Hemja Tibetan camp

Many of the Tibetan refugees who hawk souvenirs in Lakeside live in the Tibetan refugee settlements within and around Pokhara. The largest settlement close to Pokhara is Tashi Palkhel, about 5km northwest of town at Hemja, on the road to Baglung. With prayer flags flapping in the breeze in the rocky valley, it genuinely feels like you’re in Tibet.

The colorful Jangchub Choeling Gompa in the middle of the village is home to around 200 monks. It is little bubbles preserving the language a culture brought over from their homeland. As soon as you step through the gates of one of these settlements, you might as well be entering a new country altogether.