The popularity of hot springs and hot stone baths in Bhutan

Email

In Bhutan, hot springs and hot stone baths play significant roles in Bhutanese lives.

 

In Bhutan, when you fall ill, aside from visiting the hospital or health care centres, the next best thing you can do is to either soak in a tsachu or dip into a menchu. These traditional healing practices date back to the 7th century. And interestingly, Bhutan has an ancient name 'Menjung', the land of medicinal herbs.
 
Tsachu (Hot springs)
Hot springs which are popularly known as tsachus in Bhutan, are well-known for its medicinal properties. The hot springs are usually found in volcanically active areas. For centuries, the locals believe that the medicinal water will cure different kind of ailments and diseases such as arthritis, chronic headaches, skin diseases or tuberculosis. Aside from the health benefits, the locals will also travel to the hot springs for relaxation. Some of these hot springs provide the most picturesque landscapes for you to enjoy while you heal your body.
 
The popular tradition amongst the Bhutanese is to visit hot springs during the winter season. The locals will spend at least 3 days to weeks dipping in the spring water. In the olden days, people had to hire ponies or mules to reach the hot springs due to the inaccessibility of the roads. Today, with the improved road conditions, one can easily visit a tsachu any time. Bhutanese will visit the tsachu at least once a year with their family or friends.
 
Some of the most popular hot springs in Bhutan are Gasa Hot Spring, Duenmang Tsachhu in Zhemgang District , Gelephu Tsachu , Koma Tsachu & Chuboog Tsachu in Punakha.

Among all the tsachus in Bhutan, Gasa Tsachu is rated as the most popular tsachu for foreigners followed by Duenmang Tsachu. These two tthanksa sachus are popularly visited by tourists who embark on the Gasa-Laya Trek or Snowman Trek.

Chubu Tsachu
Driving three hours on the feeder road past Punakha town along the banks of the Pho Chu River is home to Chubu Hot Spring blessed by Guru Padmasambhava. The tshachu is not widely known to Bhutanese. However, like Gasa Hot Spring, there are many miracle anecdotes shared from Chubu Hot Spring. The Tshachu has two ponds and it is believed that the water in the first pond can cure dermal diseases, tuberculosis, and stomach ailments.
 
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, hundreds of locals are found rushing to the Chubu Hot Spring to heal from various illness and defilements.
 
The best season to visit hot springs in Bhutan
Spring and Autumn season from Feb, March, April, May are the best times to visit hot springs in Bhutan. It is believed that during spring when the tree roots sprout, it will add medicinal value to the water thus creating rich mineral value to the hot spring.
 
Menchu (Hot Stone Baths) in Bhutan
Aside from the hot springs, you can also opt to soak in a menchu (hot stone bath). The traditional hot stone bath is an alternative therapy to the hot springs. The stone baths are available in some five-star properties but you can also find some in a more rustic settings and traditional farm houses.
 
The process begins with heating large river stones on firewood until it turns iron red. The red stones are then dipped into the water in the wooden tub. The temperature of the water can be increased by adding more heated stones into a wooden chamber. The chamber is connected to the main tub which contains the water for soaking. The holes in the chamber allow the heat to be infused into the bath and are said to release minerals into the water that are believed to have medicinal properties. Sometimes, herbs are also added to provide the fragrance.
Some of the places that you can experience hot stone baths include Bjagoe Menchu or Aum Choden Homestay in Paro, Sherab Dema Farmhouse Homestay in Bumthang. Some of the luxury hotels that offer hot stone baths include Uma Paro, Uma Punakha, Amankora Gangtey and Terma Linca in Thimphu.
 
You can visit a hot stone bath in Bhutan all-year round. However, it is advisable to make arrangements with your tour operator to make prior booking.
 
While hot springs in Bhutan are free, a hot stone bath experience in Bhutan can cost anywhere from Nu. 1000 (approx. USD14) to Nu. 3000 (approx. USD40).


