Imagine, it’s early in the morning. You’re breathing in the fresh air, sat on top of one of the highest viewing points in Pokhara, Nepal. The sun is just about making its way over the horizon, lighting up the valley with a warm glow. It was an early start but when you see the Annapurna Mountain range reflect the orange sun, that’s when you knew the midnight wake-up call was worth it.
This is sunrise at Sarangkot. A beautiful experience that you just can’t miss if you’re visiting Pokhara in Nepal. Here’s what you need to know if you want to tick this off your bucket list and let me tell you it’s worth every penny and all the sleepiness…
When I was in Pokhara, my friend and I hopped in an early morning taxi. Hello 4am alarm! We’d already booked the taxi at the hotel reception but, if you’re staying near Lakeside, there’s always somewhere to get a taxi. I think we probably over paid at around $20 each for the taxi but oh well. I’ve heard you can also hire a moped but be careful that the roads are SUPER steep up to Sarangkot village. Walking is also an option but the paths are not in the best condition and not well lit to be walking in the middle of the night.
Wear something warm. You’re pretty high up and surrounded by mountains so the air will be chilly no matter how warm it is during the day. I went in April and was okay in a thick cardigan, jeans and trainers although I wish I’d had and extra layer on and a woolly hat too.
Yes. Yes it does. Don’t let those serene looking sunrise pictures fool you into thinking that there’s no one except you on top of that hill. The reality is that there are a fair few people also watching that sunrise but the other travellers don’t make that moment you see the sunrise above the horizon any less magical. It just means you share it with a few people and that might make the moment even more special.
As someone who has experienced the sunrise when the cloud has been less than favourable, I can say that, yes, it’s still worth going to see when it’s cloudy. The views might not be as breathtaking but being awake for dawn is incredible with a view or not. There’s still a pretty awesome view though when the clouds are settled in the valley of Pokhara.
Most tours I’ve seen take around 3 hours. A bus picks you up at 5am and take you back at 8am. The taxi my friend and I got picked us up at 4.30am, leaving plenty of time to watch the sky turn from inky blue to bright white. We were back in Pokhara for 7am, in time to have a great breakfast at our hotel and to enjoy the rest of our day. Granted, if the sky is clearer you might need longer but a couple of hours was enough time to have the experience we wanted.
I say if you’re in Pokhara, then yes. It is so worth getting up early one morning to see that sunrise and it definitely made my time in this part of Nepal even more special than it was.