Hiking Eastern Bhutan, 6 days

Sakteng village
Eastern Bhutan Hiking

Tour highlights

  • Watch for Yeti in Migoi National Park
  • Remote villages of semi-nomadic Brokpas
  • Sleeping in local village farmhouses
  • Enjoy the hospitality of local Brokpa villagers
  • Start and end in Guwahati
  • Optional tour start or finish in Paro
# Itinerary Program
1 Guwahati – Samdrup Jongkhar – Tashigang Early morning at 5 o’clock you will be picked-up in Guwahati, driving to Samdrup Jongkhar. Here you will meet your Bhutanese guide and driver, who will manage all immigration formalities. ➜ Then you will start all day drive ascending to the Himalayas. ➜ After few hours drive we will stop to get blessing from Hindu hermit for safety of our journey. ➜ Soon after you will have opportunity to visit first of many charming Bhutanese Buddhist temples, called Zangto Pelri Lhakhang, with detailed mural painting. ➜ During afternoon, you will stop in Khaling village to visit National Handloom Development Project, which maintains rich tradition of local weaving. ➜ Also, you will pay a visit to the National Institute for the Visually Impaired. One of the accomplishment of this progressive institution is the development of Bhutanese version of Braille's script. ➜ Along the way, you'll also pass by Karma Thegsum Dechenling Goemba, huge monastery school and Sherubtse College, first Bhutanese university campus established in 1978. ➜ Also, we visit temple in nearby Kanglung village. Reach to Tashigang.
2 Tashigang – Merak Today you will change the car for hardy Bolero jeep and start early in the morning ascending to high mountains of Merak and Sakteng, so called Migoi national park. Migoi is local name for elusive yeti and most local inhabitants will be able to remember numerous cases encountering yeti in the wild. ➜ After two hours drive we will reach Mon-la pass where the welcome party of Borkpa nomads in local dress will be waiting. ➜ Experience local hospitality and yummy nomad lunch, the tasty local spirit and milk-like chang beer. Continue drive to Merak village (3500 m) and accommodation in local farmhouse as a guest of Brokpa family. ➜ Explore village and it's temples. ➜ Optionally and extra payment witness the performance of Yak dance and then and Aum Yomo (local deity) dance. ➜ Sleeping in simple conditions (own sleeping bag is recommended but not necessary).
3 Merak In the morning you will start full day hiking trip around the Merak village. You can either hike to communal pastures above the village to the north-east or go to holy Aum Yomo peak (approx. 4500 m), which is considered as the seat of local protective deity. ➜ Afternoon you will get more understanding of local culture. You will see how local people spin wool and make their colorful traditional clothes and textiles. ➜ Learn how they make yak cheese, butter tea and ara (local rice, wheat, or corn spirit).
4 Merak – Sakteng Start 7-8 hours hike over the 4120 meters high Nyuksang-la pass to the large Sakteng village. ➜ The trail offers great views of Merak village and a lot of opportunity to see various wildlife like blood pheasants and similar. ➜ After crossing pass there is long descent to river bed and another brief ascent after which the large village of Sakteng becomes visible. This village was reached by motorable road just in the 2019 and maintains nice local culture. Saktengpas, as the locals calls themselves, keep close relation to Tawang in Indian Arunachal Pradesh and their relatives who are called as “Monpas” on Indian side of border but who are culturally identical. It's just few hours hike from here to Indian border over which locals cross freely. ➜ Overnight in local farmouse, experiencing Saktengpa hopspitality.
5 Sakteng – Tashigang In the morning explore the Sakteng village and its temples. ➜ Also see the bizarre open air exhibition of the parts from the Indian army airplane which crashed here many years back. ➜ Then take jeep to Thrakthi village and further to Tashigang, over the rough road. ➜ If you're early, you can also visit Rangjung monastery, beautiful Nyingma school of Buddhism monastery which hosts number of interesting statues and relics. ➜ Reach hotel in the evening.
6 Tashigang – Samdrup Jongkhar, onward to Guwahati This will be all day drive descend from the Himalayas southwards to Indian border. You will start early in the morning, going the same way you came here on the day one, going around Yongphula airport, Sherubtse university. Don't forget to stop for another hindu blessing at Damthang before reaching Smadrup Jongkhar. ➜ After immigration formalities, you will tell goodbye to your Bhutanese guide and driver and Indian counterpart will drive you to Guwahati. This is the tour end.
Tour variants, extensions and combinations: 
  • Start or finish in Paro (0 or more days): Thanks to domestic flight which is connection Yongphula airport in Eastern Bhutan with Paro in the West, you can also conveniently start/conclude the trip in Paro in Western Bhutan, see famous Tiger's Nest monastery and other sights.
  • Extend with Omba Nye “The Tiger's Nest of the East” hike (+2 or more days): Omba Nye is new popular 3 days trekking trail in Bhutan, which can be also done as 2 days / 1 night hiking excursion with overnight in Omba village homestay. The Omba Nye Monastery has stunning setting on the rocky cliff, which is similar to Paro's Taktsang.
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