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Merak - Sakten Community Trek Tour

Merak - Sakten Community Trek Tour

Package Duration
18 Days / 17 Nights
Destination Covered
Paro - Thimphu - Trongsa - Mongar - Trashigang - Chaling - Donmong Chu - Merak - Miksateng - Sakteng - Mongar - Bumthang - Punakha

  • Description :
    In this 18 days trek we take from western Bhutan to Eastern Bhutan where you will trek for 7 days through the fascinating villages long closed to the outsider in north eastern Bhutan, which were closed till early 2010.The culture and tradition of the people living there are different in many ways and respects from rest of the Bhutanese people. They have a very rich culture heritage. They move from place to place with animals with the change of seasons. They are known as 'Brokpas', which means 'Herdsmen' or they are semi-nomadic tribesmen. These two villages are called 'Merak & Sakteng'. Experience the stark wilderness and simple generosity of the Brokpa people,and listen to timeless tales of Yeti which form an inseparable part of Bokpa people The highlight of the trek is the unique yak dances and the Ache lhamo famous nomadic opera performed by the local people.

    Duration of Trek : 7 Days
    Duration in Bhutan : 18 Days
    Season : April, May, September and October
    Start of Trek : Chaling (Trashigang)
    End of Trek : Phongmey (Trashigang)

  • Arrive Paro

    • Rinpung Dzong
    • National Museum

    Description :

    After arriving at Paro International Airport you will be picked up by your personal guide and driver from Around Bhutan and drive to your hotel for lunch. On your first day in Bhutan you will then visit the National Museum, located in the watchtower (Ta Dzong) of Paro Dzong. After the museum you proceed to Paro Rinpung Dzong, which was built by the founding father of Bhutan, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 1646. Today, this fortress houses the Administrative seat of the district of Paro and the district Monk Body with about 200 monks. The central tower (Utse) of the fortress is one of the most beautiful in Bhutan with its superb woodwork. On the way back from the dzong(fortress) the beautiful Paro village invites for a stroll and a market visit. Dinner at the hotel.

    Paro - Thimphu

    Description :

    In the morning you will drive to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. Along the winding road following Paro River you will stop to visit Tamchhog Lhakhang, a private temple owned by the residents of the famous Tibetan bridge builder Thongten Gyalop. The traditional iron bridge here was reconstructed in 2005 using some of Thangtong's original chain links from Duksum in eastern Bhutan. The red soil around the temple contains low-grade ore that once supplied the raw material for iron works.After reaching Thimphu you will drive towards Takin zoo and have the oppurtinity to have a glance and take pictures of an unique animal which is our National animal, Takin which has head of a goat and the body of a Yak. After lunch you have the chance to experience Bhutanese arts and crafts being taught at Zorig Chusum, the school of 13 Holy Arts. And then you will visit the Folk Heritage Museum these museums that were established in 2001 in Thimphu provide visitors and tourists with fascinating insights into the Bhutanese material culture and way of life. The Folk Heritage Museum with a three storied, 19th century traditional house provides you a glimpse of the Bhutanese lifestyle, and artifacts from the rural households. One can come across typical household objects, tools and equipments and later in the evening we will take you to the impressive Trashichoe Dzong. This massive fortress houses part of the government Ministries, the office of the King and the Throne Room. It also houses the State Monastic Body and the office and the living quarters of the Chief Abbot. Dinner at the hotel.

    Thimphu - Trongsa

    Description :

    In the morning you will drive to Dochu La, a 3140m high street pass. On clear days the pass offers a panoramic view of the Bhutan Himalaya. The collection of 108 chortens were built in 2005, and the new Druk Wangyel Lhakhang was inaugurated 2009, showing marvellous paintings. From Dochu La you continue towards Trongsa.After crossing the 3420m high Pele La you enter the broad heavily cultivated Mangde Chhu valley. Stop for lunch at the Chendibji cafetaria, just around the Chendibji Chorten, built in the 19th century by Lama Shida from Tibet to cover the remains of an evil spirit that was killed here. Still one hour before actually reaching Trongsa you will reach the viewpoint from which you have a stunning view over Trongsa Dzong and the village. In reaching Trongsa visit the newly opened Museum in the Ta Dzong, dedicated to the reign of the Wangchuck family and then visit the Trongsa Dzong(Fortress).Dinner at hotel.

