What comes to mind when you think about travel in Bhutan? Snow capped mountains? Remote monasteries on cliffs’ edges? Red robed monks with prayer flags in the background?
Can I take you somewhere else that might make you rethink about destinations in Bhutan? Where betel nut trees and bougainvillea bushes embellish the plains? Where sunsets linger longer and make the surrounding landscape bask in its evening glow? The warm weather might remind you of crowded cities but life is slow here and wonderfully tranquil. This is Gelephu in Sarpang district like I’ve never seen before. Come with me on this journey as I discover unseen southern Bhutan.
I had always wanted to explore travel destinations in the southern part of my country. The landscape, the weather, the food and the unique ethnic groups that reside in these parts are some of the most unique stories any traveler could ever ask for. So when Mercury Travels invited me to their ecolodge near Gelephu hotspring, I was more than ecstatic to take this journey. Gelephu, under Sarpang district is located in south central Bhutan and is also one of the gateways into the kingdom from India. This zone of the district has the widest flat terrain compared to the other southern districts in Bhutan. But besides the small town and its nearby hotspring, there isn’t much about Gelephu that people know.
Tsachu Eco Lodge
We start our journey from Tshachu Eco Lodge – a unique gem in these southern foothills. As you drive down winding roads towards the hotspring, you’ll come across a village gate. You have to walk up a small hill and in just a few minutes you’ll find yourself making your way towards the ecolodge stepping on pebble pavements and planted betel nut and orange trees.
This place is a dream for those looking for a jungle retreat. The sound of chirping birds, the river below the hotspring, monkeys swinging on flimsy branches…the musical notes sound different here. But as the evening sun sets, the flight of the magnificent hornbills echo across the hill. I spend my evening on the lodge terrace before Ana Dema, the lodge chef, calls me to come for Tongba before dinner. I’ll get to that shortly.
For more information on the log into tshachuecolodge.com or Contact: +975 17127188
In partnership with Mercury Bhutan Travels
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