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The 50 Things You Must Do in Asia

By Hanya Yanagihara - 2013-07-23T16:27:10Z

Photograph by Tina Bizaj/Getty Images

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Meet a Holy Monkey: Nepal

Swayambhunath Stupa is a fifth-century temple complex that’s also known as the Monkey Temple for the holy primates that are said to live on its grounds. (Alas, the complex is also full of monkeys of the less-holy ilk, all of whom are on the prowl for food and alarmingly fearless.) Swayambhunath is as fascinating as it is picturesque, with sweeping views over Kathmandu Valley. If the small monastery on the top floor is open, ask your guide to take you in to light five candles and to wish good fortune for someone else as you do so. You’ll be barefoot, of course, so take extra caution when walking on the floors, which will be greasy with ghee, especially near the candles.

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