Merak-Sakteng stands out as a distinct attraction in Bhutan. Unlike anywhere else in the country, it offers a visitor to experience a unique semi-nomadic lifestyle, culture and vernacular in one of the most scenic pastoral valleys in the protected area of Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary (SWS) in Trashigang Dzongkhag (District), in Eastern Bhutan.
The campsites have been designed aesthetically to blend with local architecture and ambiance. Enclosed by a stonewall (with a gate to bring in the ponies to...
Day 1The trek to Merak will start from Chaling
Chaling - Damnongchu
Ascent: 2217m Descent: 230m Camp altitude: 3124m
From Trashigang, you will take scenic drive for one and half hours to Chaling passing through Rangjung town and Radhi village. The trek starts above Chaling School, passing through open grazing pasture. Climb further to reach Mendula Pass at 3354m. From this pass, you will descend through rhododendron forests to Donmong Chu camp at 3124m.
Day 2The trail from Damnongchu to Merak goes along the river bank
Damnongchu - Merak
Ascent: 396m Camp altitude: 3520m
The trail from Domong Chu to Merak mostly follows the river bends. The final stretch has gentle ascend before you reach Gangu village. After another 45 minutes walk from this village, you will arrive at Merak located at an altitude of 3520m. The campsite located before the village has spectacular views of nearby mountains and village. Visit the local village to experience the life of this people.
Day 3Pass through the beautiful Nagchungla pass (approx 4,100m / 13,451ft).
Merak - Miksateng
Ascent: 633m Descent: 1073m Camp altitude: 3080m
Today is the toughest journey of the trek crossing the highest Nachungla pass at 4153m From the campsite climb gradually to the first pass at 3900m from where you can have last glimpse of Merak valley. Descend to your camp Miksateng at 3080m surrounded by rhododendrons.
Day 4Pass through beautiful woods
Miksateng - Sakteng
Ascent: 81m Descent: 310m Camp altitude: 2950m
Descend to the river, crossing it and then following the river bank for few hours, you will climb gradually to a hill adorned by small Chorten (Stupa) overlooking the Sakten valley. If you are lucky, you can spot red panda among the trees. Descend down from the ridge and camp on the outskirts of the Sakten village at 2950m.
Day 5Time to explore this remote Himalayan village.
You will visit Sakten village and explore the lifestyle and unique culture of this ethnic group.
Day 6Mostly downhill to Jyonkhar Teng camp
Sakteng - Jyonkharteng
Ascent: 74m Descent: 1291m Camp altitude: 1800m.
Today’s journey will be 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. We camp in a beautiful meadow near the river by Joenkhar Teng village (1800m). Joenkhar Teng is situated on the hillside and its population comprises of Brokpa and Sharchop with a community school and outreach clinic.
Day 7Trek ends at Phongmey
Jyonkharteng - Phongmey
Ascent: 346m Descent: 942m
The last day of the trek begins with short climb through the Joenkharteng. Crossing the suspension bridges, you will climb shortly to Phongmay village. Meet your transport and drive to Trashigang. On the way, stop at Rangjung and visit the Rangjung Monastery, which is founded by His Eminence Garab Rinpoche.