Gasa Tshachhu bounces back with surge in visitors

After enduring four tough years due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a flash flood, Gasa Tshachhu is back on track. Since its reopening last August, the hot spring has seen a surge in visitors, generating about Nu 2 M. The Tshachhu was washed away when the Mocchhu broke its bank in 2021, leaving Nu 4 M worth of structural damage.

According to the Gasa Tshachhu Incharge, before the pandemic, the Tshachhu generated a revenue of around Nu 2.6 M annually and welcomed over 6,000 visitors each year.

However, during the pandemic, the numbers decreased. Moreover, the hot spring remained closed to visitors following a flash flood in 2021 as amenities were destroyed.

However, with revamped infrastructure, visitor numbers have surged to over 5,200 within six months, generating nearly Nu 2 M.

“After the flood, the government made significant renovations. They enlarged the bathtubs, making them more convenient. Everything is well-built. Also, the rent is only Nu 200 per night,” said Choki Dorji, a visitor from Nangkor Gewog.

“I came to soak in the Tshachhu as I am suffering from back and neck pain. I was not happy when the Tsachhu got washed away by a flood. Today, with the construction of the new infrastructure, I am happy that I get to soak myself in the hot spring again,” said Dema, a visitor from Toebisa Gewog.

Currently, there are eight guesthouses that can accommodate about 800 people. Some are two-storeyed and located more than a kilometre from the Tshachu without electricity along the roads.

Elderly people are urging the relevant authorities to supply power as it is risky to travel at night.

“After the flood, the Tshachhu’s facilities were improved compared to before. However, if the government could light the road with electricity, it would benefit elderly people like us. We are afraid to go and soak in the Tshachhu at night,” said Zeko, a visitor from Boegana.

“The distance between Tshachhu and the guesthouse is too far and we face problems while going to soak in the hotspring. There is no light along the route and we face difficulty to go at night. Other than that, the facilities are good and we are happy,” said Leki Wangmo, a visitor from Chhukha.

According to the Gasa Tshachhu incharge, the installation of street lights along the road will be carried out soon. He added that they will continue with the mitigation work such as the construction of walls to minimise the risk of flood in the future.

Similarly, to minimise waste in the area, they collect waste every day and carry out a cleaning campaign every Friday.

“In the past, there was a streetlight along the road from the guesthouse to Tshachhu for people who wanted to go and soak during the night. However, the flood damaged the electricity connection and we were not able to install and carry out the maintenance work again. However, some volunteers have agreed to render support to us. Therefore, we hope to install it soon,” said Tandin Dorji, the incharge of Gasa Tshachhu

The Tshachhu has 10 ponds, including two for VIPs and four each for men and women. It can accommodate up to 180 people at once and has been fitted with uniquely designed ponds and sheds with public toilets, showering areas and dressing rooms.

The Gasa Tshachu is believed to cure skin problems, joint pains, and digestive disorders among other health complications.

Karma Wangdi

Edited by Sonam Pem

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