Merak Setang Trek
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 trek lies within the Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary (SWS). It was created in April 2003 with a strong agenda for conservation and to protect the unique assemblage of biological and cultural diversity in the region. It covers an area of 650 km2 and is bordered by the Indian State of Arunachal Pradesh (Tawang) in the north and east, Phongmey Geog and Kangpara Geog in the west, and Shingkhar Lauri Geog in Samdrup Jongkhar. It is connected to Khaling Wildlife Sanctuary by a biological corridor, a part of the Bhutan Biological Conservation Complex (B2C2).
DepartureParo / Paro
IncludedMerak Setang Trek3 Star Hotel AccommodationOne time visa fees US$40Basic Trekking EquipmentsAll Ground TransportationAll taxes and feesEntrance fees to all the monument and museumRoyalty US$ 65/person/night(Child under 12 year is exempt from Royalty US$65)Personal GuideAll Meal While Trek
Not IncludedTipsInternational Telephone CallsLaundry BillsBar BillsTravel InsuranceInternational FlightsMineral drinking water5 Star Accommodation
Day 1: Arrival Paro - Drive to Samdrup Jongkhar
Day 2: Samdrup Jongkhar to Trashigang
Day 3: Excursion to Trashiyangtse - Trashigang
En route, you will stop at Duksum, a small town located on the Drangmechu River and its tributary. Afterwards you will arrive Trashiyangtse which is a small and quiet town bordering the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. The people here are known for making wooden bowls and containers, which are said to be the best in Bhutan.
Day 4: Trashigang via Chaling village to Donmang Chu
- Alt. 3124m.
- Distance - 19 km.
- Time 7-8 hours.
- Overnight in camp.
- Alt. 2217m. (Ascend)
- Alt. 230m. (Descend)
Day 5: Donmong Chu to Merak village
The trail from Domong Chu to Merak mostly follows the river bends. The final stretch has gentle ascend before you 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 and meet with the people.
- Alt. 3520m.
- Distance - 14km.
- Time 5 hours.
- Overnight in camp.
- Alt. 396 m.
Day 6: Merak to Miksateng
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 make last glimpse of Merak valley. Continue the trek along the tree line of juniper and rhododendron forests and conquer the Nachungla pass. Then you will descend to Miksateng at 3079m.
Day 7: Miksateng to Sakten village
First, you will descend to the river, cross it and then follow the river bank for few hours. Then 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. Drop down from the ridge and camp on the outskirts of the Sakten village at 2950m.
Day 8: Explore Sakten village
Day 9: Sakten to Joenkhar Teng
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.
Day 10: Joenkhar Teng via Phongmey to Trashigang
The last day of the trek begins with short climb through the Joenkhar Teng. Cross few of suspension bridges and short climbs to reach Phongmay. 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.
Day 11: Trashigang to Mongar
Day 12: Mongar to Bumthang
Day 13: Bumthang
Day 14: Bumthang to Punakha
Day 15: Punakha to Thimphu
Day 16: Thimphu Sightseeing
Day 17: Thimphu to Paro
Day 18: Departure