    Trongsa - Mongar

    Description :

    Today it's a long but scenic drive to Mongar, about 270 kilometers through one of the most impressive nature surroundings of Bhutan. After the first two and a half hours drive you stop nearby the neat Ura Village for tea. Then the road leads through the Trumshing La Nationalpark, crossing the highest street pass of your trip, the Trumshing La (3800m), marking the boarder to Eastern Bhutan. The Nationalpark is located on altitudes between 700 and 4400 metres and covered with coniferous forests and without any settlements. Stop for a picnic lunch at picturesque Sengor village. The afternoon drive follows a windy and steep road along cliffs and eventually descends down to only 650 metres, where you find subtropical jungle and a rich vegetation. On the way you are likely to see some of the wildlife of Bhutan, as this area is home to the Red Panda, Golden Langurs and the endangered Himalayan Black Bear. After having reached Kuri Zampa on the bottom of the valley you start climbing up to Mongar for the last hour and reach the hotel in the evening. Dinner at hotel.

    Mongar - Trashigang

    Description :

    After breakfast take a short walk through Mongar village up to the Dzong. Then continue towards the very remote East, crossing the 2400 m high Kori La. Following the famous Yadi curves you descend down to Sherichhu at 600 metres, switching to the other side of the valley of the Drangme Chhu, leading to the dramatically situated Trashigang Dzong. Again, you first have to descend down to the river and cross Cha Zam bridge before climbing up to the village of Trashigang, situated high above the river at 1070m. You reach your hotel in the late afternoon and have Dinner at hotel.

    Trashigang - Chaling - Donmong Chu(Start of the Trek)

    Description :

    (Total distance :19 km 7-8 hrs)Today you start your trek by driving from Trashigang for 1 .5 hrs to Chaling at 2148m.From Chaling you begin your trek and gradually make a climb towards Shaktimi where you see yaks and sheep grazing with some yaks herders hut scattered on the hill side.You continue the climb to reach Mendula Pass at 3354m. After the pass its all down hill through the rhododendron forest till you reach campsite at Donmong chu by the river at 3124m.Overnight at the camp.

    Donmong Chu - Merak

    Description :

    (Total distance:14 km 4-5 hrs)Today you trek along the Donmong chu river through the rhododendron forest and scrubs.There are no steep climbs today and the trail in most part follows the river, gradually gaining height. The first village you come across is Gangu and after another 45 min,you arrive at Merak Village located at an altitude of 3520m, visit the local village homes,meet local people. The Merak village is one of the most isolated village in Bhutan,like the people of Sakteng, Merak people (Brokpas) are said to have migrated here from Tshona region of southern Tibet few centuries ago. They arrived here after several months of journey across treacherous passes,set the scrubs on fire and settled down to make it their home called Merak, which literally means "set on fire". The people of Merak are similar to those of Sakteng in their language, dress, lifestyle and spiritual affiliation. However the people of Merak are said to be better built and taller then the Sakteng people. The houses are built of stones with very small windows and in most cases the houses are one storied only. In Merak the custom of polyandry is practiced with brothers sharing the same wife. Overnight at camp.

    Merak - Miksateng

    Description :

    (Total distance 16 km 5-6hrs)Today journey is the toughest on this trek with crossing of the highest pass on this trek and there are few smaller passes and ridges, with a gradual climb to the first pass at 3900m, from where you can look back for a last glimpse of Marek Village. Then you continue there after along the tree line of juniper and rhododendron forest on one side till we reach Nachungla pass at 4153m.Then we descend down to Miksateng village campsite at 3079m.

    Miksateng - Sakteng

    Description :

    (Total distance 14 km 4-5 hrs)Today you drop down to the river and after crossing it,you follow the river basin for few hrs then you gradually make a climb towards a small pass with small stupa on the hill overlooking Sakteng village.From the ridge we drop down to the valley and camp by the river side in Sakteng at an altitude of 2950m.

    Sakteng Exploration

    Description :

    Today we will explore the village and cultural program in the evening. In the morning visit the village and experience the life style and unique culture of the village, you can also visit the primary school. In the afternoon witness the cultural program performed by the locals, their unique yak dances and ache lhamo dance. Sakteng is a wide valley at around 3000m, surrounded by mountains on all sides. Sakteng literally means bamboo field. The people of Sakteng are similar to those of Merak in their language, dress, life style and spiritual afflictions. The village comprises of around 250 household with three main villages Sakteng, Tengma and Boring Tse but generally known as Sakteng, and the people are known as Saktengpa.

    Sakteng - Joenkhar Teng

    Description :

    (Total distance 17km 6-7 hrs)Today you will be leaving Sakteng starting with short climb to the small hill towards the west end of the village then descend down to the river and walk along side it through the broad leaf forest and we reach Joenkhar village(1733m) which is situated on the hill side and its population comprises of Brokpa and sharchopa with a community school and an outreach clinic.

