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Thailand and Vietnam adventure - Chiang Mai

As I write this I am on a sleeper bus to Sapa, Vietnam to explore the rice fields. I felt this was a perfect time to reflect on the first part of my adventure because I do have 6 hours of travelling ahead of me and I can’t sleep! 
This adventure was created off the back of wanting to go visit my brother who has lived in Bangkok for the last four years and not once have I made it out here in that time. With his departure from Thailand next year it was the last chance I would have to go. So over a lunch catch up with a friend I mentioned my plan and before the day was up she had already started looking into it - I had not actually asked her directly to come but secretly I hoped she would maybe take the hint because I couldn’t have done this without her. 
Due to the time of year, weather and my brother’s other plans for his month off we chose to meet up with him in Chiang Mai. His adventure would take him onto Pai and ours would continue to Vietnam and then back to Bangkok to finish. 
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