6 months ago
Want to party till dawn? Lakeside is the place!
Lakeside Pokhara goes to sleep late and wakes up even later. Late night parties are what make the place exciting. As night gets darker and winds get colder, Lakeside bustles with loud music and dance. Locals come here after a long day’s work to relieve stress, while tourists—including both domestic and foreign—who come to Pokhara for the view of the mountains and lakes also stay for its active nightlife. These late night party-goers are part of the reason why Lakeside is the place for best nightlife experiences in Pokhara.
The tourists and locals, however, aren’t the only aspects that make Lakeside a hot and happening nightlife hub. Aromas from restaurants and street food stalls along the Lakeside lane allure people to try from a vast array of food served. People walk around with street foods (in taparis) and drinks in their hands. While some may opt for restaurants where they enjoy complete meals with friends and family, others might enjoy their time smoking flavored hookahs.
Lakeside is definitely livelier at night than during the day. “People aren’t as active and everything looks relaxed and laidback when the sun is up. This all changes at night–when Lakeside lights up,” says Ravi Shahi, an internal tourist from Kathmandu. “Life is different here from the hustle-bustle of the capital. Because there’s so much to do in Pokhara at night, you don’t realize when time flies by. It’s like you’ve visited some other country.”
Pahuna Mohan Chitrakar also finds Pokhara exciting at night. “You forget to keep track of time when you’re enjoying at Lakeside,” says Chitrakar. “The clean, pollution-free air also helps you forget about Kathmandu.”
Visiting Lakeside during the Nepali New Year helped both Chitrakar’s and Shahi’s families relax and unwind. “There is so much pollution in the capital that you can’t run away from it. That’s why we decided to come to Pokhara,” says Chitrakar. “Maybe it was because I was enjoying so much, I didn’t even realize when the clock had struck midnight.”
More young adults visit the Lakeside area at night. People choose to celebrate things like anniversaries, birthdays, promotions and other happy occasions here. It has become the place where everything is exhilarating. Foreigners and Nepalis all dance together when the DJ starts playing tunes mixing both western and local Nepali folk music. The drinks are poured late into the night, while the entire Lakeside is wide awake.
Lakeside goes to sleep even later during its peak tourist season. Both Nepali and English New Years are occasions where parties last all night and the locals don’t sleep at all. Crowds of people fill the pubs, bars and restaurants in the area, and hotels are completely booked with tourists. But apart from celebratory occasions, even during days when there aren’t any exciting events, locals and foreigners alike can be seen enjoying.
Over the past few years, Pokhara has witnessed a dramatic shift in arrival trend, with domestic tourists outnumbering foreign visitors, according to stakeholders. It’s, in fact, domestic tourists that are helping develop Lakeside’s nightlife now, according to Gopi Bahadur Bhattarai, former president of Restaurant and Bar association of Nepal (ReBAN). “It’s been a few years, Lakeside has been shining brightly late into the night thanks to internal tourists,” Said Bhattarai. “In the past, foreigners used to have fun, now the Nepalis do.”
Lakeside is alive with people till 11 at night, but local business owners have plans to keep it awake longer. Tourists coming from various cities in Nepal arrive at night as the roads are in bad shape. So, these people need things to do and place to meet up late at night. This is why Bhattarai thinks it is important to be lit up and alive late at night. “People from various cities enter Pokhara late at night due to poor road condition. This is why we are planning for the nightlife to go deeper into the night.”
What makes Lakeside all the more brighter are hundreds of streetlights powered by solar energy. This has made the place accessible, especially late at night. This also makes the streets safer for the crowds. “We need to make Lakeside safer as it attracts a lot of people. This will help Lakeside stay open as late as possible,” stated Bhattarai.