One of the most well-known destinations for independent travelers and backpackers, South East Asia has magnificent Buddhist temples, dense jungles, bustling markets, exquisite cuisine and exotic culture. As one of the most affordable areas of earth 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 months backpacking Southern Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia.

Since the beginning of several South East Asian adventures, Bangkok is the ultimate in excitement and exotic. It is bloated, polluted, noisy and intense. The culture shock may be bewildering but the experience will be unforgettable.

From Bangkok head south by train to Surat Thani, then grab a speedboat to Koh Samui. Spend 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 trendy lodges. Stay and enjoy the hiking for a day or two.

If you fancy it you can go sea kayaking, go diving, or hire a motorbike and explore the beaches independently.

Take a train or bus south and into Malaysia. This border crossing is no hassle. After in Malaysia head to Penang in which you can swap your phrasebook and catch up on some big city comforts.

Kuala-Lumpur: Less extreme than Bangkok, KL is still a simple spot to relax. There’s plenty to see in KL for a few days including the Petronas Towers and the historical colonial architecture.

Singapore: It’s created, westernised, comfortable, clean and pricey. Singapore is an worldwide hub at which you can spend a couple of days seeing the sights and enjoying the food before flying home or on your next destination.