Cancun may get more attention, especially during Spring Break season, but its sister city to the south, Playa del Carmen, is the real gem of the Riviera Maya.

Though there are many ways to see Thailand, touring markets is one of the best ways to experience the cultural intersections that make this southeast Asian gem so unique. And that intersection is on fabulous display in Thailand’s capital city.

Here are four markets in or around the Bangkok area that give visitors a taste of local flavor — in every sense of the word — any time of year.

There’s no question about it: traveling opens our eyes and minds to new cultures, landscapes, and people. That being said, getting there isn’t always fun. Most people don’t exactly look forward to long flights, but they don’t have to inspire dread, either. If you’re like me and can’t afford to upgrade to business or first class, here are a few tips to keep you going while you’re stuck in coach.