Swayumbhunath Temple Nepal

Swayumbhunath Temple Nepal

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Swayumbhunath – ‘The Monkey Temple’

It’s clear if you follow me or have read previous blog posts that I LOVE Nepal. I also love visiting the various temples you’ll find at every corner or hilltop if you venture around the country. My favourite though, is Swayumbhunath, a Buddhist temple and Unesco World Heritage Site nicknamed ‘The Monkey Temple’ sits atop a hill in the Kathmandu valley. From the first time I visited this spectacular structure I loved it and would strongly recommend giving it a visit if you ever plan on visiting Nepal and Kathmandu. Adorned with hundreds of coloured prayer flags and mischievous little monkeys the temple offers some awesome views of the surrounding city and mountains. The temples jumble of Buddhist and Hindu iconography make Swayumbhunath one of the most fascinating religious temples to see.

The mix of local souvenir sellers, religious devotees and spiritual offerings happening all around make visiting Swayumbhunath a great place to experience. People spin the prayer wheels around at the base; within each one the equivalent of chanting the ‘om’ prayer sits inside – to create a flow of good energy as they walk clockwise around the gleaming white stupa. All the while the sound of calm, ominous chanting is played which gives being there a kind of magical feeling; if you manage to go there on a sunny day then the whole place feels like walking in a dream with the light reflecting off the whitewashed stones.

I visited the stupa in March 2016 a year after the April 2015 Earthquakes and the stupa is still standing proud with some maintenance work going on but the structure still intact; many of the smaller temples surrounding it have been reduced to rubble.

Please enjoy some photographs I shot at the temple from my last visit!


Prayer Flags

Turning the Wheels


Om Prayer Wheels


Pigeons on Stupa

Renovation Work 3

Renovation Work 2

Monkey at Sway 2

Flags With A View 2

Candle Prayers

Monkey Temple

Praying Statue

Renovation Work 1

Monk Meets Monkey

1000+ Hundred Flags

Buddha in Stupa

Monkey See

Prayer Wheels


Staue at the Stupa


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I’m now @gunns_travels on instagram!

I’m now @gunns_travels on instagram!

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If your a fan of photography and also a ‘wanderluster’ then check out my new instagram account to satisfy the whimsical dreamer inside of you. You can expect an array of snaps from colourful cultures and faraway places! I’m a passionate explorer and love to travel capturing every moment of my journeys. Documenting it along the way is a great way to connect and share those experiences with others. It also lets me keep a photographic journal that I can share. I also love to look at other instatravellers accounts as it gives me inspiration for my next trips and helpful insights into planning – as well as indulge my visual appetite with beautiful images from all over the world. If your a #travelgrammer then send me your link, i’d love to have a look at your captures!

You can expect to see images like these…

Start travelling the world with me!

Melbourne, Australia | Travel Talk Pt.3

Melbourne, Australia | Travel Talk Pt.3

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Voted Australia’s ‘Culture Capital’, Melbourne offers bustling high streets crammed with great places to grab something to eat or sit down for a coffee; surrounded by art, creativity and urban street scenes. There is  tonnes to entertain you by day and night in this city. I’ll be suggesting the top places I’d recommend on going and seeing whilst your there.

If your in need of some arts and culture then check out Melbourne’s ACMI centre for Art, Film & Digital Culture. Its a hive of creative content and exhibitions where you’ll be immersed in a world of the arts. Whilst I was there I enjoyed the dreamwork animation exhibition they had on which gave a real insight into the production and creation of the iconic films; as well as lots of behind the scenes looks at films and even a chance to have a go at animating like the pros! Check out what they have on when you visit.

Quick Price | Adult Entry Exhibition £10 $15 (prices vary on exhibition) | ACMI Entry FREE (some exhibitions require no fee!)

Melbournes architecture #australia #buildings #artsy

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

checking out the sculptures at dreamworks #animation #kungfupanda #design

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

Another place I loved when I visited Melbourne was the Queen Victoria Night Markets. This is a great place to discover mouth watering food and drinks with a variety of different options from all over the world as well as some new flavour combos that will get your taste buds going. I tried duck and waffle with hoisin sauce which was incredible and sat back with a mulled wine cider watching a 1950’s band play a set.

Live music, great food and feel good atmosphere make this place a great evening out – just make sure you don’t eat before you go so you can make the most of whats on offer here, I’d recommend on taking at least £20 $30 out with you to really enjoy yourself but you can also pick up bargain meal prices with the amount of competition that is there. As well as all this you can also take a look around some vintage craft stools, handmade gifts and quirky items that are on display. Make sure you wrap up warm or bring extra for another mulled wine cider!


Melbourne offers its own Eureka Skydeck which serves as a great 297.3m vantage point to look out and admire the city of Melbourne. It is the southern hemispheres highest vantage point and boasts a whooping total of 88 floors! This can usually be coupled with a deal that includes a trip along The Great Ocean Road and a day out exploring Phillip Island. I’d say definitely get this in with a deal as buying the tickets just for the skydeck may not be worth it; although it provides a great view once you have walked around the top (approx 15-20mins) theres not a great deal else to do, so to make it worthwhile and couple it with another activity in the day.

admiring the view from 88 floors high #eureka #skydeck #view #melbourne

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Thatttt skyyyy #melbourne #australia #instadaily

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

Somewhere you have to see whilst in the southern territory of Aus is The Great Ocean Road an epic 243 Kilometres stretch of prime aussie coastline partnered with spectacular sea views. Make sure you glimpse the 12 Apostles and have your picture taken with the start sign at the beginning of the road! The Tour we went through was with our hostel in the ‘3 in 1’ package – this was great as we had a limited amount of time and budget but if I’m honest I think the best possible way to do this and get the most out of it is to hire a campervan and road trip it with friends over a few days! That would make for one EPIC ROAD TRIP and when I head back this is what I’ll be looking at doing for sure. Salamanda Travel & VroomVroom are some camper van options.

Finally the day trip to Phillip Island gave us a day of kicking it with koalas, taking a nose at the Nobbie’s centre and perusing the penguins. We got to go onto an authentic and still working Australian farm to learn about the history and agriculture of the country. We stopped off at a centre dedicated to Australian creatures where you can feed the roos and take a few selfies with your new furry friends. Then finished it off with dinner and a spot watching the famous Phillip island penguins come home form the sea and follow them up as they go back to their nests.

Quick Price | 3 in 1 Tour Package (Most hostels & Tour Operators) £220 $340

The Great Ocean Road! #sightseeing #tourist #australia

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ideal location for lunch #lighthouse #view #australia

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2 of the ’12’ (8) Apostles, pretty amazing to see #12apostles #australia #landscape

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fed a roo! #australia #kangaroo #animal

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Phillip island at sunset before watching the penguins #australia #landscape #sunset

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on



There are so many other great things to do in Melbourne and delicious things to eat that you can’t miss out on exploring this city. With graffiti artwork adorning the city walls, trams trundling around ready to take you to every corner and tonnes of shops for you to indulge in some retail therapy. And why not head over to the Chinatown part of the city – grab some noodles and see a play at Her Majestys Theatre !

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Travel. Create, Be Nice!