It has to be said that as a destination, Bali is becoming more expensive.
In 2024, several of the island’s biggest attractions are raising their prices, including iconic cultural landmarks and spiritual destinations.
Leaders at Lempuyang Temple, more popularly known to tourists as the Gates of Heaven Temple, will be increasing entry prices in 2024.
Despite visitor numbers dropping by 50%, temple officials say that the new ticket prices will help better preserve the complex.
Although tourist numbers typically reduce during January after the festive holidays, as the low seasons get underway, temple staff are unsure as to why visitor numbers have dropped off so significantly in the last few weeks.
@drg_travel Important things to know before taking the insta-famous Gate of Heaven Photo…#indonesia🇮🇩 #gateofheavenbali #bali #fyi #puralempunyang #balitemple ♬ Caalm Dooown – EL Locco
The Head of Purwayu Traditional Village, I Nyoman Jati, said he could not pinpoint the reason for the decline in the number of tourists to Lempuyang Temple.
He noted, “What is clear, based on data, is that tourist visits experienced a fairly drastic decline at the beginning of this year.”
Jati confirmed that 90% of visitors to Lempuyang Temple in 2023 were foreigners, many of whom visited just to capture the iconic photograph standing between the temple gates overlooking sacred Mount Agung.
@couplecam__ The Gate of Heaven 🕊️ #bali #gateofheaven #heaven #heavenly #heavenlygateway #lempuyangtemple #handaragate #balibliss #balinese #travel #travelphotography #baliparadise #travelcouple #balihandaragate #handaragate #handaragatebali #travelwithwife #couplecam #trending #trendingtiktok #couplephoto #couplephotography #coupleposes #viraltiktok ♬ Calm Music – Couple Cam
Jati revealed that 344,669 visitors explored Lempuyang Temple in 2023. The new ticket price will likely be introduced in March.
He suggested that this should give plenty of time for tourists planning their trips to factor in the increased entry price.
He said, “We cannot raise tickets suddenly so that tourists are not surprised,” said Jati.
Currently, the entrance ticket to Lempuyang Temple for domestic tourists is IDR 30,000 per person and IDR 55,000 for foreign tourists.
Jati said that the new fees have not been confirmed yet but that the increase will be made in alignment with Regional Regulation (Perda) Number 8 of 2023 concerning Regional Taxes and Regional Retributions (PDRD).
Jati said the public would be informed of the new rate before March but wanted to give a fair warning that an increase is on the cards.
@journeewithbri woke up at 2:30am to be #4 in line! Here are a few things to know before visiting the Gates of Heaven! 1. Wake up early!! I met someone who was number #78 😫 2. Practice your poses before taking your pictures 3. make sure your camera lens is clean and clear, 4. Be respectful!! #gatesofheaven #bali #indonesia #tourist #travel #traveltiktok #vacation #thingstoknow #traveltips #vlog #fyp #travelhacks ♬ DO 4 LOVE – Snoh Aalegra
It is difficult to pinpoint one specific reason for the sharp decline in visitor numbers to Lempuyang Temple. Perhaps the secret is well and truly out of the bag.
The famous photo of tourists standing between the gates of Lempuyang Temple overlooking Mount Agung is a trick of the camera.
The perfect reflection is not created by a calm body of water beneath the gates but rather by a well-placed mirror at the bottom of the camera lens to give the floating and reflection effect.
Videos circulating online show unequivocally that tourists must stand in long queues in order to get their moment between the gates.
On particularly busy days in the past, tourists have had to queue for upwards of 4 hours just to get their photo moment. With far fewer tourists visiting the temple at the moment, this is the perfect time to visit.
Lempuyang Temple hit the headlines last year for an interesting reason. The ancient Balinese Hindu temple is one of the most important spiritual sites on the island for the Balinese people.
However, the temple gateway has been replicated by a community tourism project in Nan Province in Thailand.
The community has constructed a life-size replica of the gateway that overlooks the forest landscape of Northern Thailand.
The new attraction prompted backlash online from Bali lovers and Thai culture enthusiasts, noting that Thailand has its own unique and beautiful temple architecture; why would there be a need to imitate the Balinese style so out of context?
Gates of Heaven Temple is not the only spiritual landmark in Bali to have hiking entry prices for tourists in 2024.
As of January 1st, entry to Tanah Lot Temple on the Tabanan Regency coast has increased its prices for both domestic and international visitors.
Tanah Lot tickets increased for adult domestic tourists from IDR 20,000 to IDR 30,000. For domestic tourist children, the price increased from IDR 15,000 to IDR 20,000
For adult foreign tourists, the ticket prices are now IDR 75,000 per person, and for children, tickets have increased from IDR 30,000 to IDR 40,000. KITAS holders are permitted to pay domestic tourist rates.
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