, allowing you to check your equipment and the basic terrain conditions; if walking without breaks, you can make the whole way in some 2 hours. The obvious way to reach it is to approach it from the northern limit of the town, but that will lead you to uncomfortable cliffs. Making a detour through the southern limit of the Phewa Tal Lake will take you through delightful local villages as well through the Devi’s Falls, one of the local attractions that are easily added to such an excursion. Since the way passes almost completely through an inhabited area, there are practically hundreds of possible paths to reach the Sarangkot Stupa; hence, I will give here the general outlines delimiting your way to the summit.
Pokhara is divided into the lakeside and the damside parts; most probably, you are staying in a guesthouse by the lakeside, which makes the town tourist center just north of the dam, but in both cases, you should begin advancing south towards the Devi’s Falls. A good landmark is the airport’s runway; you should not cross it to the east. The falls are slightly after the dam--make sure to look at this little wonder before you proceed--and they sign the place where you should begin your detour towards the north. Any path or street after the falls will do. From here, you should continue climbing until you reach the peak. To be sure you do not err, the lake should be at your right at all times, and you should not cross the rice paddies of the narrow valley at your left. The path traces a scimitar around the lake and leads you directly to the temple at the summit. Pay attention to the way, as it is not less interesting than your goal; the area is densely populated and endless surprising interactions will occur. The day I walked through, chickens were put inside buckets for the sake of the eagles living in the surroundings, the last eagerly defended the offerings from the local dogs that searched for their share. The time of your visit is crucial: during the mornings, the dew is transformed into a slight fog that obscures the mountain sights; hence, it is wiser to depart late in the morning, to stop for a break at the Devi’s fall, and to plan reaching the summit after noon. The summit offers, beside the stunning views, an interesting stupa, also known as the World Peace Temple or Biswo Shanti Pagoda, that was inaugurated in 2001.
Written by Ozzy-Dave on 09 Sep, 2003
Tuesday’s Busby Dave Underwood
Wednesday morning was fine and cool. The sun emerged from behind the Annapurna mountain giants with authority, casting a warm glow over Pokhara. Today we'd travel to Bhaktapur, near Kathmandu, to stay with friends before leaving Nepal. It would be an eventful…Read More
Tuesday’s Busby Dave Underwood
Wednesday morning was fine and cool. The sun emerged from behind the Annapurna mountain giants with authority, casting a warm glow over Pokhara. Today we'd travel to Bhaktapur, near Kathmandu, to stay with friends before leaving Nepal. It would be an eventful journey.
Nepal is a land of contrasts with a range of transport options to match. We had
travelled in buses with holes in the floor, in dugout canoes, on elephants, in rickshaws, and in
tiny three-wheeled minibuses that sound like lawnmowers. But today Nepal would find a
new experience for us - a parting gesture, a memento.
At the bus park, people milled around a collection of stalls supplying travellers with
delicious coffee, chaiya (sweet milk tea), fresh fruit, and hot breakfast food. We bought
some bananas and oranges and sat with other passengers around an open fire with a cup of
chaiya, waiting for our boarding instructions.
THE NEWSPAPER MYSTERY
A group of boys stowed the bags and by 7:30 we were ready to go. They
worked deftly, with the skill of craftsmen. Every square foot of roof space and every square
inch of vacant seat space were used. I noticed a copy of the Kathmandu Post near the driver's
seat and reached to pick it up.
"No, no," was the response. "I am reading. Then my friend is reading."
The paper was whisked away.
"I wonder what all that was about," I said to Karen.
"He probably hasn't read it yet. Maybe he'll let you read it later."
We rolled out of town to a clear sky, our driver enthusiastically punishing the gears. He
was the picture of concentration, complete with beanie and bandana face mask as
protection from the dust of the dry season and highway traffic fumes. I noticed none of the
driver's friends were interested in reading the paper.
In seven hours we would travel 200 kilometres along the Prithvi Highway from Pokhara
to Kathmandu. The road crosses Nepal's Middle Hills with views of deep valleys and
terraced hillsides, often following major rivers that provide the country with a quarter of its
power through hydroelectricity and tourists with serious rapids.
