Dechen Dolkar 

Gasa Tshachu has recently introduced innovative dipping ponds tailored to the increasing number of visitors, featuring an open layout design.

The ponds are now segregated for males and females, with larger dimensions than before. This open arrangement allows ample natural light and fresh air, enhancing the experience for larger groups. 

Today, these ponds provide a serene space for relaxation and rejuvenation, heated by natural springs and infused with an optimistic aura of change and renewal.

To enhance accessibility, slippers and shoes are stored away from the ponds, catering to the needs of elderly visitors. 

The Tshachu now boasts 10 ponds, including two designated for VIPs, and four each for men and women. 

It can comfortably accommodate up to   30 people at once in each pounds, offering uniquely designed ponds and shelters, alongside public restrooms, shower facilities, and dressing rooms.

Manager of Gasa Tshachu, Tandin Dorji said that the decision to segregate the ponds was based on feedback from the public, who expressed a preference for separate facilities. 

This move has been positively received, with visitors like Chimi Dema, a 45-year-old woman from Paro, praising the enhanced comfort compared to the previous mixed-gender setup.

Acknowledging the demographic trend of more female visitors, the manager mentioned that the ponds for men are now smaller in size. 

Chencho, a 60-year-old visitor, said that the pounds is the user-friendly features for the elderly, such as non-slip surfaces and easily accessible steps.

In response to waste management challenges, the management has implemented weekly clean-up activities involving visitors every Friday, coupled with a security deposit collected upon entry, refundable upon compliance with rules. Any fines resulting from littering are deducted from this deposit.

Additionally, visitors are reminded to supervise their children while enjoying the hot springs.

Revenue generation at Gasa Tshachu includes renting out guesthouses, with rates ranging from Nu 200 to Nu 2,000 per night. Presently, the Tshachu offers eight guesthouses categorised into three types, accommodating approximately 800 guests.

With the upgraded facilities, visitor numbers have soared to over 5,200 within six months since reopening, yielding nearly Nu 2 million in revenue. 

Notably, the highest visitor count, around 900, was recorded during an extended government holiday.

To manage overcrowding, tent pitching near the ponds is restricted, and visitors are prohibited from consuming junk food, betel nuts, chips, and alcohol in the vicinity.

The hot spring complex comprises four sources under one roof, each with separate reservoir tanks. 

Future development plans include footpaths, resting areas, and street lighting. 

The Druk Himalayan Riders and Motorcycle Club have generously contributed street lighting and footpaths lighting scheduled to commence on Monday.

Despite encountering challenges such as flooding, Gasa Tshachu remains a beloved destination, attracting tourists and locals alike with its rejuvenating hot springs experience.