Hepo Ri is the hill some 400m east of Samye where Guru Rinpoche vanquished the demons of Tibet. A 30-minute climb up the side ridge brings you to an incense burner festooned with prayer flags and superlative views of Samye below. Head south along the ridge and descend along the paved path. Early morning is the best time for photography.
Pilgrims honour Hepo Ri as one of the four sacred hills of Tibet (the others being Gangpo Ri at Tsetang, Chagpo Ri in Lhasa and Chuwo Ri at Chushul). King Trisong Detsen established a palace here. Trails branch off here from the road leading from Samye’s East Gate.