Roadside shantytowns punctuate the journey, populated by opportunists looking to
exploit the passing trade. Around halfway there is a turnoff to Gorkha. This hillside town
with its incredible palace and temples was home to King Prithvi Narayan Shah in the 18th
During a period of 30 years this extraordinary man unified a country of disjointed
principalities without resorting to violence. He created a state able to resist colonial armies
that conquered almost every other Asian country, a state defended by the now legendary
Gorkha (Gurkha) soldiers.
THINGS GET WORRYING
Three hours into the trip we passed the Gorka turnoff and conversation had ceased as passengers slept, read, and munched trail food. Sagging seats were packed with clothes as relief against the road's imperfections.
At the junction town of Mugling, the Marsyangdi and Trisuli rivers join to form the
Narayani, a tributary of the holy Ganges. Another road turns south toward the fertile plains
of the Terai, home to the Royal Chitwan National Park. We continued east, climbing
toward the rim of the Kathmandu Valley. Then things got worrying.
Road conditions improve, apparently signalling a need to travel at speeds far in excess of
what most observers would call safe. The contours of the road do not improve. We are
climbing rapidly and there are many blind corners - with many steep embankments and many fleeting views of deep valleys.
Passengers previously preoccupied with sleeping and reading were now alert and preoccupied with looking out the window. And it was not just our driver we were worried about. Punctuating our view of precipitous gorges and hillsides out the side windows were
views out the front window of rapidly approaching trucks and buses. It appears the game
of "chicken" was invented in Nepal.
We passed a truck on its side and another on its roof. No one seemed concerned.
Apparently it was common along this road. Outside our window, at the bottom of a deep
canyon, the whitewater rapids of the Trisuli River rushed toward their destiny with the
Ganges. We would both rather be whitewater rafting.
Then the bus stopped.
WHO IS THIS MASKED MAN?
Although pleased to have relief from the roller-coaster ride, we were curious about why we'd stopped. Someone spotted the driver at the back of the bus. He was jumping excitedly, waving his arms around and pointing. He was shouting for us to join him.
We filed off the bus, making our way cautiously toward the masked man and his friends.
The driver beckoned as his friends peered over the edge of the cliff.
"Look, look," the driver laughed, pointing again, this time to the bottom of the gorge. "Tuesday's bus!"
He laughed louder now, almost maniacally, and his friends joined him in some bizarre
epitaph to the twisted wreck of yesterday's bus in the valley hundreds of feet below us.
That's right. Yesterday's bus!
Nobody spoke. Maybe the mask wasn't for protection against the elements. Maybe it
was a disguise. Maybe this guy was a Maoist extremist and he didn't want to be identified.
Maybe he was just crazy. Whatever he was, he was back in the bus, and the engine roared
to life as he prepared to continue our voyage of discovery. Strangely, we all boarded
the bus and sat down like schoolchildren threatened with detention if we didn't behave.
THE NEWSPAPER MYSTERY SOLVED
Ten minutes later we stopped at a roadside restaurant to stretch our legs and break the trip. We returned to the bus ahead of the other passengers, and I decided to read the newspaper I had earlier been denied. And there it was, on the second page.
The story explained that several people had been injured the day before, some critically, in a serious bus accident fuelled by "unnecessarily aggressive driving" outside of Mugling on the main Pokhara-Kathmandu highway.
"Maybe he didn't want us reading it and worrying," I reasoned.
"Maybe he didn't want us spoiling his surprise," said Karen.
We made it to Kathmandu, and to our friends in Bhaktapur. There were no further
incidents, and we recalled our tale around the dinner table, laughing at events that only
hours before had us secretly praying for a reprieve.
I'm certain that somewhere in Nepal there is a bus named after every day of the week.
Written by SeenThat on 24 Nov, 2005
If you arrived from Kathmandu by bus, you will be searching first for a late lunch and then for a place where to drop your backpack.Punjabi Vegetarian RestaurantA light Indian vegetarian meal is the perfect start: the Punjabi Vegetarian Restaurant offers food of an amazing…Read More
If you arrived from Kathmandu by bus, you will be searching first for a late lunch and then for a place where to drop your backpack.
