Bhutan, officially the Kingdom of Bhutan, is a landlocked country in South Asia located at the eastern end of the Himalayas. It is bordered to the north by China and to the south, east and west by India.

The Brokpa, the semi-nomads of the villages of Merak and Sakteng are said to have migrated to Eastern Bhutan a few centuries ago from the Tshona region of Southern Tibet. Thriving on rearing yaks and sheep, the Brokpas have maintained many of their unique traditions and customs. In summer they move to the pastures with their yaks and sheep and in winter they return to live in their houses, normally built of stones with small ventilation to protect from the piercing cold weather. As virtually nothing grows in Merak and Sakteng, the Brokpas trade their butter, cheese and yak meat with neighbouring villages for daily necessities.

Their distinctive hat known as tsipee cham is made of yak felt with long twisted tufts, said to keep the rain from running onto their faces.

Located at 3250m, the Merak valley is one of the most isolated in Bhutan but every year the road gets closer.