Friday, May 29th, 2015 - 1:59 AM
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The Gelephu hot spring

IMG_1495Where getting into hot water has the exact the opposite meaning to its usual one

COVER PAGE: The southern spa

It is noon here in Gelephu tshachu (spa).  The sun is intense.  It’s a busy time.  There is a long queue.  Kuenzang Tshering is in shorts, ready to jump into a hot spring pool.

The hot spring pond at the right-hand corner is crammed with children and grey-haired people.  There is no space but Kuenzang Tshering wants to get in.

Kuenzang Tshering, 55, is from Mongar and he has been visiting [... Read More]

Koma tshachu The less frequented hot spring


SPA: Despite having to walk for more than two hours into the deep forest far from villages, for Chotso, 66 of Chumey, Bumthang, her decision to come to Koma tshachu (hot spring) wasn’t wrong.

Chotso came with her 75-year old husband, following severe joint pain and backache.  They were 15 people in two groups from Bumthang, mostly elderlies, carrying cooking stuffs, tent to make temporary tents and clothing.

Flashing a big smile, Chotso said, “I [... Read More]

Thugdam after death

WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO: Thugdam, literally integrity of the mind/heart, refers to meditation practice. A person who is in meditation is described as being in thugdam. In the specific context of thugdam after death, the Himalayan Buddhist tradition believes in the ability of some persons to remain in meditation even after death and thereby also slow down the process of physical disintegration due to transformation of the mind. Thus, when we hear [... Read More]

Tshachus – Popular but polluted


HYGIENE: Bhutanese believe that soaking in a tshachu (hot spring) cures all ailments, physical and mental.  Many consider hot springs holy even.  So thousands go to tshachu every year.

And because many people visit the few tshachus in the country, sanitation around the hot spring is a problem.

Surroundings near the tshachu ponds stink of urine.  Of course, there are three properly built toilets.  But there are just too many people visiting the tshachu.

Phuntsho Wangdi, [... Read More]

How to get back into shape

HEALTH & FITNESS: I’m 29. Although I love to play basketball regularly, I’m not able to play much. So I got into volleyball. I drink beer frequently and mostly right after game. Now I realised that my weight has increased to 85kg and I have developed a potbelly. I hate that. This is also because of the nature of busy and late night work schedule. I’m very keen to work out but don’t [... Read More]

Duenmang tshachu – Where the monkey is king

LAST PAGE: Praling is the gateway to Duenmang tshachu (hot spring) in Zhemgang.  The road ends at Praling and winds downhill to the bank of furious Mangduechu. At the bank of the river is the tshachu. This tshachu is known to heal joint pain, ulcer, gastritis, piles and UTI, among others.

Praling in local language means “kingdom of monkeys”.  And there are so many monkeys there indeed. Forest here is mixed conifer. Terrain is [... Read More]

Eating out: The new in thing

IMG_6494Once done on the odd occasion, patronising restaurants and cafes is now commonplace

COVER STORY: The foodie fad that’s all the rage

Tshering Dema, 39, sips her coffee silently in one of the cosy restaurants located along the Norzin lam in Thimphu.  Her two sons, a nephew and a niece are engaged in an animated conversation.

Soon their dinner arrives and a silence falls over the table as the waiter slowly places food on the table.  Tshering Dema has ordered a beef fried rice for herself.  The young ones have [... Read More]

The best eating places in the capital


JOINTS: Reema Restaurant

The moment you enter the ground floor of Norling building in the main town, a crowd of people awaits their turn at the door of this small joint. Popular for Paratha, people of all age groups come to this place for this delicacy

“My friend brought me here one day. Now, I come here regularly during my lunch break,” said Younten Tshering, a regular customer.

Price is reasonable here. That’s probably why a [... Read More]

Gewa or funerary rites of merit

WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO: In the last issue, we have covered dedication and how through dedication we can share the merits of another person. In general, Buddhism rejects the idea that someone else can save you. One is one’s own saviour and even the Buddhas are only teachers. The Buddha said: “I show you the path to liberation but liberation depends upon you.”

However, if a person is the cause of a [... Read More]

Dorji Trozey – The place for finger-lickin’ good traditional fare


RESTAURANT: Dorji Trozey at the Zangthopelri Complex in Thimphu is one of the most popular restaurants in the capital.

Dorji, 40, the owner of the restaurant, is from Phongmey, Trashigang.  He has no idea how the name of the restaurant was decided. It came with the licence.

“I’m superstitious, like many Bhutanese. A lama told me I could do well if I started a restaurant. And the name of the restaurant came with the licence,” [... Read More]