Punjabi Vegetarian Restaurant
A light Indian vegetarian meal is the perfect start: the Punjabi Vegetarian Restaurant offers food of an amazing quality at reasonable prices. It is by the center of the main road in the Lakeside, at the very center of the tourists’ quarters and not very far from the bus terminal. Paped snacks will be served while you study the menu; the owner speaks English and can explain to you the secrets of their delicacies. Chapati bread is just perfect as a companion for the Channa Masala, a tasty stew of chickpeas. The sweet Punjabi Kheer, a dessert based on milk, rice, cashew nuts, and raisins is a delightful way to finish the meal.
Once feeling happy and comfortable again, getting rid of your luggage is the next natural step before beginning the exploration of the new place. Giri (pronounced with a soft “g”) Guesthouse is an easy place to find: walk south along the Lakeside main road until you see the Puja Bakery at your left and ask there for Sikr (the guesthouse manager), or just walk a couple of blocks away from the promenade and the guesthouse will appear at your left. Its location is a central and quiet one. Giri offers big well-lighted, clean rooms with attached bathrooms at economical prices (100NRP per day for a single room). The house has two floors, which means that the higher rooms offer a nice balcony and astounding views of the Annapuna Himal from the windows. The showers have hot water, and the rooms are equipped with big fans hanging from the ceiling. However, the best part is the roof, to which you can climb and get in a clear day good views of the mountains range and the town.
Written by SeenThat on 18 Nov, 2005
The Annapurna Circuit is the most popular trekking route in Nepal, and despite lacking a natural attraction of the Everest size, it offers interesting views. The long circuit takes around 2 weeks, but if you are short on time, you can make a shorter trek and…Read More
The Annapurna Circuit is the most popular trekking route in Nepal, and despite lacking a natural attraction of the Everest size, it offers interesting views. The long circuit takes around 2 weeks, but if you are short on time, you can make a shorter trek and reach the Annapuna and the Machhapuchharey (The Fishtail) Basecamps. The trek itself, and its variants as well, is considerably easier than the Everest Basecamp one – you can do it as an acclimatization and equipment testing trek before attempting the more serious option.
Pokhara is a trekkers’ paradise, and you can make all your arrangements for your long walk from here, although it is wiser to start them in the less expensive and more cosmopolitan Kathmandu. Buying equipment here is an error, but if you are searching for porters or guides, just approach any of the agencies in the Lakeside. If you are not sure if you need any of them, you can start walking alone: porters will approach you daily along the trail, and all of them know the way. Please do not take advantage of these hard-working people: offer them at least 400NPR (around $6) per day of work, and if they gave you satisfactory service, add a 10% tip at the end of your journey.
The route from Pokhara begins with a bus or taxi ride to Naya Phul, less than 2 hours along the Baglung Highway to the northwest. From there it is a half-hour walk to Birethanti, which has several lodges and restaurants. It is a good idea to stay overnight and to begin the ascent early next morning, and that is because the ascent from Ulleri to Ghorepani includes some 4,000 stone steps through a dense forest. If you wish to avoid the exercise, you can make a short first day to Ghandrung and then continue through Tadapani to Ghorepani. This last place is a main stop along the trail that has many lodges and some good mountain views from Poon Hill (3,194m) – an hour climb from the village. The next day, the path descends gently to Tatopani, where some refreshment in the form of hot springs awaits you. The next day takes you to Ghasa, the first Thakali village, where the terrain changes from the subtropics to the beginning of a dry high-altitude rainshadow region. The people change along with the landscape from Hindu groups to Tibetan ones.
Without any dramatic changes, you will spend your next night in the village of Marpha, famous for its raksi, a liquor distilled from apples and peaches. From here, you start turning to the northern side of the circuit, north of the Annapuna Himal Range. The closeness to the Mustang Region and to Tibet is perceptible in the higher terrain and the strong winds. Jomosom is the administrative center of the region and is easily recognizable for its cluster of government buildings. Afterwards, the trail gets a desolate look until Muktinath, the northernmost stop in the circuit. It is a 30-minute detour to get from there to the medieval fortress of Kagbeni. As soon as you continue the trek, it's the hardest day: you will climb up to the Thorung La Pass, which is the highest point in this trek – 5416m – and in the same day you must descend to Thorung Pedi at 4441m. From here, you enter the eastern part of the trek and the climate gently begins to return to a subtropical mood.
