Gita Rana, Pokhara
When we attend a sporting event, we look forward to following the game, the match, But sometimes, turning around to watch the spectators and audience can be just as rewarding. A huge crowd are watching the Dragon Boat Race in Pokhara. Seeing live boat race at Phewa lake is different experience for Pokhrelis.
The first-ever Nepal-China Friendship Dragon Boat Race Festival has begun in Pokhara. The event is a collaboration between the Nepal Tourism Board, Chinese Embassy in Nepal, Pokhara Metropolitan City, Pokhara Tourism Council (PTC), and Nepal-China Overseas Association.
Its aim is to strengthen cultural ties between the two countries and attract Chinese tourists to Nepal. A total of eight teams, consisting of players from all seven provinces of Nepal and China, are participating in the tournament, competing in 200-meter and 500-meter races.
The festival, spanning two days, includes not only the boat race but also Nepali and Chinese food and cultural programs. Around 200 Chinese visitors, including 60 athletes, have traveled to Pokhara, making it the first-ever international landing at Pokhara International Airport. They have come to take part in the Nepal-China Dragon Boat Race Festival.
The organizers have extended an invitation to all Pokhrelis to witness this historic event, which is estimated to cost 25 million. This event marks a milestone for Pokhara’s tourism, as it garnered a tremendous response from the locals, creating an enthusiastic and fascinating crowd to cheer on the participants. It is not only the first event of its kind in Pokhara but also the first in any South Asian city. The organizers have committed to making it an annual event and incorporating it into the annual calendar.