When you might find yourself tired of the hectic atmosphere that comes with any city, and the heat of the sun becomes too much and lake Fewa seems so tempting for a refreshing swim (but you know it’s a bit too dirty for it) you can always escape to Begnas lake.
Begnas lake is about a 40 min bus-ride from lakeside Pokhara. You catch the bus down by the “camping chowk bus stop” that goes straight to the little center of Begnas town. It’s so refreshing to arrive there! At the bus stop in Begnas there are signs to the left leading to the lake and one to the right leading to “Mom’s bakery”, make sure to stop by the bakery before the lake to bring some homemade chocolate truffles with you.
At Begnas, we stayed at “Sanu lake on d water” owned by a really friendly Nepali guy. The dorm is around 500 Npr per person but includes breakfast. If you’re looking for something cheaper you can just climb up the hill from Sanu and stay at one of the cozy guesthouses there. The food at Sanu is great!! And it has a patio that allows you to walk straight into the lake for a morning swim.
People go to Begnas to relax, spend their days reading books and swimming in the lake. At the town side of the lake you can rent a canoe for around 700 Npr for the whole day. One day we did that and ended up keeping it for the night and camping out under the stars around a bonfire. They warned us about tigers keeping an eye on us but we didn’t see any. The Anna Purna mountains are visible from the lake on clear days, so if you’re lucky you’ll find yourself sitting in a canoe in the middle of the lake with an, at least to say, powerful view.
Begnas is also perfect for short and local treks. You can go to smaller lakes around or just follow the jungle path to the right from Sanu and walk through villages and forests. We chose to walk on our own and started on the jungle path, with the aim to walk all around lake Begnas. After some time we’d lost track of the path and just followed the edge of the water. There we came across an old Nepali woman picking wild herbs, we walked with her for while eating new kinds of berries that she showed us. She was smiling, barefoot with a machete in her hand clearing the path for as as we moved forward. This is one of the things I love about Nepal, people here are naturally kind and curious. We imagined we’d walk all around the lake but 5 hours later and half way through it, we asked a local to bring us back on his canoe. All around the lake would probably take a good full day since the terrain is quite wild, if this is something you’d like to try, plan it a bit better than us and bring a picknick.
Two days or more by the Begnas lake is something I would recommend to everyone who’s staying around Pokhara for a longer period of time. We spent many days here since we went after the semester was over, but if we would have gone earlier I’d imagined that we would have gone for more weekends during the semester.
Don’t miss it!
– Daniela & Malin –