'Totally faked': Popular Instagram spot in Bali is not what it seems

The temple gate is known to the western world as "The Gates of Heaven" and has featured in hundreds of Instagram posts in recent years. (Photo: Instagram)

Bali's Lempuyang Temple - known to the western world as 'The Gates of Heaven' - features in hundreds of Instagram posts.

The entrance has been drawing tourists eager to see the incredible place for themselves.

The high concrete pillars create a frame for both the person posing between the gates and, on a clear day, the soaring mass of a mountain beyond. Plus, the lake in front of the temple appears to create a mirror-perfect reflection.

All-in-all, it seems to create the perfect backdrop for a photo.

The Hindu temple is located Bali's highlands of Mount Lempuyang. (Photo: Instagram)

However, many of those who make the trek after being enticed by the Instagram photos, are quickly disappointed.

Among them was journalist Polina Marinova who was devastated to learn the reality behind those Insta-worthy shots.

She shared her disappointment to Twitter, saying her "hopes and dreams were shattered" to see that the super reflective lake in the foreground of the shots was just a guy holding a piece of glass under an iPhone.

The journalist wasn't the only tourist to learn the truth behind the "Gates of Heaven" shots until she travelled there.

One Australian tourist, who did not wish to be identified, had travelled to the Lempuyang Temple in May and called the practice "quite ridiculous".

"[It's] totally faked," she toldYahoo Australia. "All they do is get a little reflective piece of glass and put it under the lens of the camera."

"People drive there for two hours and line up for one hour. It's quite ridiculous."

However, she said the man did not ask for payment.

Other people replied to Ms Marinova's tweet claiming to have had similar experiences of having their expectations dashed upon arriving at the temple.

Photos taken at the site by the Australian tourist. (Source: Supplied)

One woman said when she had visited the site two weeks prior she felt "catfished" to see there was no water.

Many people though, including Ms Marinova couldn't help but commend the ingenuity of the local using the glass to appease Western tourists' insatiable obsession with Instagram.

"Wow this guy out here really started an instagram bizniz," one person quipped, prompting others to humorously contemplate trying the glass method in their own home towns.

Another man was so impressed he joked: "I need to remember this trick when I'm selling my house!"

Fake lake aside, the entire site is undoubtedly still a beautiful place, as many have pointed out.

- This article first appeared on Yahoo

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