Bali is famous for its stunning temples, and many have become key landmarks for tourists as much as they are for local worshippers. The famous Ulun Danu Beratan Temple in Tabanan Regency is a prime example of this. The temple is one of the most important religious landmarks on the island for Balinese Hindus, and it has also become one of the most popular temples for tourists to visit. As visitor numbers are steadily increasing after the impacts of the pandemic, leaders at Ulun Danu Beratan Temple have come up with a novel way for visitors to gain a more authentic experience of the temple.
The manager of Ulun Danu Beratan Temple, I Wayan Mustika, told reporters how the management committee has launched a new photoshoot program. The program involves renting traditional Balinese wedding clothes to tourists so they may have photos taken around the temple and grounds. Mustika said, “Finally, we plan to open a new [program], namely renting Balinese clothing, and we were testing it [this weekend]. So, tourists can not only take pictures in the beji area. But they can also take pictures where they want.”
He noted that the most popular area for photos is at the temple gate and by the lakeside. Being dressed in traditional clothes also means that tourists are allowed to visit parts of the temple they wouldn’t be able to otherwise. Mustika said that the wedding clothes rented out by tourists are the kinds of clothes worn at a simple wedding since the full regalia would be too challenging to coordinate with large numbers of tourists. Mustika continued, “we rent out [clothing], the rates vary, and there are packages. Starting from Rp. 100,000 – Rp. 150,000 per person.”
The temple manager described his hopes for the program being an opportunity to bring in more tourists to the area. He added that the teams are hopeful that the increased number of flights to Bali, especially from China, will translate into more visitors to Ulun Danu Beratan Temple. He added, “There are not many Chinese visits now, only 50 people a day. Before the pandemic, there were between 200-300 people a day, the same as India.”
Last week the Head of the Bali Province Tourism Office, Tjok Bagus Pemayun, told the press that thirteen airlines have applied to schedule international flights to Bali in the coming months. Though he was not able to share the names of the airlines publicly, he could divulge that the airlines in question are based in China, Japan, India, the US, and Russia. Penayun said that four airlines from China had submitted requests to operate direct flights to I Gusti Ngurah Rai International in Denpasar.
He shared his hopes that the applications would all be granted quickly, especially those from China, since currently, only one operator is serving a direct China-Bali flight. Before the pandemic, there were fifteen direct China-Bali flights operating from cities across the country, including Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen.
All of this is great news for cultural tourist attractions like Ulun Danu Beratan Temple. In November 2022, the Head of Public Relations of DTW, Ulun Danu Beratan, I Made Sukarata, told reporters that visitor numbers to the temple had finally started to increase.
Despite borders reopening in February 2022, visitors took their time in arriving back at cultural destinations outside of Badung Regency, Sukarata told reporters, “On average, visitors reach 1,500 people daily. The entrance fee is the same. We don’t dare to increase it yet because the tourism sector is just recovering.”
Ulun Danu Beratan Temple is a must for any visitor to Bali as the area holds much significance to both Balinese Hindus and Buddhists. Located just outside the Ulun Danu Beratan Temple grounds is a Buddhist Stupa. The temple is famous for many reasons but is popular with photographers for appearing as if floating when the waters of Lake Beratan are high and completely still.
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