Lempuyang Temple in Bali - Worth the Hype?
The “Gates of Heaven” at Lempuyang Temple might just offer the most iconic view of Bali. Long before moving to Bali we saw hundreds of photos at these famous gates, but did our visit live up to the hype?
If visiting in the middle of the day, you're likely to see hundreds of people waiting for their turn at these famous gates. To help the photos move more efficiently, the locals have a strict process. You hand your phone over to them and step between the gates. They hold a mirror along your phone's camera to produce the famous reflective effect. Each person gets 3 poses and one obligatory jumping photo. It’s over in ten seconds. Most people don’t even see the rest of the temples, they just pack up and leave after that.
While we would never wait 90 minutes just for a single photo (or three), we do believe that Lempuyang Temple is worth seeing. We arrived at sunrise and were 2 of 6 people there. If you arrive as early as possible to avoid waiting, the heavy crowds and long wait won't take away from the beauty of this place.
After taking your photo at the infamous gates, don’t forget that there are 7 temples to explore in this complex! The highest of these is a memorable 1400 steps to the top. When we made it to the top it was foggy and raining but we imagine that the view would be stunning on a clear day!
How to Get to Lempuyang Temple
Lempuyang Temple is very out of the way for most travelers to Bali. It is located about 2.5 hours east of Canggu, 2 hours east of Ubud and 30 minutes from Amed.
Generally you can expect to pay about 60-80k per day for a scooter rental. The first time we visited this region we took our scooter. The 2+ hour drive is rough but there was also so much to see and do along the way (see 7 things to do in East Bali). So if you don’t mind sacrificing a little bit of comfort for flexibility and more dollars, scootering is the way to go!
The second time we visited we took a car which set us back 600k IDR one-way from Canggu. While much more expensive, the trip in the car is much more comfortable and could definitely be worth it for larger groups.
Cost of Lempuyang Temple
Entry Fee: By donation. We saw people donating between 5k and 20k IDR per person.
Sarong Rental: 10k to rent a sarong. Wearing a sarong is required to see the temples so if you own one don’t forget it!
When to Go to Lempuyang Temple
Go to Lempuyang for sunrise! Waking up early and driving in the darkness will suck but it’s so worth it. Not only will the colors be on fire but you’ll also be able to take photos at the gates before the hoards of Instagrammers rush in. We’ve heard so many horror stories from fellow travelers who had to wait two hours just to snap three quick photos between these gates. We arrived at sunrise and there were already 4 other people there so we can only imagine how crowded it must get mid-day.
Another tip is to stay in East Bali for a couple of days so you can pick the clearest day to see the temple and maximize your chances of seeing Agung.