To reach the top of the fortress from the car park below, you have three options:
2. Hire a horse
3. Hire a yak.
Dan, who was not feeling very well, decided the last option was the best for him, and for a charge of 10 Yuan, it seemed a bargain.
To everyone's amusement, he rode to the top singing "Rollin', rollin' rollin'...." from Rawhide.
The 11m high tower of the fortress appears to be much taller than that when seen from the lower sides. You can climb to the top, from where there is a great view, it is entered from behind the shrines of the chapels.
The tower is 4.6m wide by 3.5m and is decorated with kataks and sacred threads. The surrounding countryside can be admired from observation windows on all sides.
Originally Yumbu Lakhang was built as a chapel, but it now serves as a chapel and a monasteric home for a few monks. The chapel is consecrated to the ancient kings of Tibet and there are images of Nyentri Tsenpo and Songtsen Gampo in the main chapel, as well as other kings and ministers. There are also some beautiful murals depicting the mystical visions of Tsongkhapa.
During our visit to the monastery dedicated to the tombs of Kings in Yarlong Valley, a local Tibetan boy took us to a hillside with a single stone lion carving overlooking the nearby valley. The view was awesome, however, the lion was placed not facing the beautiful valley view. It was facing uphill towards a series of caves.
To get there, you just have to ask the locals. We had a picture of the stone lion from a magazine, and we showed it around to get directions. And this nice boy volunteered to take us there.