Land of Yeti tales
Sakteng is an isolated valley of Brokpa people, located north of Merak. It is a wide valley located at around 3000m, surrounded by mountains on all sides. Sakteng literally means bamboo field. The inhabitants of Sakteng are similar to those of Merak in their language, dress, lifestyle and spiritual afflictions. It comprises of around 250 household with three main villages, Sakteng, Tengma and Borang Tse but generally known as Sakteng, and the people are known as Saktengpa. To the people living in the lowlands they are known as Brokpas. Sakteng valley or Brokpas in general have lots of stories of the mythical Yeti, or Bigfoot, which said to be seen frequently roaming in the valley. People here live a semi nomadic life style, depending mainly on yaks. Dresses are woven out of Yak hair and sheep wool. The most distinctive is the black yak hair hat with five fringes worn by Brokpas. Brokpa men wear red wool jackets tight around the waist with the belt. The men are tall, well built with high cheek bone features. Unlike traditional Bhutanese women, Brokpa women keep long hair tied up in plaits with colourful ribbons. They produce excellent textiles from yak wool and raw silk. Every winter, Brokpas take on Drukkor or grain journey to the lowland village, where they have their regular host family, with whom they have close trading and social relationship. They live together as one family for weeks and barter their Yak products with maize and grains.
To get to Sakteng, drive about 1.5hr. from Trashingang to Phongmey village, where you begin 2 day trek (one night camp en-route). From Merak, the trek is across 4153m Nachungla pass to Miksateng and another 5hr walk next day to Sakteng.