This trek of Merak & Sakten recently opened in 2009. The Brokpas (highlanders) population of Merak and Sakten are semi-nomadic yak herders, who speak different dialect and wear a completely different outfit from other Bhutanese.
This seven-day trek visits the isolated valleys of Merak at 3517 m and Sakten at 2960 m, with a crossing of the Nyuksang La (Nyakchung La) (4140m).
Day 1: Arrive Paro:
On arrival at Paro you will be received by our representative from Make My Holidays and drive you to hotel.
After lunch, visit Ta Dzong (built in1656 and renovated in 1968), an ancient watchtower, which now houses the National Museum. Below the museum is the Paro Rimpung Dzong (literally meaning “Heap of Jewels”, built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the centre of civil and religious authority in this valley. A short walk takes you to the base of the dzong and across a traditional cantilevered, covered bridge. A short distance further is one of the innumerable archery grounds. (Archery is the national sport of Bhutan). If we are lucky, we may catch a match in action. The evening ends with a walk through Paro's main shopping district. Overnight at hotel.
In the afternoon, visit the Kyichu Lhakhang the holy monastery dates back to 7th century, Drugyel dzong the fort defended the Paro valley from the Tibetan attack from the north in the early 17th century. On clear weather Mountain Jhomolhari 7314 meters can see. Overnight stay at Hotel.
Day 2: Paro - Fly to Bumthang – Drive to Mongar:
You will fly to Bumthang- a little more than half an hour flight. On arrival you will received by our representative and drive to 6-7 hrs to Mongar. Halt in a hotel.
Day 3: Mongar – Tashigang: After breakfast, drive to Trashigang.
In the afternoon visit Tashigang Dzong, is the major district in Bhutan and it lies in the far east on the river Gamri Chu. It was once center of demanding trade with Tibet. The Dzong hugs a spur at more than 400m, over the Gamri River. The Dzong commands a amazing view of the surrounding countryside. Built in 1659 A.D. it is protected on three sides by the river and ravines, and from behind by the mountains. It serves as the administrative seat for the district and the local monastic community and you can stroll through the town, absorbing the culture of eastern Bhutan.
Day 4: TASHIGANG – CHALING – DONMANG CHU:
Drive from Trashigang (3739ft/1140m) to Radi village and Chaling (1812m) and the starting point your trekking team will be waiting here for you. Your trail is a steady climb today on a slippery footpath through forest, occasionally the Murbi Chhu, finishing in 3-4hr at Chobaling winter grazing grounds (9305ft/2837m), Mendula pass 3300m decent to Donmang Chu about 2km half hour walk. Overnight at tented camp. Approxmatlly 20km, 7hours walk, Ascend 2217meter and 230meter descend.
Day 05: DONMANG CHU – MERAK:
Donmang Chu through the river from where another 3-4 hour easy hiking leads to Merak village (3517m) via Gangu village, or on to Sakteng (9709ft/2960m). Spend a day or two in Merak. You can visit the Lhakhangs, explore the village, watch weaving, take a 4hr hike to the lake where the local deity,Aum Jumo, resides ,or a 5 -6hr loop to visit Bujla grazing area (4077m). Overnight at tented camp.
Approxmatlly14km, 5hours walk, ascend 396 meter.
Day 5: Merak – Miksathang:
Today be prepared to take the stiffest journey of the trek crossing the highest Nachungla pass at (4140m). Your trail starts from the campsite climb steadily climb 2-2.5 hours lead to the pass at 3900m from here you can make last sight of Merak valley. The trek through the lush forest line of juniper and rhododendron forests and conquer the Nachungla pass, from here steep 3 hours decent. Then you will arrive to Miksateng at 3079m. Overnight at tented camp.
Approximately 16km, 5hours walk, ascend 633meter and descend 1074meter.
Day 6: Miksathang – Sakten:
Today you trek 1 hour along the river. At the end of the day a steep climb of 1hrourleads to Chorten, from where it is 30minutes down to Sakteng, located at 3079meter in a big open space surrounded by heavily forested mountains. Overnight at tented camp.
Approximately 17km, 5hours walk, ascend 81meter and descend 310meter.
Day 7: Sakten:
It’s worth spending an extra day in Sakten to explore. Sakten had about 60 houses in the 1930s,and the village has grown a little since then. The inhabitants are very religious, and north and east of Sakten-in India-are many important Buddhist temples. Three routes leave Sakten village. One to the north, crossing the Se La range via the Nyingsang La (3721m) into India; one to the east, crossing the Orke La Arka La (4240m), very close to the border with India; and finally the Nyuksang La (4140m) to the southwest.
Day 8: Sakten – Joenkhar:
If you don’t want to stop, carry on to Joenkhar (1797m) crossing a small pass, Munde La (2928m). There are a couple of small ups and downs before reaching Jyonkhar after 5-6hr. Overnight in tented camp.
Approximately 17km, 7hours, walk, acsend 74meter and descend 1291meter.
