TID 772 Merak & Sakten Trek (21 Oct to 7 Nov, 2014) Guide Dorji Tshering
Well I enjoyed the trip a lot. The trek was excellent and the staff were fantastic. They were always helpful, kind and patience and on top of that they were a lot of fun too! In general the hotels were good although there seemed to be a range of quality from basic (one occasion without hot water) to excellent and luxurious (hotel in Thimphu). The bus was comfortable and always clean, the driver was excellent too and we had confidence in his abilities, essential for those difficult mountain roads. Itinerary was mostly followed quite closely but we were allowed flexibility and generally everything worked well. Our guide was pleasant and always helpful. He was respectful and knowledgeable.
On the trek some days were long and tiring but that was to be expected. The staff always were quick to set everything up and have tea waiting for us when we arrived. It was hard to estimate walking times but that is simply due to the variation that is found in people’s natural walking pace. More information could be given about what is expected for visits from local people. We had several visits when we entered villages, campsites etc, which was very nice however we felt compelled to give a gift of money and this made us feel uncomfortable at times. Some clear explanation before arrival in Bhutan could help others prepare for this situation and help allow preparation of gifts for local people that are not simply cash but other items (potentially items from client’s own countries).
The festival in Jakar was certainly a highlight and personally I could have enjoyed more time here in order to experience this unique cultural event.
All in all it was an excellent trip that I would really recommend to others considering it.