Paragliding seem to be very popular in Pokhara. This is mainly because you can sail around the mountains of Annapurna, which has some of the highest peaks in the world.
It normally costs USD 100 for 30 minutes flight, but I got a 10% discount due to low season. It was monsoon season, so the area was pretty cloudy. The mountain was hiding behind thick clouds for most of the ride.
So they will drive you up the Sarangkot hills for take off. This is also a popular hiking spot to view the mountains.
Birds flying in the air. Which is usually a good sign, because they use the thermals to glide around – which is used by the paragliders to float upwards.
The getting ready and just before take off is the most scary part of the whole thing (like the feeling just before hopping onto a roller coaster).
They strap stuff on you (apparently, its your “chair”). Then the guide says “when I say walk, you walk. When I say run, you run. Don’t sit before we take off”. When its time, he says “walk” and “run” and you’re trying to do as he says, but the sail pulls you in so many directions all at once. Before you know it, you’re hurling yourself off the cliff!!
The sights are fantastic. You float over Pokhara city and the lake, some countryside with paddy fields, and of course, with the mountains in the background (or just a glimpse through the clouds).
My feet in the air!
My pretty sail.
Some part can be a bit nauseating, especially when your guide brings you round and round or worse – doing some aerial stunts/acrobat! If you’re queasy, be sure to warn them before hand! But before you know it, time is up. Then you move towards the landing spot, just beside the lake.
Your guide will tell you how to land. Apparently, there are 2 ways – you can land on your feet or land on your bum (which was what I did, apparently not enough wind or something).
The whole paragliding experience was worth it! And you even got a certificate after flying. Best time to go is after the monsoon season (September onwards) when the sky is clear and you get nice mountain views. But book early!