Welcome to the top of the world! More than 1000 meters above sea level, Pokhara is just 30 miles from three of the ten highest mountains in the world, dotted across the Annapurna mountain range in the Himalayas. In fact, the Annapurna Circuit attracts thousands of climbers and adrenalin junkies every year, making Pokhara an unlikely tourist destination and one of the busiest cities in Nepal. But for expats living in Pokhara, the sense of tranquility is unrivalled. Sitting on the shores of the Phewa Lake, surrounded by the greatest peaks on the planet and breathing in the clean mountain air, your troubles will just melt away. And on the off chance that you’re having a stressful day, just visit the World Peace Pagoda, with its incredible views over the mountains and the sunset over Pokhara.
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If you are thinking of relocating to Pokhara, you better hit the cross-trainer. It may seem like a no-brainer, but Pokhara is situated in a mountain range and the city has some fierce hills. You will soon get used to the altitude, but it is worth getting as fit as possible so you can spend your free time climbing the surrounding hills and mountains. Where else will you get to look down on mirrored lakes reflecting the snow-capped peaks of the world’s tallest mountain range, while monkeys chatter in the trees beside you? During the summer, Pokhara is humid, but the winters can be very cold. The monsoon season lasts from July until September and most of the year’s rain falls during this time. Expatriates moving to Pokhara should therefore pack for every eventuality, and be prepared for each season. Other expats can guide you through monsoon seasons and the Himalayan winters – just sign up to InterNations, the largest expat network, and use our forums and discussion groups to ask away as well as simply network and socialize with fellow expats in Pokhara, Nepal, or across the world!
Pokhara’s economy relies heavily on tourism due to its proximity to the Annapurna range. As a result, the city attracts trekkers, tourists and working expatriates from all over the world. English is widely spoken, but if you are working in Pokhara for a reasonable amount of time, you should learn at least some Nepalese to help you fit in with the locals. Expats living in Pokhara should also be aware of any visa restrictions before they relocate. Some nationalities enjoy more leniency than others, but the visa renewal processes can be painstakingly slow and administration heavy, so do your research before you leave. Get tips from other expats on surviving Nepalese bureaucracy via the InterNations discussion boards and forums.