Two days ago, I visited Lakeside and the place took me by surprise. The place seemed deserted with no human movements at all. Few people were audacious enough to open their shops and spend their day. Most of the locals were not in the mood for anything new nor did they seem interactive. Some of the shops were closed as Indian and Chinese owners returned to their home countries.
As a resident of Pokhara, I could not tolerate the fact that the city that was embellished in night lights every time I visited it was no more the same. People closed their shops by 8 o’clock. Restaurants stopped playing music and not a single resident could be seen hanging around in the once vibrant city.
The popularity went a record low as the tourists cancelled their reservations for an indefinite period. As a city that relied more on its natural landscapes foreseeing the Annapurna Range, the post earthquake scenario crippled the city’s economic status. The earthquake was not to blame for the major part as the tourists continued to roam the place even after the April 25 earthquake, but the fact that the international media totally misinterprated the situation at Pokhara, including other tourist spots, justified the tourists’ cancellations to visit Nepal.
I want to remind you that Pokhara was safe even when the first major earthquake striked, with every buildings within the vicinity of the city safe and sound. The consequent aftershocks did little damage than just to develop minor cracks in the walls. Pokhara is safe enough to be included in your vacation plans. I urge you to visit my beautiful city and bring along your family and friends. If you are scared just because you saw 10 districts severely affected by the earthquake, I have enough reasons to justify that the 65 districts are totally safe and we need you to bring back to the state it was in before the quake. You can immediately head to Pokhara once you land in Tribhuvan International Airport. We Pokhrelis know that had we had our own international airport, the number of tourists would exponentially grow to revive our tourism business. And we are continuously working despite the disaster.
I plead anyone reading this post to please pack your belongings and head to Nepal. It will be the greatest relief operation that you guys will be opting and we will promise to deliver with the ubiquitous hospitality that we are famous for. I thank you for the thousands of donations you have made to various organizations and send in mattresses and tents for the homeless. For the long term, you know we can’t just depend on your donations. Our livelihood must be sustained. We have to raise our families and provide hope for the next generations that hope was never lost.
Please, visit Nepal and being a Pokhreli, make it your priority. The hotel owners have brought out heavy discounts, with upto 50%, because they know that you will answer their pleas. And I believe that you will not disappoint us. The Annapurna Trekking Route is safe and if you still have doubts, I can clear them up by helping you connect with the trekkers and if necessary, provide a live feed of the area.
Let us celebrate VISIT POKHARA 2015/16 and make it the grandest of all adventures. Let us go on a trek to the Poon Hill and get a majestic panorama of the Annapurna Range. Let us boat our way to the Barahi Temple and The World Peace Stupa through Phewa Lake and make it a legendary weekend. We are there to extend your holidays and make sure that you get the best from our city.
Please, Visit Pokhara!! Or help spread the word…