While Phuket is where many travellers arrive in Thailand, it is also the perfect start to a Southeast Asian journey. Take long-tail boat trips to Koh Phi Phi or Koh Khao Phing Kan (aka 'James Bond Island'), or explore the inland part of the island, where you can walk the streets of old-town Phuket or enjoy a panorama from atop the aptly named 'Big Buddha'.
Thailand is both a cross-section of Southeast Asia and a gateway to the region. Cruise through the Andaman Sea to Malaysia, or sail into the Gulf of Thailand and the South China Sea to explore destinations like Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines. By adventuring through Southeast Asia, you're sure to see the region come alive.
Serene temples, pristine beaches and spicy noodles await you on a cruise
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Thai can be a difficult language for non-natives, but you should definitely learn the word aroi, which means "delicious." It'll be the perfect way to describe the indulgent cuisine of the area, full of bright spices, pungent fish sauce and tangy vinegar.
Explore the bustling streets of Bangkok, tasting your way through street-food vendors and side-stepping tuk tuk rickshaws. Swim in crystal clear blue waters surrounded by dramatic cliffs and rocks in Phuket. Or make your way to neighboring Malaysia to experience Penang and Kuala Lumpur.