As much as I do adore Bali, even I have to admit that the constant heavy streams of other travellers can prove a bit tiresome. Places in the region that were once ‘off the beaten track’ are quickly added onto every travellers itinerary and are quickly overrun. Finding quiet places with few other travellers is getting harder and harder, but despite this, it is yet not entirely impossible.
After extensive research – I decided to dedicate a day to driving far away to visit the lesser known Pura Lempuyang, a temple on a mountain in East Bali.
It was a long drive to get to the temple, but it was an incredibly scenic one, so the drive and the time flew by incredibly quickly.
After getting past Ubud, the throngs of travellers noticeably thinned out and we were left with long stretches of beautiful and pristine rice paddies, winding roads and breathtaking mountains.
After 2.5 hours of driving, we arrived to the gorgeous Pura Lempuyang temple. I had heard about this temple through social media (Instagram to be more specific) and ever since seeing a photo of the temple in the clouds, I knew I had to visit it.
Located in East Bali, near the Karangasem Sub-District, this temple is pretty far away from everything, which means that for now, it remains a relatively quiet Hindu temple. In fact, our lovely driver Made Paul Artawan who has lived in Bali his entire life had never visited this particular temple, so it is certainly off of the well beaten Bali track.
Entrance to the temple requires a small entrance fee (less than $2 AUD) and a little extra surcharge to don a sarong (less than $1 AUD). There are many temples going up this hill and to see all of them, you would need to set aside a good 4-5 hours, however, the most beautiful one is only a short hike away from the entry point and is one of the most accessible temples in the complex.
Once making your way up the first set of stairs, you are met with a glorious view of a temple reaching up to the sky, surrounded by plant life growing anywhere and everywhere. The views are downright gorgeous and at this point I hadn’t even seen it from its most beautiful vantage point.
As I mentioned above, even though Made is a born and bred Balinese local who drives people around Bali for a living, he had never visited this particular temple! He was rather excited to be seeing it, as you can tell by this next photograph.
After walking up the third set of stairs you are met with an absolutely beautiful grey and gorgeously gloomy trio of steps. In this next picture you can even see one of the Hindu priests watching over the temple.
But when you look away from the trio and back towards where you had actually just walked through, that is when the views become truly worthy of the long trip.
It isn’t hard to see why this place is nicknamed the Gateway to Heaven! It is nothing short of magical, you really do get the feeling that you could talk a big leap and reach out to touch the fluffy white clouds.
Between myself, Matt and Made – we took a lot of pictures! Made especially so, he got very snap happy at this new discovery!
Faced with a long drive back to Seminyak, we snapped a last few pictures and started the journey back.
I expected the return drive to take a similar amount of time as the initial trip, but that was a bit of a rookie error. Bali traffic is notoriously unpredictable, and the drive back ended up taking close to 4.5 hours! Luckily the route we took was absolutely stunning and we were able to stop a few times to break things up.
The trip to and from Pura Lumpuyang may be a long one, but if you are looking for a Bali experience that you won’t have to share with hordes of other travellers, then for you, it might just be worth the trip.
Getting to Bali: Flights to Bali are frequent, check out adioso.com to find the cheapest dates to fly
Getting to Pura Lumpuyang: Click here for directions from Seminyak
Kunja Villas Seminyak: Secluded yet central, these are the best private villas in all of Seminyak – click here to learn more
Made Paul Artawan Private Driver: One of Bali’s best drivers! Click here to get in touch
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M1 with M.Zuiko 12-40mm f2.8 lens
What to Pack: Snacks for the drive!
Remember: While the drive may seem long, it is so worth it
66 thoughts on “Pura Lempuyang | The Gateway to Heaven”
Wow! I can’t even adequately express how beautiful that temple/place is! Thanks for sharing photos of this hidden treasure.
My pleasure April! I think it is the most beautiful temple in Bali!
Great post Ellen! Such a beautiful place. ❤️😍
Thanks John! It is rather magical 🙂
That is a beautiful place! Bali is amazing, too. Thanks for sharing all the photos!
My pleasure! Thanks for reading 🙂
Nice clicks!! 👌👌
I feel like everyone and their mothers went to Bali this year haha. I’m glad more people are traveling, but sometimes I want to be selfish and keep it all to myself! But I’m glad you found a little haven in the midst of the crowds 🙂
I feel that way about Iceland! Everyone seems to be going and I just want to block off the borders and keep it to myself ha
Very nice! Good you found yourself a more quiet spot in Bali
I agree! I bit of quiet is so hard to find in busy Bali
What a beautiful part of Bali – and Made is cutie!
