The jewel in south-east Asia’s crown, Thailand radiates sensuality, mystery and – to the visitor – a touch of the bizarre.

Here are a few things ‘must do’s’ in the Kingdom.

Drink like a local

In Thailand, drinks are often taken away in plastic bags, while beer is usually served with ice, sharing is preferred, friends happily sip from the same plastic bag. Enjoy the ritual of sharing. When it comes to re-filling the youngest at the table pours.

Be sleepless in Saphan Phut

When the malls close, hardcore shoppers head to Saphan Phut, one of Bangkok’s oldest markets. The late bird always gets the worm.

Experience the pleasure of traditional ‘torture’

If having your muscular-skeletal system manipulated by elbows, forearms, knees, hands and feet sounds like torture, then it’s time for a traditional Thai massage.

Bargain shamelessly

The world’s largest open-air weekend market is not for the faint-hearted, but is ideal for the faint of pocket. Bring a calculator with you, slash the first-offered price in half and gradually work your way up.

Buffalo racing

Although slower than horses, water buffaloes are no slouches when it comes to making a short dash for glory.

Learn how to make a smashing salad

Work up a sweat by making Thailand’s favourite salad, Som Tam. Vigorously bash the ingredients with a pestle in a  mortar to bring out the juice, but be prepared for the real sweating to begin when you taste your handiwork.

Help rid farmers of insects

Street stalls across Thailand sell grasshoppers, grubs, beetles and even scorpions as nutritious snacks. When fried and salted, larvae make great bar snacks.