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Merak and Sakteng Trek is a newly-opened route that lies within the protected area of Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary in Eastern Bhutan. It allows trekkers to experience a unique semi-nomadic lifestyle and culture in one of the most scenic pastoral valleys in Bhutan. You come across Merak people usually called Bjob (nomadic people) of eastern Bhutan and they depend fully on the product of Yaks for their livelihood. It’s a 2 days drive from Paro airport to Trekking point but we recommend taking domestic flights from Paro to Yonphula and beginning the Trek.
Long closed to outsiders, the beautiful far-flung regions of Merak and Sakten present Bhutan travelers with the unique opportunity to see two of the least-known valleys in the kingdom. Take a trek to the sacred mountain of Jomo Kuengkhar in Merak (from where it is said the plains of In- dia are visible a clear day) witness the yak dances unique to the region or catch a performance of the famous nomadic opera, Ache-Lhamo. Experience the stark wilderness and the simple generosity of the Brokpa people, learn how their traditional garb is still fashioned from yak skin, and listen to timeless tales of the yeti which form an inseparable part of Brokpa lore. Journey into the hidden valleys of Merak and Sakteng and discover- er the exquisite eastern wilderness of Bhutan.
Paro International Airport.
Starts in Tashigang and ends at Tashigang.
3520 meters at Merak Village
92 km from the starting point to the end Point.
Long closed to outsiders, the beautiful far-flung regions of Merak and Sakten present Bhutan travelers with the unique opportunity to see two of the least-known valleys in the kingdom. Take a trek to the sacred mountain of Jomo Kuengkhar in Merak (from where it is said the plains of In- dia are visible a clear day) witness the yak dances unique to the region or catch a performance of the famous nomadic opera, Ache-Lhamo. Experience the stark wilderness and the simple generosity of the Brokpa people, learn how their traditional garb is still fashioned from yak skin, and listen to timeless tales of the yeti which form an inseparable part of Brokpa lore. Journey into the hidden valleys of Merak and Sakteng and discoverer the exquisite eastern wilderness of Bhutan.
Fly onboard to Paro Bhutan. On a clear day, the panoramic views of the Himalayas are sensational, including Everest, but particularly exciting is the approach through the Bhutanese foothills and the landing, including a few steep, turns to land at the tiny airstrip of Paro. In Paro, you will be received by your Bhutanese guide and transferred to Thimphu (2 hours).
Overnight at Hotel Thimphu.
Today we fly to the eastern part of Bhutan. The flight takes about 30 minutes from Paro. Upon arrival at Yonphula Airport, we drive to Tashigang and overnight at Hotel.
From Trashigang drive for about 2 hours to the road end at Chaling at 2135m. Then begin trekking with gradual climb towards Shaktimi meadow, with yaks and sheep grazing with some yak herders’ huts scattered on the hillside. Continue the climb to reach Mendula Pass at 3345m. After the pass it is all downhill through the rhododendron forests till campsite at a beautiful meadow known as Donmong chu by the river at 3145m. Overnight in camp.
Today we trek along the Donmong Chu River through the rhododendron forests and shrubs. Today’s trail skips steep climbs and follows the river bends, gradually gaining the height. The first village we come across is Gangu (3430m) and after another 45 minutes, we arrive at a large Merak village at an elevation of 3520m. Overnight in Camp.
We start early from the camp, towards the east with a gradual climb to the first pass at 3900m. Today we cross the highest pass along with some smaller passes and ridges so it might be toughest day this trek. We continue along the tree line till we reach Nachungla Pass at 4150m. Catch a glimpse of 360 views of Bhutan peaks, Arunachal and Tibet. From the pass, it is a long descent to Miksateng village campsite at 3060m. Overnight in camp.
After breakfast, we descend down to the river and then climb gradually towards a small pass with a small chorten (stupa) on the hill overlooking the Sakteng valley. From the ridge, we descend down to the valley, cross the river into Sakten village at an altitude of 2950m.
Overnight in camp.
Situated at an altitude of over 3,500 meters, the exotic valleys of Merak and Sakten have been home to the Brokpas for centuries since their displacement from Tsona in Southern Tibet. The nomadic indigenous group of eastern Bhutan, the Brokpas seasonally move their herds of livestock from the lower valleys in the winter to the higher pastures in the summer. While polygamy is a prevailing practice as well, marriage among Brokpa couples is a convergence of practical consideration and sacred responsibility, with elaborate rituals to seal the union. Like the rest of Bhutan, they are fond of ar- cherry and are skilled in games of accuracy. Women are particularly well-known for their singing and they love to perform from their wide repertoire of festive songs dedicated to gods and goddesses, as well as the universal themes of nature, youth, and old age.
Today’s journey will be a longer and so we will start early from the camp. Leaving Sakten, start with short climb to the small hill towards the west end of the village. Then descend down to the river and walk alongside it through the broad leaf forests. We camp in a beautiful meadow near the river by Joenkhar Teng village (1733m). Joenkhar Teng is situated on the hillside and its population comprises of Brokpa and Sharchopa with a community school and an outreach clinic. Overnight in camp.
Our last day of the trek begins with a short climb through Joenkhar Teng and a long descent crossing suspension bridges and a short climb to reach Phongmay (1770m). Afterward, drive to Trashigang. Overnight at Hotel in Tashigang.
Today after early breakfast drive to Yonphula airport and fly back to Paro. Our team will be waiting for your arrival. Today we shall have a full day’s rest and enjoy the Hotsyone bath at Tshering Farm House.
Today we drop you at the airport. Hoping that you had a wonderful time in Bhutan and with the team of Excursion to Himalayas.
The trek includes the following services.