What's their food like? Lots of rice, fish and noodles - served in multifarious little platters with a dizzying array of dipping pastes and condiments. The moment you accidentally dip your nam prik in the choo-chee curry sauce, you lose.

Local tipple: Chang beer, and lots of it. Health Foundation president Suchai Charoenratanakul recently announced that alcohol lost Thailand up to $275m through accidents, crime and health problems last year. “Moonshine” rice whisky’s a real killer.

Biggest cultural oddity: Ping-pong. Darts. Gary Glitter. Or was that Vietnam?

Most likely to kill you: If you’ve seen The Beach, then it’ll be a shark the size of a tank. Otherwise, we hear that bad-mouthing laughably corrupt former PM Thaksin 'muppet face' Shinawatra can still land you in trouble. Um, shit.

Phrase to memorise: “Chan Pen Kwai”, which means ‘I am a buffalo’. Useful for convincing Thai police that you’re not a prison-worthy troublemaker, you’re just quite handsomely out of your mind.

Best place to visit: Well, it’s not Bangkok, is it? Head south for pretty islands, tropical jungles and bars that serve buckets (literally) of amphetamine-laden superdrinks that will kill you inside of seven years. 

National animal: Elephant. White elephants are believed to be sacred animals and if sighted, must be presented to the king. If those who spot it have nothing else on, that is.

Impressive pub trivia: It is illegal in Thailand to leave your house if you are not wearing underwear. Don’t believe us? Try it.

Sports they would beat England at: Anything that involves coloured belts. Or Grand Theft Tuk-Tuk.

Would you want to live there? Yes. It’s beautiful, cheap, and an endless source of humorous dining options. “Big crap in pot”, anyone?