    Joenkhar - Phongmey - Trashigang - Monger(End of th trek)

    Description :

    (Total distance 12 km 4-5 hrs)Y our last day of trek begins with the short climb through Joenkhar teng crossing few suspension bridges and short climb to reach Phongmay where your car will be waiting to take you to Trashigang Lunch at Trashigang and after lunch we drive towards Monger.overnight at hotel.

    Mongar - Bumthang

    Description :

    In the morning you will drive to Bumthang which is 200 km and in the evening you will reach Bumthang. Dinner at hotel.

    Bumthang

    Description :

    This day is dedicated to the famous monasteries of the Bumthang area. First in the morning visit Jambay Lhakhang, which dates back to the reign of Tibetan King Songtsen Ganpo, who built this temple to subdue an ogress that was lying across the Himalayan region. When the great saint Guru Rinpoche arrived to Bhutan in the late 7th century, he gave his first buddhist teachings from the roof-top of this temple. The temple itself is dedicated to the future Buddha Maitreya and holds precious statues of the Buddhas of the Past, Present and Future. After visiting the temple you continue to Kurjey Lhakhang which is nearby. Kurjey consists of three temples, with the oldest one dating back to the 1652 when it was built by Minjur Tenpa. The site of Kurjey reminds of the subjugation of the local demon by Guru Rinpoche, who was invited by the former King of Bumthang to help him defeat his enemies. Inside the temple the cave in which Guru Rinpoche meditated can be seen. The next temple you reach by walking across the river as it is located right opposite Kurjey Lhakhang. Tamshing Lhakhang is a private monastery that was established in 1501 by treasure revealer Pema Lingpa. Inside, some of the probably oldest paintings in the entire country can be seen, painted by Pema Lingpa himself. Also you will find the famous iron chain, made by Pema Lingpa who was a blacksmith until he started discovering the sacred Buddhist treasures, hidden by Guru Rinpoche and his disciples many centuries ago. Return to hotel for lunch and enjoy a free afternoon during which you can walk through the Bumthang valley or visit Jakar town. Dinner at the hotel.

    Bumthang - Punakha

    Description :

    In the morning we will start our journey to Punakha where you will reach around lunch where you visit Chimi Lhakhang. This temple was founded by Drukpa Kinley, commonly known as "Divine Mad Man". After Drukpa Kinley subdued the feared demoness of Dochu La, he advised the local people to built a temple in 1499 and then visit Punakha Dzong. Punakha was the former capital of Bhutan, and the Dzong (fortress) lies between two rivers known as Pochu and Mochu which means "Male River and Female River." Built in 1637 under the reign of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, the founding father of Bhutan, Punakha is today the winter residence of the central monk body and holds the famous Drukpa Kagyu relique "Rajung Khasarpani". The main assembly hall shows paintings of the life story of Lord Sakyamuni Buddha. Dinner at hotel.

    Punakha - Paro

    Description :

    After breakfast drive towards Paro valley, where you will reach in the afternoon.And after lunch drive to Drugyal Dzong (a ruin of a Dzong) which is situated at the end of Paro valley about 16 kilometers outside town. This Fortress is of great historical importance as it was here that the Bhutanese defeated the invading Tibetans and drove them back. From here, the snowcovered peaks of Mount Jhomolhari (7329m) can be seen on a clear day. After that visit one of the oldest temples in Bhutan, the Kyichu Lhakhang. Built buy the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century, Kyichu is considered to be one of 108 temples that were built to defeat an ogress (demon) that was lying over the entire Himalayas. Dinner at hotel.

    Paro(Taktshang Hike)

    Description :

    Today's programme includes a hike to one of the most sacred places in entire Bhutan: after driving to the road end you start the climb to the picturesque Taktsang Monastery, also known as "Tigers Nest". Perched on a rocky ledge with a sheer drop of nearly 800 ft, Taktsang was built in 1692, around the Taktsang Senge Samdup (stag tshang seng ge bsam grub) cave where Guru Rinpoche has meditated for three months in the 8th century. Padmasambhava has introduced Buddhism to Bhutan. Today, Paro Taktsang is the best known of the thirteen taktsang or "Tiger Lair" caves in which he meditated.

    Departure

    Description :

    Drive to Paro Airport. See off by your Guide and Driver.

  • Package Terms & Conditions :
    Cost:
    US$ 3400 per person For Indian Travelers Rs.68000 per person Group size 3 and above




Contact Detail

Around Bhutan Tours and Treks

Contact Person :-

Mr Nredup Jamtsho

Address :- GPO- 1657, Changzamtok, Thimphu, Bhutan


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