An incident in Dochula where an Indian tourist climbed up a Chorten has sparked angered among Bhutanese netizens and call for regulation of regional tourism has surfaced in the national debate.
The country has opened doors for regional tourists and the numbers have grown by almost 400% in the last 6 years. Majority of them are from India who do not require a tourist guide and pay $250 a day for travel
The Bhutanese netizens called this Indian biker-tourist as insensitive and disrespectful. The police had to reach out to the biker and interrogate him. It was reported that he was not charged after his written apology.
The man from Maharashtra came through a tour company in India. A private individual handled the 15 bikers. The incident occurred on the fourth day of the tour while the bikers, who were on their way to Punakha from Thimphu,stopped at Dochula to rest.
The biker found a Bhutanese carpenter carrying out maintenance works on the choeten and then climbed to take pictures.The incident might be a tip off for government and the opposition who are debating about opening more gates in the southern border to cater more regional tourists.