A string of visitors in recent days means three trips to Boudhanath in just two weeks.

Sweet swirls of incense, chanting monks, a thousand fluttering prayer flags, this is a great place for the foreigner to indulge in some people gazing and chocolate cake. A steady stream of tourists has inevitably led to a mushrooming of cafes. Tea on a rooftop eatery is a great way to while away an afternoon.

Others who visit this Tibetan Buddhist site have more serious things on their minds. Devotees circle the great stupa, some fingering prayer beads, others waving prayer wheels. A few prostrate themselves on the ground every two steps they take. It is a walk of faith. A time for pleas and gratitude. And all around, children play, incense swirls, prayer flags flutter.