Saturday, September 27, 2014

Where we stayed in Nepal: Hotel Bougainvillaea

On our mission trip to Nepal, we set aside a couple of days to discover the beauty of this nation. #blessedlife. From Kathmandu, we took a 6-hour minibus ride up north to Pokhara. Yes, it is gruelling, your butt is gonna split, but the views are unforgettable - you'll cross ravines and valleys inundated with small villages, orderly terraces of vegetation rising on the face of a hill, rapid-flowing rivers and (my personal favourite), hand-painted "billboards" on rocks!

The mirror-like Fewa Lake, Pokhara

In the town of Pokhara itself, and its surrounding, is where you'll experience the best of Nepal's natural beauty. There are mountain treks and kayaking and adventure sports like paragliding to be had, but most people who head here use Pokhara as the spring board to Annapurna base camp (which is where people head to if they want to see the ranges of the Himalayan, including the Everest).

We stayed at Hotel Bougainvillaea, which is located about 250m away from the main road in Pokhara town. It's a nice walk on a rocky road (which may be tarred the next time we go there, judging by the rising popularity of Nepal as a destination). You'll pass by about four or five similar-looking hotels on your way in. The 7 Continents Hotel, pictured below, seemed quite cute with two cottage-looking villas in front!

Our room in Hotel Bougainvillaea was on the first floor of the five-storey hotel, the one facing the road. There are no lifts, so you'll have to climb up the marble staircases with ebony banisters to your rooms.

Load sharing is common in the whole of Nepal because of some socio-political scarce resource issue, so you will be getting only intermittent electricity (fan, lights, etc). You can ask the front desk for candles and matches. If you crave a breeze, sit in the balcony (like we did to dry our hair) or climb up to the rooftop for spectacular views. On very clear days, you might even catch a glimpse of the tips of the snow-capped mountains. We saw it on our last morning, and it was life-changing, even though it was just a tiny glimpse :D

The hotel has a small dining area at the back, but do ask for an alfresco seat if you happen to be having breakfast here - they open tables on the front lawn if it's not raining. Speaking of raining...walking back from the town one night, it started pouring, so I snuggled myself tight in the raincoat we all brought. I didn't know why Monica was laughing at me until she said I looked like a pao! hehehehee

At the hotel lobby

The hotel staff are accommodating, and I particularly remember the front desk receptionist dressed in a pretty saree, who was always smiling and on the last day told me that I looked like a popular Nepalese actress. 

Other important information: 
- Money changers widely available
- English widely spoken
- Eat lots of momos and puri panees, if you can find it

If you are going to Nepal, let me know! I'd love to hear about your experience there. 

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