One of the most popular destinations for independent travellers and backpackers, South East Asia has stunning Buddhist temples, dense jungles, bustling markets, exquisite cuisine and exotic culture. As one of the most affordable regions of the world in which to travel independently, you can expect incredible value for money and the trip of a lifetime. Here is a sample itinerary for around 6 weeks backpacking Southern Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia.

Fly into Bangkok: The start of many South East Asian adventures, Bangkok is the ultimate in exotic and excitement. Busy, polluted, noisy and intense, the culture shock may be bewildering but the experience unforgettable.

From Bangkok head south by train to Surat Thani, then speedboat to Koh Samui: A week or two on the idyllic beaches, eating Tom Yum Soup and drinking Chang Beer.

Khao Sok National Park: Southern Thailand contains an area of jungle complete with monkeys, elephants, and cool lodges to stay and enjoy the trekking for a day or two.

Phuket, Ko Phi Phi and Krabi: Meander slowly down the Andaman Coast, if you fancy it you can go sea kayaking or diving, or hire a motorbike and explore the beaches independently.

Bus or train south and into Malaysia: This border crossing is no hassle, once in Malaysia head to Penang where you can swap your phrasebook and catch up on a few big city comforts.

Kualur-Lumpur: Less intense than Bangkok, and an easy place to relax, there’s plenty to see in KL for a couple of days including the Petronas Towers and the historic colonial architecture.

Singapore: Developed, westernised, comfortable, clean and expensive. An international hub, you can spend a few days seeing the sights and enjoying the food before flying home or onto your next destination.

Assuming you travel independently as a backpacker, this 6 week trip is likely to cost in the region of $1300 -$1800.

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