A Snow-capped Sunrise in Sarangkot, Nepal
If you’re travelling to Nepal, chances are you’ll want to see the sun rise over snow covered peaks at least once. Most people will do this on a trek, but what if trekking isn’t for you? Maybe you’ve been eating too many pizzas and are physically incapable of walking uphill for more than 5 minutes, or maybe you’re so used to the finer things in life that you can’t bear to stay in basic guesthouses eating average (but really expensive) food. Seeing the sunrise in Sarangkot might be for you…
For those of you who hate walking, you can hire a taxi to Sarangkot (and back to Pokhara) for around $15 USD, but if you’re on the fence about whether you can handle a multi-day trek then I’d suggest walking there like we did. It’s around 2 and a half hours from Lakeside in Pokhara, or about 2 hours from a guesthouse we stayed at called Hidden Paradise (which we would later realise wasn’t false advertising).
It was a pretty tough 2 hours, not helped by the fact that we slept in and had to walk in the extreme midday heat. Paragliders filled the air (Sarangkot is where almost all of them take off from) but the views weren’t great because of the haze. We passed a few others who were struggling with the steep ascent and eventually we came across a small village with old stone buildings – a scene very similar to many on the Poon Hill trek, which we would do a few days later. Eventually we made it to Sarangkot and checked into the Panoramic View Guesthouse, which overlooked Fewa Lake/the city of Pokhara.
We woke up early the next day for the sunrise, and despite it being a bit hazy and cloudy it was pretty amazing. We saw some of the tallest mountains in the Annapurna range, and the crowds weren’t as crazy as I’ve experienced at other mountain sunrise viewpoints. Early morning sunlight hitting mammoth white peaks is something I’ll never get sick of, and seeing the sunrise in Sarangkot made me even more excited for our impending 4 day trek.
The view from the roof of our guesthouse that morning was almost as good, and after some breakfast and a short rest we started walking down the hill. It didn’t take long for us to get lazy and jump in a taxi, which is when choosing to stay at a place called Hidden Paradise started to seem like a bad idea. The driver had no idea where it was, so I told him to start driving and I’d point it out to him when I saw it. I didn’t realise there was more than 1 road to Sarangkot, and after a few minutes heading in the wrong direction we got out and started walking. We were lost for about 40 minutes until we finally found our way back to the path we’d taken the day before. All up that taxi ride cost us $1 USD and added about 45 minutes to our trip.
Sunrise in Sarangkot: The details
Sarangkot is really close to Pokhara, the gateway to the Annapurna mountain range, which is home to some of the most popular treks in Nepal. If you go to Sarangkot by taxi you can do the whole trip in a couple of hours, but spending a night in one of the guesthouses there is an experience in itself. If you’re unsure whether you can handle a trek I’d definitely recommend walking to Sarangkot.
Further reading: According to this article, Pokhara wasn’t affected by the recent earthquake but tourism is way down
Have you seen a snow-capped sunrise? Would you rather go on a multi-day trek to see one or just take a taxi? Let me know!