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Visiting Nepal monasteries independently?

Visiting Nepal monasteries independently?

Old Aug 13th, 2011, 08:13 AM
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Visiting Nepal monasteries independently?

Hi there!
I'm wondering how easy / difficult would be to visit a few monasteries in Nepal, maybe for a few hours or stay a few days in each, travelling on our own, without travel agency.
We are not really dedicated to that kind of travel, but especially for Nepal, would like to experience this particular side, hoping also, we could comminicate in English!? Else could be not so rewarding...
We plan to also visit the areas around Katmandu, Lukla or Annapurna for general sightseeing -trekking, maybe they are fine for monasteries visit?
Any recomendations about area, transportation, maybe permits, costs or anything else from your expertise, would be of great great help!
many thanks to all!
nikosk is offline  
Old Aug 13th, 2011, 05:42 PM
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Visiting monasteries is easy. So is staying. Many monasteries have very basic accommodation attached to them. Usually for pilgrims. It's not intended to be cheap backpacker accomodation generally. Still, your impulse is to be applauded. I'd imagine the first 4.00 a.m. prayers should sort you out pretty damn fast.

Here's a much easier alternative: In Kathmandu is Boudanath. It's a veritable convention of monasteries . There are about thirty of them there. Go get a cheapo hotel room. Then visit a lot. I stayed there for a week once. Never boring - and you can go get some proper food when you want it... and a bed. lol.

THEN go and stay if so inclined.

The monks will tell you ver-r-r-y fast if they think you're wasting their time.

I know there is a guest house at Nama Buddha, up past Dhulikel. I've been there. But let me say, unless you know what you're in for... it's not as if you'll be a monk for a day. Generally, your role will be to shut up, stay silent and observe. You'll actually be an intrusion beyond a certain point.

Communicating in English will be no problem - but, actually, unless you're really, really interested, there's only so far they will go. They ain't there for tourism.
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Old Aug 14th, 2011, 03:24 AM
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thanks for these details dogster!
I totally agree with the limits of my presence there,
they have a serious job to do and they shouldn't be tour leaders!! then I wouldn't go!
this area you suggest gives really many alternatives, I'll check on the practicallities and maybe will be the best solution!
maybe I could combine a few days there with a few days visit somewhere in the countryside monasteries. I don't know which could work better for me, well i'm tottaly new to this, but I'll now then, for a possible second trip to Nepal.
I wish the best!
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Old Aug 14th, 2011, 04:56 AM
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Boudanath is your place. There are at least four guest-houses overlooking the main zone and ceremonies to die for. So, look at a lunar calendar and see when the full moons are: biggo ceremonies. Half-way between those dates will also be a ceremony - or several. Sometimes massive parades, sometimes fantastic om-m-ming and chanting and trumpets. Ahhh. Just wonderful. Interested, respectful observers always welcome. Don't worry. You'll find your special monk. Actually, he'll find you.

Don't forget those Hindus, too. Kathmandu is where Buddha and Shiva collide. A day at Patupatinath is pretty instructive.

And stay at the Courtyard Hotel. Trust me.
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Old Aug 14th, 2011, 06:45 AM
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Definitely stay at the Courtyard, preferably in one of the upgraded rooms, although the others are fine.

See also: http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...omment-6793492
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