Ha! I will make sure to tell him that 😉
Thank you 🙂
This sounds absolutely perfect. I agree that the experiences in Bali can be less special because of the massive crowds, but I’m hoping to go back next year and I think this drive will be so worth it for us! Thanks for the tips and beautiful photos!
Awesome to hear Paige! I hope your next Bali trip is truly amazing 🙂 Thanks for reading!
This is indeed a prime example of there always being a nugget that is overlooked by the multitudes. Hallelujah!
It always helps when something is really out of the way to get to!
Beautiful! Lot of stairs though, so some might find the climb to the Gateway to Heaven a bit of a challenge.
Have you been before? It’s gotta be no more than 60 stairs 😊
I haven’t been, but I would love to go.
Sounds like a great day.
It definitely was 😊
Hey Ellen, you discovered one of my favorite temples on the/my island! I’ve visited Lempuyang a few times, always in awe of that jaw-dropping view through the split gates that looks out over mountains, as if I’m in floating in the clouds. Glad you loved it too 😉
It is easily my favourite temple in Bali! Have you got any recommendations for other hidden gems around the place? 😊
Ujeng Palace and Tirta Gangga
That’s unique. So beautiful!
Beautiful photos !
Omg that gate! I understand that feeling when you just wanna have the place for yourself, our country has some very beautiful places but are starting to get overcowded too, by the way I’m from the Philippines , I’ve been wanting to visit Bali for the longest time but I have no idea how to go around there, is it very easy? any tips? thank you so much!
Public transport is pretty average! The best ways to get around are either by renting a motorcycle/scooter or by hiring a private driver. Taxis are cheap for short distances but wouldn’t recommend them for long trips. Where in the Philippines are you from?
I’m from Angeles City, Pampanga 🙂 thanks for those tips! I’d love to go around with a motorbike but I can’t drive haha.
I love the shot of you standing between the Gateway. What a beautiful place!
Thank you so much! It really is a special part of Bali
I’ve never been there too. It is absolutely beautiful Pura, especially the part of that triple gate. And the view through Gate of Heaven is stunning. Btw, where do you take the picture of that lotus pond?
It was somewhere along the east coast, headed towards Ubud. I thought it was pretty so asked Made to stop and let me take pictures ha! Sorry I can’t be more specific.
Hahaha it’s okay, no problem 🙂
I love this photo!
I am really impressed by these old and beautiful buildings! Keep blogging! 😀
I absolutely will do 🙂
Have you explore lombok elen?
Not yet! It’s on the list 😊
Hope so you will do it as soon as you can heheheh
Love the clicks! i love this kind of blog. the kind of blog that let’s you travel with the writer and not just posting the costs of a specific adventure.
Awesome! I love comments like this! I’m so glad you are enjoying my blog 😊
My trip to Ubud was in the 70s. I am afraid I would be really disappointed with it now. Maybe wandering east, as you did, would be something of a solution. –Curt
I think that would certainly be a good idea 😊
Even though I have been to Bali so many times somehow I always miss this temple. In one of my visits to the island I stayed in the east, which were nice as it was so far away from the ever-bustling south. However during my visit this temple was said to be closed for some reason. Now you give me a valid reason to go back to Bali. That sweeping view of the valley is just stunning!
That’s a shame that you missed it! But it’s certainly a good incentive to return 😊
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I would appreciate your feedback!
I’ll make sure to check it out once I return from Japan 😊
Bali is indeed beautiful! Very helpful article and great tips! Thanks for sharing 😊
nice and post 😀 i love bali !!
thanks for sharing and keep up the great work!!
Thank you for sharing! I’m definitely going to this on on my trip this July:)
Hi! I am planning to visit and I was told to wear a proper local dress and to take an offering? Was that the case when you visited? Also what is the cost for a driver ?
I will be going to the Temple from Seminyak next month! Thank you so much for sharing all the info and great pictures too! Like you, I came across this picture perfect temple on Social Media (namely Instagram) and knew I had to go! Do you think there is enough time to stop off in Ubud after and spend some time exploring after the temples? It would be good to know how much you should pay a driver for the day! Many thanks
I would love to hear your thoughts on this last post as I too am planning a trip to this temple from Seminyak. Also, can I ask what camera do you use? Thank you so much for this post!
Looking for places to see and explore in Bali and luckily I saw your page. Thank you for sharing, Ellen! I hope to see this majestic place on my trip to Bali this week.
After reading the reviews I was a bit skeptical… but the ride from Ubud, the money ( you do pay for everything) and the wait in line (ours was less than 20 mins) were worth these amazing photos. Yes, there is a bit of camera trickery but you give your phone to the official temple photographer and he delivers amazing shots… and he helps keep the line moving. I almost didn’t go and I am so glad I did!!