|Highlights:||Trek in a far-flung and culturally distinct area of Eastern Bhutan, only recently accessible to visitors. Make the fascinating road journey from Bumthang to the east with dramatic, jaw-dropping views. Spend time in the villages of the intriguing semi-nomadic Brokpa people of Merak-Sakten. Visit the main sights of Paro and Thimphu in the west|
|Departure:||Mar, Apr, May, Sep, Oct, Nov|
Merak-Sakten has been the ultimate destination for those who worship Bhutan. A paradise within a paradise, a forbidden, mystical place, inhabited by a unique tribe whose legends border on the bizarre and where it is rumored the last remaining Yetis still roam. It had remained closed since 1992 till quite recently and we are delighted to be able to offer this unique chance to see a pristine corner of the Himalaya. It is a picturesque country and in a generation where more roads push into various parts of the Himalayas, this is a rare chance to enjoy the rarest of pleasures – the feeling of genuine exploration.
We are pleased to offer a revamped itinerary so you can experience this wild trek without missing out on the must-see sights of the Paro Valley in the west and Bumthang in central Bhutan and avoiding backtracking. Firstly you fly to Delhi and then up to Paro to see the Paro Dzong and Taktsang monastery prior to flying to Bumthang in the heart of the Kingdom. With ample time in Bumthang to see some of the famed temples of this region, you then travel eastwards for two days over some of the most jaw-dropping and spectacular roads in the kingdom, including a crossing of the Trumsinghla, the highest road pass in Bhutan ( 3,779 m or 12,400 ft.) On arrival at Trashigang, you have time to explore before proceeding on a trek. After your trek, you do not have to backtrack but exit Bhutan by its southern border at Samdrup Jongkhar and fly back to Delhi.
The Merak-Sakten Area
The culturally unique people of Merak and Sakten migrated to these two particular villages from Tibet hundreds of years ago and their costume and architecture are quite distinct from anywhere else in Bhutan. Their hats, made of yak wool, resemble spiders with ‘five arms’. Its function is to drain away the water when it is raining heavily.
This preserved region was sealed off to the outside world in 1992 by the Bhutanese government. No one is quite certain why it closed, and various rumors abound as to the reasons. One is that this is the last area where the Yeti is still at large and the Bhutanese wanted to protect this legendary creature. The second is that perhaps the Bhutanese wanted to preserve this special tribe from outside influence, and thirdly, it may be because, being right up against the eastern border with Tibet and India, it is a politically sensitive area.
Duration: 18 days from the UK
On trek: 7 days
Walks on: 2 days
Max. Altitude: 4,140m/13,583ft (at the Nanchung Pass day 12)
Guaranteed to run for a minimum of 2 clients
Maximum group size: 18
Land only joining city: Delhi
Accommodation types: Hotels, Camping
Meal arrangements: Bed and Breakfast in Delhi, all meals in Bhutan.
Leader: Local leader, Bhutan