Slipping into the soothing water at the hot stone bath felt like yet another blessing after returning from the hike to the Tiger’s Nest.
On the way back to Paro, we stopped for a hot stone bath. Our guide had called in advanced and booked the time. This is essential, as it takes more than 5 hours to heat the stones on the wooden fire.
The hot stone baths can be found in farmhouses and hotels, and it is tradition to go as a family or a group of friends before special occasions. At this particular hot stone bath, there were several rooms in a wooden shed out in the courtyard. Our room had two wooden tubs, and looked a little bit like open coffins…
Filled with cold water, the burning hot river stones were dropped in at the far end. The water sizzled, and some of the rocks were so hot that they crack when meeting the cold water, and released the minerals inside.
Indulged in the heated water, the muscles instantly felt relaxed. When you feel it is time to get the temperature up, you simply shout out “Aue Dho gobay Dho” or “Dho Dho” which literally means “need some more stone”, or “stone stone”. The strong farmwoman quickly found her fire tongs, opened the chute at the end of the wooden room, and exchanged some of the chilled rocks with smoking hot ones. On the second round, I could clearly feel the strong heat spread from my feet and up.
I am normally too restless to even stand 10 minutes laying still in a bathtub, but I found my peace here and soaked for 45 minutes! I only wish I had known about this amazing tradition earlier, so we could have pampered our bodies several times during our tour. Oh well, just another reason to return….