Snake Pagoda

Myanmar (Burma)

Modest and rather kitschy, Paleik's biggest attraction earned its name from its three resident giant pythons. They appeared from the nearby forest in 1974 and never left. Much of the statuary replicates a scene from the Buddha's life when he sought shelter from the rain under the hood of a naga (a cobra-like water dragon), but for many the main attraction is the pythons' 11am daily washing and feeding ceremony.

Off-season it's delightfully low-key, attracting a handful of local families, but the whole atmosphere changes dramatically when, as commonly occurs in peak season, a tourist bus arrives.