You can take a slow boat ride up the river to Mandalay or like us we prefer to fly direct to Mandalay. Many years ago in my first trip to Myanmar we took a night train from Yangon. It was one of the most memorable train ride but certainly not in the most comfortable way. It was a long long train ride taking more than 10 hours in a old shaking train with wooden seats and windows that you cannot close. It was freezing from night to early morning as we were travelling during the last week of December.
Now you can travel in comfort and fly straight into Mandalay. Here are some pictures of the 2 days we spend in Mandalay before heading to Bagan.