Related Posts

The Magical Waters Of Gasa Tsachu – A Popular Hot Spring In...

While most people visit the hot spring in the hope that it could cure them of various ailments, it has become an annual...

Mar 25, 2019 14:38

How to identify female or male Bhutanese names?

Organizational Psychologist Joyce E. A. Russell observed, “A person’s name is the greatest connection to their own...

Jul 09, 2021 13:19

Where to satisfy your momo cravings in Thimphu, Bhutan

You can't go wrong with momo. It's almost always the answer to a growling stomach and social events.

Jun 28, 2021 11:20

What are some of the Bhutanese beliefs and superstitions

For a country deeply rooted in spirituality, you will find Bhutanese especially the Buddhist rely on astrology for major...

May 25, 2021 11:17

Khata: The multipurpose Bhutanese scarf

“Khatas are the Buddhist equivalent of a hallmark card.” —Married to Bhutan by Linda Leaming

Apr 29, 2021 10:53

Bhutanese enjoy the hardest cheese in the world like chewing gums

The Bhutanese love their cheese. They even have one that’s arguably the hardest in the world.

Apr 26, 2021 12:38

Latest

News

What are the endangered birds of Bhutan?

Bhutan is home to 26 endangered birds. One of these birds even has its own festival.

Jul 19, 2021 10:35

Removing Bhutan’s import taxes on sanitary products is crucial for period equity

What might elimination of the 30 percent import tax on sanitary supplies mean for Bhutanese citizens?

Jul 12, 2021 10:48

Features

Biography of Pema Lingpa, Bhutan's famous treasure revealer

Once, he uncovered treasure following instructions from a dream. He would go on to uncover thirty-two treasures during his lifetime.

Aug 02, 2021 10:52

What are the endangered mammals of Bhutan?

Currently, Bhutan is home to nine endangered mammals, with one being critically endangered.

Jul 23, 2021 16:30

Business

What are the entrepreneurship programmes and initiatives available in Bhutan?

The Bhutanese government has introduced all kinds of initiatives to promote entrepreneurship. Even school kids are groomed to innovate,...

Jun 22, 2021 16:37

Support authentic Bhutanese handicrafts by local artisans

Whether you are interested in artisanal Bhutanese handicrafts or boutique sourced products with contemporary touch, the incredible...

Mar 25, 2021 12:09

Sports

Bhutan competed in the Olympics through historic qualification

Since 1984, Bhutan has been competing in the Olympics via universality invitation, but not the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Jul 29, 2021 17:06

What are the traditional sports of Bhutan?

The Bhutanese have a variety of traditional sports. Some test your aim and skills, whereas with others, it’s about pure brute strength.

Jul 13, 2021 11:15

Travel

Travel to Bhutan: experience the charm of Paro district

Paro district receives the highest volume of travellers annually. It's also easily one of tourists favourite places in Bhutan.

Jul 14, 2021 11:20

Travel to Bhutan: attractions in the capital of Bhutan, Thimphu

Western Bhutan is the perfect region to learn more about the beautiful kingdom for those who are visiting Bhutan for the first time.

Jun 29, 2021 12:58

Lifestyle

How to identify female or male Bhutanese names?

Organizational Psychologist Joyce E. A. Russell observed, “A person’s name is the greatest connection to their own identity and...

Jul 09, 2021 13:19

Where to satisfy your momo cravings in Thimphu, Bhutan

You can't go wrong with momo. It's almost always the answer to a growling stomach and social events.

Jun 28, 2021 11:20

COVID-19

Bhutan is leading in the vaccination race

“Bhutan is now a beacon of hope for the region, at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has upended lives and devastated families." - Dr Will...

Jul 28, 2021 12:01

Bhutan, with a leading vaccination rate in the region, commenced its second vaccination drive

Bhutan's second nationwide vaccination campaign will be held from July 20 - July 26, 2021.

Jul 21, 2021 11:05

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!

Download Daily Bhutan Mobile App

Connecting with us just got easier!