HOUSE OF HOLY For the temple-bells are callin’, an’ it’s there that I would beBy the old Moulmein Pagoda, looking lazy at the sea Rudyard Kipling Burma's Buddhist love nothing more than plonking a temple on a hilltop. Nwa La Bo is a short, uncomfortable ride from Mawlamyine.And if the pagoda is balanced on the top of a rock, even better. The most famous balancing pagoda, Kyaitko, dwarfs this one.A brief stay in Mawlamyine (then Moulmien) left an impressionable Rudyard Kipling in love with Burma."By the old Moulmein Pagoda, lookin' eastward to the sea, There's a Burma girl a-settin', and I know she thinks o' me; For the wind is in the palm-trees, and the temple-bells they say: 'Come you back, you British soldier; come you back to Mandalay!'"The temple pre-dates Kipling by a mere 1,000 years, built by Mon King Mutpi Raja.The golden spires, stupas and stairwells of Kyaikthanlan gracefully dominate the skyline of Mawlamyine.Arakan king Min Saw Mon established Mrauk U as the capital in 1433. 49 subsequent kings reigned here until 1784, leaving an archeological wonderland.Traders from the Bay of Bengal, as well as Portugal and Holland, made the city wealthy, and in Burma, only Bagan has a greater wealth of temples and monastries.Unlike Bagan, the junta never expelled residents from the archelogical areas, so scenes of everyday village life move as they have for centuries.Laung Ban Pyauk is surrounded by farms, grazing animals and a village soccer pitch.One of the many temples in Mrauk U, Sakyamanaung Paya was built in 1629 by Arakan King Thirithudhamaraza.One of the standouts in Burma's Mrauk U, Ratanabon Paya has stood for 400 years, despite being hit by a WWII bomb and stripped by treasure hunters."Temple of the 90,000 Buddhas", Koe Thaung Paya was built in the Borobodur style by King Min Dikkha, whose father Minbin built Shitthaung pagoda "80,000 stupas".One of the largest structures from Arakan, Dukekanthein Paya stands solid on raised ground. It served as an ordination hall, monstries, temple- and fortress.At the opposite end of the scale, Mahabodhi Shwe Gu, built by built by King Ba Saw Phyu in the 1400s, is just 10m high.32 guardians, some showing Hindu influence guard the temple, while inside, the walls depict scenes of the Buddha jataka tales.One of the 32 Lokapalas and Devas guardians still protecting the Mahbodhi Shwe Gu 500 years on.The walls of many of Mrauk U's temples tell tales of history and religious epics.Mrauk U's decline began with defeat by the Burman Konbaung Dynasty in 1784, but was never abandoned. Modern temple buildings exist side by side with old.Mahamuni Paya once housed a sacred Buddha image cast (legend says) when Buddha visited in 554BC. It was seized by the conquering Burman army in 1784, an act not forgiven by local Rakhine Buddhists.Fire destroyed earlier temples. The glittering, gold temple commands superb views, and dates from 1800s.Sitting atop Singuttara Hill, standing 99 meters high, Yangon's Shwe Dagon Paya is the holiest site in Burma.Tradition says that 2600 years ago, a chedi was constructed here to house 8 strands of Buddha's hair. Shwe Dagon is revered by Buddhist from beyond Burma as well."Planetary posts" correspond to the 8 -yes- days of the Burmese week. Worshippers pray at their day of birth's post.8 "planetary posts" correspond to the 8 -yes- days of the Burmese week. Worshippers pray at their day of birth's postShwe Dagon is its most atmospheeric in the early morning, when hours can slip by. Late afternoon is also good.Around a dozen free-standing pavilions stand around the main chedi, as well as Kings' bells and more pagodas.As well as a spiritual centre, Shwe Dagon has been a place of protest against Burma's unjust rule for over 100 years.Al-Serkal mosque in Phnom Penh's inner north was built in 1968. A newer building replaced it in 2014.10th century Sihva Hinu temple, Banteay Srei sits 23km north east of Siem Reap. The finest, most intricate of all Khmer temples, in 1993 few visitors made the trek.Gigantic faces of Lokeshvara, a Buddhist deity, look out from the towers of the Bayon, the 13th century temple at the centre of Angkor Thom.The smaller 12th century Thommanon temple sits about 500m east of the Victory Gate of Angkor thom.Guardian flank the entrance to Preah Khan, the 1191 temple which was home to 15,000 monks fed by 100,000 farmers.Now overgrown by jungle, Ta Prohm was central to the rebuilding plans of Jayavarman VII, who reconquered the Khmer empire from Cham invaders in the years 1177-1181.A causeway carries visitors across the 200m moat of King Suryavarman II's Angkor Wat.The towers on Angkor Wat represent the mythical Hindu Mount Meru.Angkor's huge moats act as stabilisers for the massive foundations.Angkor Wat is now one of the world's great tourist magnets, but in 1993 there were only a handful of others to share the space with.