Merak & Sakten in Tashigang Dzongkang, are two places in Bhutan which has remained closed to tourism. However starting September 2010 the government will officially open this beautiful part of the country to tourism.
Merak and Sakteng both lie in the Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary, created to preserve the Yeti, the abominable Snowman, known as the Migoi by the locals. Merak lies along the Nyera Ama Chu River, while Sakten lies along the Gamri Chu River. The only way to access Merak & Sakteng is by foot. The road will only take you so far as Rhadi, which is about 45 minutes drive from Tashigang town, and from here it takes 2 days walk to reach Merek and 2 days walk to reach Sakteng and it takes a full day’s walk or 2 days walk to walk between Merek & Sakteng. Therefore the Merek & Sakteng trek takes full 5-6 days walk from Rhadi, Tashigang.
The inhabitants of Merak & Sakteng are known as Brokpas, one of Bhutan’s most remote tribes. You will be able to instantly spot a Brokpa in a crowd as the women always wear a red and white long silk poncho- tied around their waist, red silk jacket decorated with animal designs and and the men wear red woolen longer shirt tied on the waist with a black leather trousers under it. Both men and women wear black felt caps that have 5 pointy fringe like protruding from it.
Secluded in the mountains of the Eastern Bhutan, Merak and Sakteng have remained unchanged for many years. Like the rest of Bhutan, age old traditions are still very much alive today here in Merak and Sakteng. However unlike the rest of the country, modernization like motor road, electricity and huge concrete buildings have yet to reach this treasured gem in the mountains.