The iconic Handara Gate located in the Northern Bali has recently become a must-see location in most Bali itineraries. I bet you have already seen a photo of this epic gate on your Insta Feed. If you haven’t then this post will introduce you to this famous Bali gate giving you tips on how to get there, where to stay and how to incorporate it into your Bali holiday.
What is Handara Gate?
Handara Gate is a Balinese styled structure that resembles an entrance to a temple with a stunning backdrop of lush greenery and striking mountains.
Gates in Balinese Hindu culture signify passing from a secular world into sacred, religious space that is normally a temple.
There is a similar structure in Pura Lempuyang Temple that is called the Gate to Heaven. Lempuyang Temple is equally popular with visitors and perfect Insta photo hunters alike.
Handara Gate has become extremely popular thanks to the exposure on social media especially the Instagram but actually, it’s an entrance to the Handara Golf & Resort.
Where is Handara Gate?
Handara Gate is located in the village of Pancasari, Bedegul north of Bali around 2 hours away from Denpasar area.
Where to stay in Munduk
Luxury – Munduk Moding Plantation
Munduk Moding Plantation is located 20 minutes’ drive from Munduk.The hotel’s best part is its infinity pool overlooking the working coffee plantation with some incredible sunset views. The rooms feature four-poster beds and a Balinese-styled yet modern design. The guests can enjoy various day activities, spa, gym, tennis tournaments and yoga classes. Munduk Moding is one of the best hotels to stay in Bali.
Midrange – Munduk Menir Villas
Munduk Menir features different type of traditional, wooden cottages surrounded by nature and stunning views all way round. Each cottage has a bathroom, coffee and tea making facilities and an outdoor sitting area. The hotel is located within proximity to Munduk best waterfalls: 6 km to Munduk Waterfall and 10 km to Git Git Waterfall. The hotel also features a large pool and an onsite restaurant.
Budget – Aditya Homestay
It’s a small hotel comprising six guest rooms with free wifi and balconies overlooking the valley and rice fields. Guests can enjoy complimentary breakfast, and there are also some small warungs and cafés nearby. Aditya Homestay is a great budget option for staying in the Munduk area. You can rent a scooter from the hotel or a map they provide; you can hike to local waterfalls and rice paddies. This place is great for couples looking for a romantic getaway in the serenity of nature.
How to get there
Bali does not have a good public transport system, so the options that you have are: rent a motorbike, hire a driver to take you there or book a day trip with the prearranged itinerary.
The easiest way to get to Handara Gate from the main tourist locations is to hire a scooter and drive there yourself. It should take 1 hour from Ubud and Lovina beach area, 1 hour 30 minutes from Kuta and 2 hours from Uluwatu. Be mindful of Bali’s bad traffic that can easily add an hour to your trip.
It should cost around 60k IDR to hire a motorbike for the day and you will also need some petrol money. This option is great if you’re an experienced scooter driver as roads in Bali can be challenging.
Type in Google maps – Handara Golf & Resort and it should be fairly easy to find the location. The gate is just off the main road to the right. Remember not to look at your phone while riding your moppet but instead use your earphones and audio navigation.
Hire a driver with a car
Another option is to pay for a driver to take you there in their car. This alternative is great if you’re not that confident with motorbikes. You can also create your itinerary and let the driver take you to other places you’re interested in. Just ask your hotel to recommend you a driver. This should cost around 900k IDR for 8 hours.
North of Bali Highlights Day Trip
If you want the day to be arranged for you, then I recommend taking a private tour that will take you to all best sights of Northern Bali including Lake Beratan, Handara Iconic Gate, Banyumala Waterfalls where you’ll be able to swim and finally Wanagiri Hidden Hills where you can take some epic snaps on a giant swing over a lake. This tour is organised by Get Your Guide:
What to expect
When you arrive at Handara Gate there is a booth where you’re expected to pay an admission fee, which they call a selfie ticket of 30k IDR.
Yes, there is a fee to take a photo in front of a hotel entrance crazy isn’t it? It never used to be a fee but thanks to enormous popularity driven by the Gram, there is a fee now. But let’s not whine about it, it’s less than $2.
Once you pay the fee, you’ll most likely have to wait in the queue for your turn to take a photo. You can use that time to think about what photos you want to take and get ready. In theory, you are only able to take 5 minutes and it’s only fair where other people are waiting.
If you’re travelling solo, you can set up a tripod or ask people in the queue behind you to take some snaps of you. Both will work just fine.
Sometimes, you’ll get cars passing through the gate to the resort which delays the photo-taking process which is annoying. Lol.
I arrived at the gate 11-ish and had to queue for about 30 minutes. It took longer than it should because in front of me there were two girls with a professional photographer and movie crew. They were shooting a promo for some Bali based clothes brand.
The is a ‘selfie ticket’ to be able to take photos at Handara Gate which is 30k IDR which is just under $2.
There are no official opening hours as Handara Gate is not an actual monument but it’s an entrance to a golf resort. Having said that, the people that collect the entrance money are likely to be there from early morning to sunset time.
The payment is collected in cash only.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit is probably early in the morning before the queue of fellow travellers form. But any time during the day is fine. Every person takes only a few minutes to take their photo so it shouldn’t be a long wait even if there are a few people ahead of you.
Other Points of Interest
Below are some suggestions of things you can do while you’re in the area:
Wanagiri Hidden Hills (Bali Giant Swing)
You may also like “10 Days in Bali – The Perfect Itinerary”
Is Handara Gate worth a visit?
If you’re not into photography or Instagram, then I would say no. There is not much of Handara Gate other than taking a photo and moving on to other points of interest in the area. Having said that, Handara Gate offers some jaw-dropping backdrop for an epic photo and there are other interesting things to see nearby that combined can make a great day trip