In a long day, you can reach Manangbhot by walking along the Jargeng Khola River. This last town, the first of a meaningful size you have seen in a while, is the unofficial capital of the region, where you can recover your breath by staying a couple of days. Many day hikes are possible from here, but if you just want to sit down and relax, the mountain views are extraordinary.
From here it is a straightforward way to Chamey. Most of it runs parallel to the Marsyangdi River. The trail goes gently to lower terrains, and shortly after this last town, you turn southwards at the village of Thonchey, which is located at a mere 1,881m. It is hard to call the terrain of the rest of the trek a mountainous one, but its length will oblige you to split it at least into a couple of days. Many villages will appear along the way, and the best advise is to advance as much as you can and to stay overnight at the first village you see towards sunset. The goal at this stage is to reach Khudi and then, in a short day, the small city of Besisahar, from where you can find transport back to the nearby Pokhara.
To make the basecamps variant of the trek, you begin walking from Naya Phul to Ghandrung; shortly after this village, the way splits and you should take the northern trail. This trek is easier, and after Chomrong, the next stop north of Ghandrung, follow the Modi Khola River until the Fishtail Basecamp (3,703m); the Annapuna Basecamp is farther west at 4,095m. From Chomrong to Bagar there are several stops conveniently arranged: Khuldigar, Dobang, Himalaya Hotel, and the Hinku-Deurali duo will be your most probable night stops. After Bagar there are no settlements, and you must complete the rest of the way up and descend in the same day.
If you plan to visit Pokhara, your timing is crucial. Arriving before the end of the monsoon rains means giving up any trekking possibilities, and the amazing mountains views from the town will be blocked by the constantly clouded skies. Hence, the best season is…Read More
If you plan to visit Pokhara, your timing is crucial. Arriving before the end of the monsoon rains means giving up any trekking possibilities, and the amazing mountains views from the town will be blocked by the constantly clouded skies. Hence, the best season is around September or October. The town is clearly divided into three parts: the Lakeside (Baidam) and the Damside (Pardi) are the most important ones for tourists and run along the axis formed by Phewa Tal (tal means lake in Nepali) and its dam. The biggest district, which has evolved away from the lake into a quite irregular shape, includes the airport, the terminal, the residential, and the commercial areas of the town, and most probably you will visit it only while arriving to or departing from the city.
The Lakeside and Damside, as they are commonly known, are very different in style. The Lakeside is the main center for tourists; it hosts many travel agencies, souvenir shops, guesthouses, trekking equipment shops, restaurants, and a big population of Tibetan Refugees selling handicrafts to the tourists. Please see the Annapuna Circuit entry of this journal for more detailed information regarding the arrangement of your trek. The Damside is more relaxed and offers mainly guesthouses and a local ambience. The distances between the two centers are short; hence, you can live in the Damside and walk to the Lakeside for your activities. To walk between them, walk south along the Baidam Promenade until it begins to move away from the lake, and then turn south to Ratna Puri Road and southwest at Pardi Bazaar Road.
Next to the Phewa Dam, which is slightly north from the last road, are arranged most of the guesthouses in the Damside. Continuing along this road, you will reach the Devi’s Falls (Pataley Chango); if you wish to visit Sarangkot, the best is to cross the bridge over the dam and to continue from there. Midway along the Lakeside is the Ratna Mandir, the Royal Palace, to which there is no access – it makes a good landmark for your first day in town.
North of it is concentrated most of the activity, and you will have a hard time trying to decide where to eat. Puja (blessing), in the southern part of the Lakeside promenade, is a good place for breakfast. Pokhara is a good place for Indian and Tibetan food, and the options are overwhelming. The Punjabi Vegetarian Restaurant offers Hindu food of an amazing quality at reasonable prices; it is by the center of the main road in the Lakeside. Its owners speak enough English to explain the secrets of their delicacies.
If you continue walking north, the buildings dwindle and the place begins to look as a fishermen village – the Baghdad Café and the Ganden Yigey Choling Buddhist Centre are recommended stops in your way; the last one is midway to the hilltop. Few guesthouses operate in this area, and it can compete with the Damside area in its calmness. I stayed at the Giri Guesthouse in the central part of the Lakeside and was completely happy – but there must be at least 50 guesthouses in Pokhara, and most of them offer proper conditions. A big room with a double bed, an attached bathroom, and a fan costs 100NPr per day. Since the buses from Kathmandu arrive in the early afternoon, there is enough time to make a survey before choosing one. Touts wait at the terminal, and letting one of them to show you his guesthouse is a good way to find the somewhat convoluted way from the terminal to the Lakeside.
