Bhutan is not only known for its spirituality but also for wellness therapies such as hot spring therapy, hot stone therapy, acupuncture, and shaman healing.
Two popular aqua wellness therapies include hot spring and hot stone therapies.
(1) HOT SPRING THERAPY
Hot springs are known as "tshachus" in Bhutan and are found all over the country. Known for their medicinal properties, they are believed to heal a number of ailments such as arthritis, skin diseases, ulcers, rheumatism, indigestion, and tuberculosis.
Tshachus contain a combination of rdo-sol (coal), mu-zi (sulphur), and rdo-sho (limestone). Because of the presence of these minerals most of the tshachus have medicinal value.
Gasa hot springs are situated close to the banks of the Mo Chhu (river) in Bhutan. Known for its healing powers, it is visited by more than 7000 people every winter!
The area comprises 4 ponds made of concrete and are about 3 ft. deep. They have roofs to provide cover and can accommodate 12 people at a time. There are also private bathing spaces. The hot springs are open 24/7.
How to reach: Gasa is 134 km from Thimpu and 47 km from Punakha.
These hot springs are situated on the banks of river Mangde Chhu and the base of Kamjong Hill. Its waters are known to cure ailments like joint pain, skin diseases, sinusitis, and tuberculosis.
There are 10 ponds. Amenities include water taps and washrooms.
How to reach: Approximately a 1-hour trek from Gomphu town. You can hire porters and ponies to carry your things.
The Gelephu hot springs consist of 5 pools, and the water is known to cure arthritis, anal fistula, stomach pain, wounds, and skin diseases.
You also have the option to take a hot stone bath, an ancient Bhutanese therapy known as "menchu' (more on this later).
How to reach: 15 km uphill from Gelephu town.
Note: There are no hotels close to any of the hot springs. However, you can find limited guesthouses, otherwise, you can pitch a tent and stay as long as you want.
Hot spring in Bhutan
(2) HOT STONE BATH (MENCHU) THERAPY
A hot stone bath is a traditional healing practice known to cleanse skin ailments. In a wooden tub, fresh river water is mixed with local Artemisia leaves and heated with river stones roasted on a fire. You can take a 4-minute long soak while nibbling on chips and tea. This is followed by a salt scrub and an oil massage.
The best places to take this kind of therapy are in farmer sheds that overlook serene, lush valleys.
Where to get a hot stone bath: Sherab Dema Farmhouse Homestay, Amankora Gangtey, and Bjagoe Menchu.
Note: You have to make a prior appointment so that the staff has enough time to heat the stones and prepare your bath.
Hot stone bath at Uma Paro hotel
So, next time you’re in Bhutan, don’t miss out on these 2 relaxing and rejuvenating experiences even if all you’re looking for is a good luxurious soak and some peace and quiet.
Your details are safe with us