On the banks of the Irrawaddy River, more than 3,000 temples stretch across a 30-square-mile plain in Pagan, Myanmar (formerly Burma). Most were constructed between 1057 and 1287 during a building frenzy initiated by King Anawrahta, who formed the first Burmese kingdom in 1044.
Nearly a thousand years after Anawrahta's reign,
visitors can climb to the top terrace of his Shwesandaw Paya, or "Sunset Pagoda," to enjoy panoramic views of the sprawling city. Many flock to monasteries, which display ornate murals, such as the Ananda Temple's 554 scenes from past lives of the Buddha