Slapping the monkey in a public place

Vagabond Tim
Alright I will admit the title is a little dirtier sounding than it needs to be, however I literally almost slapped a friggan baby monkey in the face when visiting Swayambhunath AKA The Monkey Temple.

The scale and architecture of the temple is itself quite impressive, upon looking up information for this post I learned that it is apparently ethereal and magical. Not being much of a new age gush over everything old hippy I can only go so far as to say it was impressive.

The numerous sets of 350 plus stairs were certainly a wee bit daunting and at one point I reached out rather quickly for the handrail only to find sitting upon it a baby monkey, had I not looked over there is little doubt I would have backhanded him into next week and subsequently been murdered in retribution by the several hundred much larger and scarier monkeys watching this exchange.

The only thing more ever present and underfoot than the monkeys themselves were the ‘tour guides’. In a fairly simply laid out place with adequate signage they are beyond redundant. They seem to know this is well as they start by asking for 2000 rupees and we’ll go as low as 500 although that is still 500 more than they are worth.

The temple itself is easily accessible from nearly anywhere in Kathmandu via cab, call KB as mentioned earlier as he is the best cab driver ever, he actually waited on the temple grounds for close to two hours while I wandered around.
High atop the temple is a cafe that simple goes up and up a total of four stories with various perches to eat and take in the view, the food is quite good and being Nepal is also incredibly inexpensive.

I mentioned earlier that it seems as though the dogs in the streets exist to keep away monkeys, I noticed several of the terraces had dogs and were devoid of monkeys, which is nice when one is trying to eat and not share with tiny thieving simians. The locals constantly make reference to the monkeys being ‘naughty’ a better word for it though is bastards, although adorable they are also intelligent and single mindedly obsessed with food, your food in particular, if you are bringing fruit be forewarned that you are bringing THEM fruit.

Well enough rambling about my failed monkey assaults, if anyone has any interesting tales of thieving or merely disruptive animals please let me know in the comments.


This adorable little fellow is the one I almost backhanded, I am quite glad I missed


Intriguingly when compared to the Buddha Temple the eyes of the monkey temple are half closed


At the Boudhanath stupa the eyes seem much more alert and somewhat spookier


When high above the city atop a temple, the panoramic function on my camera becomes incredibly useful

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