As an alternative way of travelling I booked a boat trip from Mandalay to Bagan on the Ayeyarwady River. The boat left Mandalay at sunrise to arrive in Bagan at sunset.
With only 15 travellers on the boat, there was plenty of space to relax at the sun-deck and let the Birmese landscapes pass by.
Before the lunch we made a stop to have a look at the riverside village of Lekkapin. This was a good opportunity to see the rural life at the riverside. In the afternoon the employees of the boat gave demonstrations about how to wear the longhi (traditional dress) and the thanaka facial cream.