Day 9: Jyonkhar – Phongme:
Jyonkhar (1797m) to Phong Me (1831m) in2.5-3hr, including one stiff climb of 1hour before reaching Phoneme. You will meet your transport and drive escort to Trashigang. On the way, stop at Khardung nunnery and visit their Monastery. Overnight stay hotel in Trashigang.
Day 10: Trashigang – Bumthang (2800 m) (Distance: 240 km, 8-9 hrs drive):
After an breakfast, drive to Bumthang. Overnight stay at Hotel, Bumthang.
Day 11: Bumthang – Phobjikha (3000 m) (145 km, 6 hrs. drive) :
Today you will drive into the glacier valley of Phobjikha the valley is one of the most significant wildlife preserves in the country, because of the large flock of black-necked cranes in winter. The valley also has a very interesting Nyingmapa monastery dates back to the 17th century.
After lunch your lunch at Chendebjee, you will continue drive to Phobjika valley and we can do short walk leads downhill from mani stone wall just north of Gangtey Goenpa to the Khewa Lhakhang. The trail descends to Semchubara village and keeps straight at the Chortens into the edge of the forest, before descending to a square Chorten and the Lhakhang. From here we can cross over the metal bridge to the community school. Overnight stay at Hotel.
Day 12: Phobjikha – Thimphu (2320m) (135 km, 6 hrs. drive):
Before heading to Punakha, visit to Crane Observation and information center. Then continue drive to en route stop at Wangdue On the way you will stop at Mitsina village and visit Chimi Lhakhang - the monastery of fertility. It takes about 45 min to the temple and vice versa.
In afternoon you will stop at Dochu La for lunch, from there you can enjoy the view of Himalayan ranges and snow peaks if the weather permits. Continue drive to Thimphu capital city of Bhutan – the only capital in the world where there is no traffic light. Overnight stay at Hotel.
Day 13: Thimphu Sightseeing – Paro (2280 m) (54 km, 1 hr. drive):
The day begins with a visit to Folk Heritage Museum, Painting school of 13 Arts and Crafts, Textile Museum, Postal Museum for the personalized stamps and Lungtenzampa to observe the Royal silver smiths and Bhutanese paper factory at work before your lunch.
After lunch, visit the National Memorial Chorten (1974) built in honour of our late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk and the Dupthop Lhakhang one of the few surviving nunneries in Bhutan. We then visit the largest and the tallest statue of sitting Buddha in the world. In the evening, visit to the Tashichho Dzong, seat of the national government and the Central Monastic Body, including the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot of Bhutan). Overnight in Hotel.
Day 14: Paro: Hike to Taktsang:
After breakfast you will drive to the base of Taktsang Monastery. Take 2 hrs hike on foot or on mule to the Taktsang monastery or Tiger’s Nest viewpoint. The Goemba, which clings to a huge granite cliff 900 meters, it is believed that the great saint Padmasambhava came in the 7th century on a flying tigress and meditated in a cave for 3 months. It is a pilgrimage site for every Bhutanese to visit once in their lifetime.
In the afternoon you will visit Kyichu Lhakhang the sacred monastery dates back to 7th century. Overnight stay in Hotel.
Day 15: Paro Departure
-Early morning drive to the Airport for onward journey.
Tour & Trek Cost:
Cost inclusive of:
- All Meals [Breakfast /Lunch/Dinner]
- Accommodation [Twin Sharing]
- All transportation within the country including airport transfers.
- Royalty & Govt. Taxes
- Entrance fees for Museums and Monuments only
- Visa Fee.
- Airport tax
- Tourism Development fund
Cost exclusive of:
- Druk Air fares.
- Insurance Premiums,
- Payments for service provided on a personal basis.
- Cost for any services not mentioned in the "Cost Include head".
- Cost incurred due to mishaps, strikes, political unrest etc.
- Personal expense in items such as laundry, soft drinks, Camera Charges, Bottle water, incidentals, Portage, Bellboy charges tips or any other services
While on Trek, the cost covers:
- Nature Recreation and Ecotourism Division (NRED) nu.1000
- 3 meals a day,
- service of cook & Helper,
- guide, Sleeping Tent,
- Mess Tent, Kitchen Tent & Toilet Tent,
- Ponies to carry supplies,
- We will provide you with sleeping mats but you have to bring your own sleeping bags.
THINGS TO BRING FOR A TREK IN BHUTAN
Personal clothing: strong normal clothing (according to season). Preferably cotton, even for summer, woolen clothing for the evening and winter.
For Trekking, one must bring:
- Strong comfortable trekking boots – water-resistant for the rainy period-June-August.
- Flash light
- Rain coat (especially for rainy period –June-August)
- Head gear/hat/cap; sun and rain protection
- Water pills – for extra caution in purifying stream; (boiled water is provided at all times during the trek)
- Aspirin – incase of altitude sickness
- Lots of socks
- Warm clothes
OPTIONAL ITEMS TO BRING FOR TREKKING IN BHUTAN
- Head gear
- Folding umbrella (only for wet months — July and August)
- One towel
- Pillow case
- Wet-packed tissue paper.