Hi there so I will be leaving for Bangkok in 2 weeks time. I will be in Bangkok for 3 nights before I travel down by train to Chumphon and then onto to do diving in Koh Tao. I will also be going to Koh Phangan Koh Samui and Phuket.
While im in Bangkok I plan to see the main sights such as The Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Wat Arun, Chao Phraya River etc. Do you have anyother suggestions as to what to see/do while in Bangkok as well as the other places I have mentioned.
I have looked into most of the main sights in each place but I wish to go to other less well known places as these are often the best, even simple suggestions such as were to go to see a nice sunrise/sunset would be great.
Thanks for any info you can provide
During your Chao Phraya exploration, you might think about heading to Nonthaburi, pier 30. Nonthaburi is a little more typical a Thai town.
A couple hundred meters in is a huge open market. North of the pier area is Bangkwang Prison, the famous "Bangkok Hilton".
Rim Fung restaurant, just south of the pier, is a good lunch spot.
There is a free museum along the river.
If this is your first time to Thailand, or any trip to Thailand for that matter, then don't even waste your time/money on Koh Samui and Phuket. Both are heinously touristy, expensive, and will give you a super watered-down idea of what Thailand has to offer. Honestly, some people love Phuket and Koh Samui, but for the most part they're resort-type people with large budgets who aren't especially driven to get off the beaten path (or off the concrete path, for that matter).
My alternative suggestions are definitely Koh Phangan and Koh Tao, so I'm glad you're going there! Koh Tao is just absolutely gorgeous and chilled-out, and Phagnan is pretty chill as well, if you can get away from Haad Rin (the party beach- which is still really fun and not super resort-ish! Definitely gearing towards the young backpacker group).
On the other side of the peninsula, instead of going to Phuket , definitely head about an hour south to the province of Krabi (my favorite!). Absolutely GORGEOUS lush green cliffs that jut out of the ground, white sand beaches, and a really interesting blend of Thai and Malaysian culture/food. It is relatively tourist-friendly, but still very easy to find peace and quiet and the beautiful sunset you're looking for You can also check out Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta islands which are short boat rides from Krabi and offer the whole "island paradise" package of Phuket without all the insane tourist gimmicks and polluted beaches, not to mention about 1/3 the price of Phuket.
Something cool to do in Bangkok if you're there on a weekend- visit the Chatuchak weekend market (any cabdriver will know where to take you), which is probably the biggest open-air market I've ever seen, and sells just about anything and everything you could possibly ever want! It's just a good place to people-watch and drop a few thousand baht
Im really excited now, thanks for the tips and i'll def visit krabi now cause it sounds great.