Merak - Sakteng Special
1. To build capacity of the Brokpacommunity in ecotourism (guiding and homestay)
2. To provide tourists with a unique experience of Brokpa culture, red panda habitat and conservation activities
3. To increase and diversify Brokpa household income
4. To encourage environmental stewardship in the Brokpa community
Join us for a special journey to eastern Bhutan to visit the Brokpa community of semi-nomadic yak herders living within the beautiful Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary. This unique experience will immerse you in their way of life as you learn how they make a living from yak cheese, butter tea, colourful textiles and woollen clothes. See the magnificent forests and mountains they call home, including 41 species of Rhododendron and 208 bird species. During your 4-5 day stay in Merak, you can choose to; • Take a walk with local Brokpa guides through giant fir and rhododendron forests. Let them teach you about the many bird and animal species that are woven into their legends and deities. • Visit a highland hut and enjoy a cup of tea and chat with herders. • Pay homage to ‘Aum Jomo’, the woman who brought the Brokpas from Tibet to settle in the Merak and Sakteng valleys. See the relics dedicated to her story along the trail between Merak and Gengu villages. • Visit the Merak primary school and meet the Junior Ranger Club who are helping to protect red pandas. • Visit the Forestry and Parks Service office to learn about forest and wildlife management. • Do an overnight trek to highland lakes and yak pastures. The communities of Merak and Sakteng are ready to welcome you with their heart-warming singing and dancing. Experience the gentle hospitality and wholesome food from your local homestay hosts. All lodging, food, nature guides, porters, local travel and supplies are provided by local people ensuring benefits flow to the Brokpa community.
Day 1 Paro and Thimpu (2,300m) Stay at Yeedzin Guesthouse or Jambayang Resort
Day 2-5 Explore Thimpu (2-3 days to acclimatise)
Visit cultural and nature sites.
Day 6 Fly from Paro to Yongphula Lunch at Trashigang.
Stay at Lingkar Lodge or DechunDejung hotel in Trashigang.
Day 7 Drive to Merak (4 hours)- 3,500m
Rest/walk around Genguvillage
Welcome sing/dance by Gengu community
Stay atDawa and Karma’s homestay, Gengu village,
Day 8 Meet Gengu village savings group, visit wool processing centre and gompa.
Walk up to Merak via cultural trail with interpretation by Dawa.
Talk by parks staff and Dawa about red panda conservation. Visit Merak primary school and learn about Junior Ranger program
Stay at Dawa and Karma’s homestay, Gengu village,
Day 9-10 Guided walks in the area for birdwatching, rhododendrons, visiting herder huts or sacred sites.
Stay at Dawa and Karma’s homestay, Gengu village,
Day 11-13 Overnight trek if desired to lakes or Sakeng
Day 14 Return to Trashigang
Stay at Trashigang hotel
Day 15 Drive Trashigang to Bumthang
Day 16 Day to explore Bumthang
Day 17 Drive or fly Bumthang to Thimpu
Day 18 Rest day in Thimpu
Day 19-20 Fly to Bangkok
For detail itinerary, write to us at email@example.com/ Whatsapp +97517341616
- Passport (with at least 6 months’ validity from the date of your exit from Bhutan)
- Photocopy of picture page of passport showing number, etc. Keep this in a separate place in your baggage. If for any reason you lose your passport, this will expedite the process of applying for a new passport.
- Print out copy of the visa & International air tickets.
- Temperatures will fluctuate greatly depending on elevation and time of day. You should be prepared for a minimum temperature of 04 degrees and a maximum of 35 degrees. You have to plan for layered clothing to be prepared for such a wide-ranging temperature fluctuations.
- Drink only bottled water, sodas, beer, etc.
- Stay away from any cold salad! These are normally rinsed in tap water before or after being sliced and are a major cause of traveler’s gastro-intestinal distress.
- All tipping is optional and by no means mandatory, however if you feel that your staff and drivers have performed at a good or excellent level, it is a great way to let them know you appreciate their efforts.
A few items to keep in mind:
- Accept or offer items with the right hand or, more politely, with both hands. Using both hands to give or receive signifies that you honor the offering and the recipient or giver.
- When you visit Buddhist shrines or temples, it is appropriate and a sign of respect to walk around the building in a clockwise direction (so that the structure is to your right side). This is also true for mani walls (walls built of stone tablets with Buddhist mantras carved on them) and Chorten (small Buddhist shrines.)
- Your guide will give you additional tips along the way, when in doubt, check in with them. You will be travelling into areas that have had relatively few foreign visitors. Your positive attitude and interaction is needed and welcomed to maximize this adventure.
What should I bring with me for the trip?
- Good walking shoes
- Sunscreen (highest possible)
- Headgear for sunny days
- Bug/Insect repellent
- Cotton clothing for summer days, light woolen clothes for evenings. Heavy woolens for winter.
- Shorts for hiking and walking around town are fine. Out of respect, please don't wear shorts in public buildings or monasteries. Have a pair of long pants or longer skirt for these locations.