a VirtualTourist member
What are the alternative ways to get to Bagan besides flying?
There are quite a few buses. We did this from Bagan to Yangon. It was an overnight bus and cost us about 10 dollars (give or take a few). We left at 17.00 to arrive in Yangon at 6 in the morning. Just make sure you don't have a middle seat if you're expecting a little bit of comfort. It isn't bad but that is my saying so (and everything is relative). You might also find that there is a boat trip available from Yangon on but i never checked this out. I did the high-praised one from mandalay to Bagan and found it overpriced and boring.
Have fun and enjoy Bagan. It is a beautiful place
beside the bus (as above) You can take the train (via Mandalay and than take bus or boat), but all guys that have taken the train said it was very slow and dirty. If You are in a hurry (or want more comfort) perhaps You hire a private driver - about 45 US one day for this trip. But I dont think You can do it in one day.
It depends on how much time you have. I decided to go a little more circuitous route, and, althugh it took a couple of days, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Basically, what you're doing is breaking up ne long overnight journey. I went from Yangon to Pyay to Magwe to Bagan.
Pyay and Magwe aren't hugely interesting in themselves, but they're OK for a day or two, and you really are the only foreigner in town - it's a great "travelling" experience.
One other tip, though. The bus from Magwe to Bagan leaves very early in the morning. Get it! Don't do what I did and get the jeep that leaves at 2 in the afternoon - it is absolute hell. In over 30 countries I think that is the most uncomfortable I've ever been.
Have a look at my (still unfinished) Myanmar pages for further advice.