Kathmandu is a great party town and has some good shopping but for me Pokhara will always be home. I know my way around, I've seen all the sites, I even know the names of the best taxi drivers. Pokhara is my city and it really makes me sad that it isn't being looked after.
Whenever I arrive in Pokhara I am always really surprised by how quickly development happens here. In the five months I have been away three monstrous hotels have been completed in my street and a fancy new retreat and spa is on the way. One of these hideous cement boxes now completely blocks my view of the mountains, the other hides the lake.
I am starting to wonder if the people who regulate the building in lakeside actually have any idea why tourists come to Pokhara. I am 100% sure that most 'western' tourist do not come to sit in huge expensive concrete hotels.
Most of the people I have spoken to want to enjoy the beautiful lake, sit and look at the mountains, drink tea, enjoy dal bhaat and in the evening have a quiet beer. I am generalizing but the thing nearly everyone can agree on is that they want to do Pokhara cheaply.
Most tourists are happy to forgo modern conveniences, like air conditioning, a television, even private bathrooms, just to save some rupees. Tourists enjoy eating in local restaurants and bars, although one thing Lakeside does not need is another late night 'dance bar'. We want to soak up the relaxing atmosphere and enjoy the Pokhara charm.
Pokhara already has everything tourists want. We love that things are different from wherever we have come from, it is part of why we came to Nepal. I'm not suggesting that development stop in order to please tourists. I am simply stating careful consideration of what Pokhara is losing due to the constant upwards and outwards building, may be prudent.
There are hundreds of untouched, undeveloped towns, with beautiful views in Nepal. As the lake gets murkier, the mountains harder to see and the hotels get more expensive, the tourists will start to look for somewhere else to go.