Robert Schrader in Pokhara, Nepal

30 Pictures That Will Make You Want to Visit Nepal

As I watched the sun rise over Phewa Lake and its ubiquitous row boats my first morning in the Nepalese city of Pokhara, a stray dog who exuded the same desperation I remember embodying as a child approached me. I kept him company for a long while, but was helpless to ward off the vicious pack of peers that stalked him as I walked away.

I guess they grow wild here? I wondered, noticing a poinsettia tree on the side of the road.

A few days before my 10th Christmas my father, upon my asking him if poinsettias were in fact poisonous, had pulled a petal from the one on our kitchen table and dared me to taste it. I accepted, not wanting to be seen as weak, but spent the hours that transpired until my mother got home (a single bite, she assured me, would not be lethal) panicked I was doomed to death.

Across the street, another sign. ROBOTIC MUSEUM, it read, above an image of a golden face cocked sassily to the left. Life and teachings of Gautam [sic] Buddha.

The first of my two weeks in Nepal, as you might know if you read the sprawling essay I wrote to commemorate it, was nothing short of magical, a long weekend amid the temples of Kathmandu followed by a six-day trek through the Himalayas with a sherpa, his wife, his young son and a man from Poland who always seemed to have chocolate bars on his person.

Week two, however, was different. Pokhara, for example, is without a doubt the most hyped destination in Nepal, and it did not even come close to living up to said hype.

“I’d like to ask you to close your eyes,” the voice inside the first room of the museum pleaded, as a plastic Buddha sat atop a spinning, styrofoam globe moved its mouth. “And simply focus on your breath.”

I’ve always seen pieces of myself in the various Siddhartha tales I’ve read, a tendency not even the ramshackle robots relaying this one could thwart.

Pieces, but not the whole picture: I’m down with Buddha’s wandering ways, but I never seem to have the sorts of epiphanies he does; I avoid the pain he says is inevitable in life, but do little to ward off the suffering he insists is optional.

Although my subsequent trek through the jungles of Chitwan National Park was memorable because of my animated guide, a local Tharu man named Bharat who happened to be born the same year as my father, the high grass at this time of year obscure all but a few of the rhinos and elephants that inhabited the park; I saw zero tigers and countless deer.

It would take 10 hours to travel the 50 miles (as the crow flies) from the park’s exit to Kathmandu, an agonizing journey that made me call my entire trip into question. When I departed my hotel to catch my flight home the following morning, I noticed a man in a nice suit standing on the corner of a rooftop.

“Don’t jump,” I mouthed through the window of the taxi, my hand pressed on the glass.

I had no reason to believe he was suicidal, but I do know that the line between a cliff’s edge and a beautiful panorama is as narrow as the the Middle Path Buddha says we should walk along. As had been the case with my canine friend in Pokhara, I couldn’t destroy his demons, but I hoped the goodness of my intent might make them reconsider.

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About The Author

is the author of 790 posts on Leave Your Daily Hell. Robert founded Leave Your Daily Hell in 2010 so that other travelers would have an entertaining, reliable source of information, advice and inspiration at their fingertips. Want to travel more often? Subscribe to email updates today!

 

informs, inspires, entertains and empowers travelers like you. My name is Robert and I'm happy you're here!

 
 
 

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Dan Saba | Path XO December 12, 2016 at 3:20 pm

Stunning photos, beautiful writing. Nepal is calling me, and this helps push me there in the new year. Well done!

bernie December 14, 2016 at 9:59 am

Yeah really great photos!! Does make you want to go there!! One day I hope!

Justine Cross December 16, 2016 at 1:34 pm

Wow! These are incredible photos! I may just have to add Nepal to my bucket list now …

Morocco Best Travel December 18, 2016 at 4:57 am

Very informative article, Thanks for sharing..

John December 27, 2016 at 12:09 pm

You are an artist! These photos are amazing! I especially liked the one with the buildings and houses all packed together. Must be a really crowded place.

Robert Schrader December 27, 2016 at 3:25 pm

What a nice thing to say! Kathmandu is crowded, but I’ve found crowded places tend to be teeming with life—literally and figuratively! You should go, if and when you can.

Robert Schrader December 29, 2016 at 2:23 pm

Thanks :_)

Robert Schrader December 29, 2016 at 2:23 pm

You should 😉

Robert Schrader December 29, 2016 at 2:23 pm

I hope too

Braai Brothers December 31, 2016 at 5:37 am

The write up alone is enough to sway anyone to visit.

Don’t even get me started on the photography skills. It truly is as if I am there standing next to you.

How was the trek in the Himalayas?

I hope you had a great Christmas

Robert Schrader December 31, 2016 at 6:06 am

Thanks! What a sweet talker you are 😘

milesofhappiness January 5, 2017 at 7:43 pm

Stunning photos as usual!
We’ve just heard a low coast company is about to fly Hong Kong – Katmandu in 2017 so we might be able to come back to Nepal and finally getting to explore Pokhara!

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