After another visit to Thamel (without getting too lost) we went to the Monkey Temple at Swayambhu today.
A brisk walk up the 360 steps to the top of the hill is rewarded by excellent views over Kathmandu plus the unique sight of the large Stupa and surrounding temples & statues.
The walk up the stairs is made even more interesting by the large troop of rhesus macaques that inhabit the trees that grow either side of the stairs.
The monkeys are not at all trustworthy and commonly leap at or onto people. They are also opportunist thieves & grab items from visitors and run away back into the trees. Rabies has not been eradicated in Nepal either.
So many things have changed in Kathmandu that's it was curiously comforting to find that the Stupa, the Temples and the rituals have apparently remained the same as they were 20 years ago.
In fact, it's easy to imagine life was the same here 400 years ago, albeit without the hundreds & hundreds of metres of dangerous looking electrical wiring strung up everywhere.
It has been said that the Emporer Ashoka visited Swayambhunath 2,000 years ago - meaning that it was an important Buddhist site even then.
The marginally reliable Lonely Planet guide says that the earliest confirmed activity here occurred in AD 460. Mughal invaders from Bengal broke open the Stupa in the 14th Century looking for gold.
Des and I circumnavigated the Stupa and spun all the Tibetan Prayer Wheels - this should stand us in good stead if Buddhism turns out to be the winner of the "Which is the one true religion?" competition.
If you ever have the good fortune to travel to Nepal you must visit Swayambhunath (and the even bigger Stupa at Bodhnath, which we will get to soon).