You will comprehend better the way if you keep in mind that the terminal is just north from the airport and that its southern tip is close to the Damside, while its northern tip is away from the Lakeside; hence advancing east will lead you to the lake. The Pokhara Museum is in the center of the city, along Pode Tol Road, and it offers an humble collection of the region’s costumes and customs. In the northeastern edge is the local university campus, which hosts the Annapuna Regional Museum and specializes on the natural history of the region.
Written by yogajon on 26 Apr, 2002
Thursday 10th April
'Row, row, row your boat
(in an electrical storm)'
The weather was overcast but we were determined to hire a rowboat and have lunch on the magnificent Pokhara Lake. Stocking up on supplies we hired a small rowboat and slowly rowed across the lake,…Read More
Thursday 10th April
'Row, row, row your boat
(in an electrical storm)'
The weather was overcast but we were determined to hire a rowboat and have lunch on the magnificent Pokhara Lake. Stocking up on supplies we hired a small rowboat and slowly rowed across the lake, more concerned with sunburn than possible rain.
Rowing was hard work since the boat lacked any hooks to secure the oars. It would be truer to say that we paddled the boat across the lake. Upon reaching the opposite side, one suitable stopping point was quickly replaced by a seemingly better one some distance further away. Onwards we rowed, until finally securing the boat at a nice spot, shaded by overhanging trees. We munched on lunch, and smoked contentedly for an hour or so, watching another boat make its way back to Lakeside. Eventually we cast off and slowly began our return trip.
Time was aplenty, which was just as well because I was rowing without much skill or enthusiasm, preferring the lazy alternative of watching someone else do the work. However events took quite a dramatic turn after a few short minutes.
With the skyline now clearly visible ominous black clouds were gathering upon the farthest point of the lake. With our backs to a gathering electrical storm my rowing became more enthusiastic, motivated by the impending danger that was gathering a short distance away.
Deep claps of thunder echoed around the lake and before long the serene calm of the water began to tide. Small ripples quickly became more turbulent waves. Flashes of lightning accompanied the storm behind us, and a torrential sheet of rain became apparent in the distance, slowly but surely heading towards us. A quiet afternoon on the lake had become a desperate bid to outrun an electrical storm.
We made slow progress towards Pokhara's shore, as the impending black wall of rain quickly pursued us. As the clouds approached, the waves became more turbulent, making rowing difficult, and steering hopeless. Spots of rain made ripples across the lake surface indicating that our bid to outrun the storm had failed. Very quickly the rain began to pour with torrential force. Waves splashed against the hull of the boat. Rowing vigorously, my hands splashed through the lake.
The water was so warm it seemed as if the lake would boil. Stuart sang 'row, row, row your boat' to increase our morale as we all quickly became soaked to the skin. The boat tipped violently amongst the choppy waters, as we disagreed amongst ourselves over the likelihood of being electrocuted. My arms tired, I passed the oar to Mark whilst I hunched up in the middle of the boat in a desperate attempt to find shelter. Fortunately for us the storm was directing our boat towards the shore we had hired the boat from.
Our boat was spinning wildly in 360 degrees and we had little means of steering against the force of the waves. After about 20 minutes the storm subsided and the torrential rain eased as we made our approach to the shore. Drenched to the skin, we jumped into the waters and pulled the boat to shore. A group of amused Nepalese watched on, as we squelched our way back to Yeti Lodge.
Written by Leesa on 08 Jan, 2002
Not being big walkers, and with only a 2 week holiday, we were undecided about trekking. Once there, it seems very much a ‘must do’ in many people’s minds. If undecided like us, do consider the following before being talked into it by…Read More
Not being big walkers, and with only a 2 week holiday, we were undecided about trekking. Once there, it seems very much a ‘must do’ in many people’s minds. If undecided like us, do consider the following before being talked into it by some evangelical trekker.
