This newly developed Merak to Sakteng Trek explores the remote eastern Bhutan region of the Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary and commences from the village of Chaling, near the town of Trashigang, and terminates at the village of Phongmay near the important regional weaving village of Radhi.
The trek to Merak will start from Chaling and the feeder road goes up to Chaling from Rangjung. The feeder road from Rangjung to Chaling is about 15 kms, which takes about 1 hour by car. The first halt will be at Damnongchu. Damnongchu camping area is located after Mindrula, which lies about 10,880ft above sea level.
Trekking from Chaling to Damnongchu Campsite (3088m)
The trail from Damnongchu to Merak goes along the river bank with gradual ups and downs. The final stretch is a very gentle incline after which you enter Merak village. The campsite, located before the village, has spectacular views of the nearby mountains and the village. There is also a guesthouse where tourists can stay if they choose not to camp.
Trekking to Merak through local village
The trek from Merak to Miksa Teng is of medium difficulty. It will pass through the beautiful Nagchungla pass. Right after the Nagchungla pass descend, the trek is mostly along the river and there is a small climb before reaching the campsite of Miksa Teng. The campsite is located in a clearing surrounded by rhododendron trees. It is beautiful when the flowers are in full bloom.
Trekking along river to Miksa Teng Campsite, enjoy beautiful mountain view
Trek to Sakteng from Miksa Teng is easy making your way through beautiful woods with a short climb before reaching Sakteng but it is not very difficult. If lucky, trekkers may be able to spot a red panda among the trees. The Sakteng campsite is located on the outskirts of the village. Sakteng also offers trekkers the option of spending the night in a guesthouse instead of camping.
Trekking from Miksa Teng to Sakteng campsite
Sakteng to Jyonkhar Teng trek is an easy trek compared to the previous treks. It is mostly downhill and walking on a plain path. Some trekkers can also make it to Phongmay or Radhi but a halt in Jyonkhar Teng is recommended. Jyonkhar village is located few minutes walk from the campsite. Jyonkhar also has a community school. Jyonkhar Teng campsite is located near a river.
Trekking to Jyonkhar Teng campsite
The trekkers are highly recommended to either stay in Phongmay or Radhi. This is because of many attractions and beautiful villages in these two places. Radhi, popularly known as the ‘Rice Bowl” of the east is also popular for wool textiles called Bura weaving.
A visitor can either choose to stay in Trashigang or make their way to Mongar if they are planning to visit central or western Bhutan or if they are to depart from Paro.
Also if visitors are exiting from Samdrup Jongkhar, they can choose to do so. However, a day in Trashigang is highly recommended as direct drive from Radhi or Phongmay may be possible but it will be very tiring.
End our trek today, prepare for your next journey in Bhutan
One day in Merak:
A day in Merak recommended as a relaxation day. This will give visitors an opportunity to visit attractions of Merak village. There are many interesting local sites that the visitors can explore in Merak and Ganggu (a neighbouring village).
One day in Sakteng:
Also a day is recommended to explore Sakteng village. Just like in Merak, Sakteng also has interesting myths surrounding its village. The Sakteng valley is little bigger than that of Merak and it has more adjacent villages then Merak.
Merak – Jomo Kumkhar – Merak
The visit or trek to palace of Aum Jomo is an interesting journey. It will be even more interesting if your trek coincides with their annual ceremony held just in front of Aum Jomo’s palace near a beautiful lake. The trek is for two days and one night. So this trek is recommended after one-day relaxation in Merak as it is an uphill trek.
WHEN TO GO?
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