The negative news surrounding so-called travel influencers has reached a new low. Lempuyang Temple known as the ‘Gates of Heaven' is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Bali. Thousands of tourists flock to the site per day hoping to grab that perfect Instagram shot. Upon arrival, dissapointment quickly sets in as tourists realize they have been conned. The pristine ‘lake' in front of the temple statues, is actually just a mirror and iPhone trick.
Visitors have pictures in their minds of how attractions are going to look because of what they see from ‘travel influencers' on Instagram. The ‘influencers' create viral posts that are then copied by their followers which can result in mass tourism. The truth is, many these photos are so heavily edited or have special effects added, that they dont look anything like tourists imagined.
Instagram influencers continue to ruin travel for the masses as they set unrealistic expectations to what have become some of the world's most top tourist attractions. Why do they do it? More likes of course which means more endorsements from sponsors. All at the expense of their followers who believe the images are real.
Browsing through the over 40,000 photos that have been tagged ‘#lempuyangtemple', it's no wonder tourists are so dissapointed upon arrival. The first though going through most visitors minds is “Where the heck did the lake go!?”. It didn't dry up and no, you're not in the wrong location. It was truthfully never there in the first place.
So what should a visitor expect at the famous temple? There isn't even a puddle let alone a lake. It will be crowded with hundreds of tourists and line ups that can take three hours to get your “Instagram worthy” shot. Below is what you'll actually see so you're prepared for the truth when you get there.