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

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

Traditional costumes of Bhutan and the evolution of kira

The Kingdom of Bhutan is unique for many reasons, but one peculiarity that sets them apart is their dress code.

Apr 21, 2021 11:25

In the Buddhist Kingdom of Bhutan, are Bhutanese mostly...

Many foreigners perceive Bhutanese to be mostly vegetarians owing to its status as a Buddhist kingdom.

Apr 14, 2021 14:30

Latest

News

The sacrifice of an extraordinary King in these difficult times

“The most powerful leadership tool you have is your own personal example.” – John Wooden

Jun 14, 2021 16:57

Bhutan is hopeful of lifting restrictions on tourism after second dose of COVID-19 vaccination

It’s been 9-week since the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination campaign in Bhutan.

Jun 04, 2021 13:20

Features

RENEW's Livelihood Project: Lighting up the lives of women

Her Majesty the Queen Mother Sangay Choden Wangchuck founded RENEW (Respect, Educate, Nurture and Empower Women) in 2004.

Jun 17, 2021 11:32

6 reasons to get your very own 'Bhutan: Travelog'

A book that will tell you everything you need to know, see, taste, do, and enjoy in Bhutan? Take my money!

Jun 16, 2021 12:37

Business

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

Authentic Bhutanese Souvenirs from Eastern Bhutan

Every district and village produce distinct products in Bhutan. To encourage rural communities to produce more authentic souvenirs and...

Dec 25, 2020 22:13

Sports

What's with the unique archery culture in Bhutan?

In Bhutan, archery is more than just a sport. It is a way of life. The dancing, the singing, the drinking—it is a manifestation of the...

Apr 19, 2021 10:40

Contributing to the country through the love for football

It's been a month since the conclusion of Bhutan Premier League 2020. Daily Bhutan interviews Paro FC to find out more about the club. Below...

Dec 21, 2020 17:05

Travel

Bhutan is the perfect destination for luxury travel

The definition of 'luxury travel' has changed because of COVID-19.

Jun 01, 2021 18:32

8 most popular festivals in Bhutan that you should check out

Bhutanese festivals are colourfully vibrant affairs that draw crowds from all over the world.

May 14, 2021 17:15

Lifestyle

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 events in life....

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

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!

Download Daily Bhutan Mobile App

Connecting with us just got easier!