True Bhutanese Immersion through a Hot Stone Bath

Somehow my first experience in Bhutan did not include a hot stone bath. That was a huge mistake! Why no one encouraged me to visit an old Bhutanese homestead and experience a hot stone bath is a mystery. I saw the signs around Western Bhutan but thought it may just be some tourist gimmick. That could not be further from the truth. 

So, now I sit in a very relaxed state after my first hot stone bath in Bhutan with one thought that definitely comes to mind. All Adventure Access visitors to Bhutan will have the opportunity for this experience and for those who do not visit Bhutan with Adventure Access, our encouragement is still the same. You have got to try this! 

Hot stone baths in Bhutan are rooted in Bhutanese culture and history. This is not some sort of tour product catering to visitors in need of a day at the spa. This is an invitation to immerse oneself in Bhutanese tradition and reap the benefits they have known about for ages. With such an important place in the life of locals it is definitely recommended for visitors to Bhutan to experience the hot, therapeutic waters and the best place for such an experience is at a genuine farmhouse. 

Our experience took place in Paro, Bhutan. Paro is home to the country’s famous Tiger’s Nest Monastery. We arrived at a beautiful stone farmhouse that has housed seven generations of one family. They have had a hot stone bath on site for most of these generations. It has been updated throughout the past two generations to create a more private experience for guests. It has also been expanded to accommodate groups without a long wait. 


Oak tubs are filled with river water and are heated by glowing river stones which have been heated in a nearby fire. This infuses the water with a healthy dose of minerals from the stones. Added to the water is Artemesia, a local herb within Bhutan, producing what the locals call menchu, or medicinal water. The fragrance is pleasing and the composition of the water, stones, and Artemesia is known to be good for the skin and a relief to one’s joints. It is a perfect way to relax after a long hike, a long drive, or one of Bhutan’s many other adventure opportunities. 

Our experience in the medicinal waters was private and relaxing. An occasional knock from the other side of the wooden wall was a simple inquiry from the host who managed the fire and the stones. It was his way of asking if you needed another stone or two added to the other end of your tub which extended safely beyond the wall to provide a place for the stones to rest beyond the reach of your feet. Throughout the evening, our fellow Bhutanese guides, our driver, and family members of the homestead all took an extended soak before turning in for the night. This was definitely a local experience!

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