Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Quit monkeying around

The only sight-seeing we really wanted to do in Nepal was seeing the monkey temple in Kathmandu. It's called the monkey temple because there's a ton of monkey's there. Duh. 

Now, I'll openly admit we are not good "tourists", we don't really like sight seeing, for many reasons; first off, the sights usually aren't all that interesting. When it is interesting, there are ten billion people there, if it isn't there's still three million. An unfortunate side effect of cramming all these rich foreigners into one place is that it also attracts beggars. I try not to be heartless, I often give to them, which you are explicitly told not to do (giving them money only promotes the act making everything worse, or something). But they do make the whole experience a touch hard to enjoy. The last, and certainly the worst part about it is the "touts" or un-licensed tour guides. They often begin talking to you rather innocently, start throwing in random facts and tidbits, then at the end try to charge an exorbitant amount of money. You often get the same treatment from taxi/rickshaw drivers. We had a fairly unfortunate experience with a rickshaw driver when we visited the monkey temple. We had agreed to pay him 500R for a ride there, back, and maybe a little sight seeing along the way. This was supposed to take an hour. We had no idea of how long this should take, so the hour was thrown in by the driver. He seemed like a very nice guy, smiley and cheerful, and we were quite pleased with him. At the end of the trip, he told us we took three hours, and we would have to pay him 2700R. We refused, said we agreed on 500R, and eventually grabbed a police officer to translate/mediate. The officer didn't really seem to care and sort of just walked away. After a few minutes a small crowd had gathered around us and finally I handed him 550R and said "take this, or nothing", he took it and we got out of the crowd. It's unfortunate but true that ninety percent of the time, someone is trying to rip you off. It makes sight seeing a heck of a lot less fun.

Despite all that, we still had a good time at the monkey temple, there were really monkeys everywhere, including some swimming in a pool, which was very cute. Enjoy the photos.


Just a guy playin' his guitar.

Uhh... yeah...

Its a full time job.

Hiding in the shade.

This guy got himself an apple.

Monkeys in the trees.

Drying out.

Climbing out after a couple laps.

Monkeys dog paddle...or monkey paddle.

Big eyes.

The temple portion.

The view down then hill towards the city.

We love monkeys!

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