The terrain – many of the trekking agencies described the treks as easy or flat, something is somewhat relative to a Nepali! Try to look at a map with the contour lines to understand the trek you are undertaking, or ask for some photos. Several travellers confided in us that they found trekking hard going, and found pleasure in the sense of achievement on completion rather than the trek itself.
The heat – With pictures of snowy peaks its hard to imagine how warm Nepal can be. Walking in 30C is harder than walking in a cooler climate, and can be uncomfortable with all your clothes drenched with sweat if you are not used to it (I’m not). If on a longer trek it will get cooler as you climb, but if on a short and/or low level trek things will not get less sweaty, unless it rains! And if it rains, you might be as well off getting rained upon rather than put on waterproofs however breathable they are as it is the equivalent of putting on a sauna suit.
The basic facilities – If you are not prepared to suffer cold washes and the odd dormitory, staying in lodges is not for you. With camping treks you gain some privacy and solitude, but are more at the mercy of the elements. Even with organised treks, paying $30-40 a night does not guarantee you a private room if there are none available on arrival.
Mountain Views – The shorter the trek, the more this depends on luck. Even in high season you may only get tantalising glimpses.
Environmental Concerns – The need to drink iodine treated water, cook over kerosene, and shower only in solar heated water and so on is much talked about. There are companies with good environmental credentials, but there are a myriad of other trekking companies and associated businesses (chai houses, guesthouses, etc) spawned by the trekking industry that do not share these concerns. If truly concerned about the environment, visit KEEP but bear in mind that trekking, or indeed Nepal, might not be for you!
Time – Seek out impartial advice about how long the trek should take and then (bearing in mind the above comment about heat & terrain), beware of trekking agencies/companies (or your travelling companions) telling you you can do it in less. On longer high altitude treks, do allow for rest and altitude acclimatisation days.
Organised or Independent – Trekking through an agency or company is undoubtedly more expensive than trekking independently, however, it may be preferable if you neither have the time or inclination to plan and organize an independent trek. The difficulty is choosing a company, as everybody and their family is potentially a guide and are adept at telling you what you want to hear. Ultimately personal recommendations are best.
On arrival in Pokhara, trekking independently seemed far easier than anticipated with the trails, and group of fellow trekkers reputedly easy to follow. Failing that the villagers were always keen to point out the right direction. Trekking independently you can also personally recruit your guide and porters on the spot, rather than take a gamble of who the agency might provide.
Guides & Porters – Many backpackers seemed determined to trek on their own, primarily to save money. However, many people we spoke to found the ‘commentary’ provided by English speaking guides or porters to be a fascinating insight into Nepali culture. Both porters & guides appear to be easy to hire/fire en route. Given the maze of paths we encountered just around Pokhara, a English speaking guide would make for an easier day, offer local knowledge of the way of life, and provide a local with brief employment.
With only a week in Pokhara, and wanting a full day at either at either end to explore locally, we only had 4 days/3 nights for a trek. Wanting a combination of mountain scenery & village life we spoke to 3 companies. Himalayan Encounters suggested we could get to Poon Hill and back in 4 days in spite of usually being a 5/6 day trek. Malla Treks were incredibly unforthcoming, and only when pushed suggested Dhampus or a shortened Royal Trek. Asian Trekking advised there was nothing suitable for such a short period of time.
With our limited time it seemed the options were to either push and possibly over-exert ourselves, or be restricted to a small valley, seeing only similar terrain and views. So after a lot of soul searching we decided not to trek, instead we opted for a couple of day walks around Pokhara, enjoying a variety of different views (of clouds), and a hot shower and comfortable bed every night.
In hindsight we could have fit it all into 2 weeks had we
- Assessed all the above considerations and decisions well in advance of arrival
- Researched all the possible routes in advance of our arrival (not easy with very short treks)
- Researched/contacted possible trekking companies in advance
- Spent slightly less time in Kathmandu (I would suggest 4 days to include Swayambhunath & Kathmandu’s Durbar Square, Pashupatinath & Boudha, Bhaktapur, & Patan’s Durbar Square), 5-6 days trekking, and a couple of days resting in Pokhara. This does imply internal flights, and everything running to schedule! And do allow a day for planning /organising if arranging a trek on arrival, be it talking to trekking organisations or recruiting guides and porters.