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August 2, 2019

I am deeply affected by Buddhist spiritualism

By Penelope

French tourist Penelope
Penelope in Langtang. photo-Penelope

I am a French tourist flying back to Europe at 2 a.m. I am left with only three rush hours for shopping in Kathmandu. I just returned from five-day hectic trekking to Annapurna base camp and six-day cultural hiking from  Gatlang to Tatopani (Tamang heritage trail).

Learnings from Nepal

I learned a bit about people, culture, Buddhism and Hinduism after I arrived in Nepal from Bali. I had interaction with a few local Tamang men and women in Gatlang.

For me, the most pleasant and striking thing in Nepal was Buddhist spiritualism. I wish, if I could spare some time to see more things, people and cultures here in Kathmandu and other parts of Nepal.

Gatlang village
Gatlang village. Photo-Lala Gurung

I am also very much interested to know more about the history of places in Nepal and about Buddhism, Hinduism, and their existing harmonious relations.

When I come to Nepal next time, I am sure, I will spend more time in Buddhist monasteries and visit the Langtang area.

Captivating mountains of Nepal along with rich natural beauty and ethos of Buddhist, Tibetan Buddhism and culture has affected and inspired me to visit Nepal after my volunteering services delivered in Australia and New Zealand for the past few years. My Nepal visit was a part of my visit to a few Asian countries while on my way back to Europe.

Tamang Culture

Tamang women weaving
Tamang women weaving. photo-Lala Gurung

I wish I had time to see the lifestyle of Tamang people. In Nepal, people are friendly, frank and honest. Clothes are very traditional in the Tamang community. This is my realization after visiting Gatlang (neighboring district of capital city Kathmandu). Tamang heritage trail is suitable for those who wish to explore Tamang culture in Nepal.


Since I grew up in Christian family and surroundings, I did not have permission to approach any other places of worship except the Church.

When I grew up to be an adult, I started visiting a nearby monastery in my country. At this monastery, I learned all about the Buddhist way of life and Buddhist philosophy.

Penelope in the field. photo-Penelope

Initially, I used to consider Buddhism to be a mere philosophy, but when I came to Nepal I realized that it is a religion and not a philosophy. This is my personal perception of Buddhism. I don’t know much beyond that.

Lastly, I want to be suggestive of a few remedial things for the improvement of tourism in Nepal.

  • The roads are scary and bumpy which needs to improve.
  • Tourism is focused on trading and leading the tourist to the destination only.
  • Language sometimes is a barrier.
  • Focus on more exchange and not only trading.
  • Responsible tourism is a must.
  • People engaged in tourism should not lose their authenticity.
  • The places are polluted.
  • European traveling means meeting with people.

– This blog is based on a conversation by HB Kham with Penelope, French tourist, and her trip to Nepal was organized by Santosh Tamang, Himalaya Chyangpa Treks and Expedition.

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