Exploring Koh Kret: An Island Paradise in Thailand
Escape the hustle and bustle of Bangkok at Koh Kret Island
· 33 min read
Located just a short distance from Bangkok, Koh Kret is a small island paradise that is steeped in history, culture, and natural beauty. Known for its unique mix of traditional Mon culture and modern Thai influences, Koh Kret is the perfect destination for anyone seeking an authentic experience that is off the beaten path.
An Overview of Koh Kret
The island of Koh Kret is located in the Chao Phraya River, and it is believed to have been formed around 300 years ago during the reign of King Taksin. According to local legends, the island was created when a canal was dug to shorten the journey between the Chao Phraya and the nearby Maeklong River. Completely isolated from the mainland, Koh Kret makes a great destination for a retreat from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok.
One of the things that makes Koh Kret unique is its large population of Mon people. The Mon are an ethnic group with roots in Myanmar, and they have lived on the island for generations. Today, their cultural influence can be seen throughout Koh Kret, from the architecture to the local cuisine.
Koh Kret is also renowned for its natural beauty. The island is home to several parks and gardens, including the Sri Nakhon Khuean Khan Park and Botanical Garden, which features a stunning array of tropical plants and flowers.
Getting to Koh Kret
Getting to Koh Kret is relatively straightforward. There are no bridges to Koh Kret, so the only option that you have would be to take a ferry or boat. From Bangkok, you can take the Chao Phraya express boat to Nonthaburi, and transfer to a longtail boat to Koh Kret. Alternatively, head to Wat Sanam Nuea and take a ferry to Koh Kret.
Getting Around Koh Kret
You can easily walk or rent a bicycle to get around Koh Kret. Motorcycle taxis are also available if you don't want to walk or cycle to get around.
What To Do At Koh Kret
Although it is just an hour away from Bangkok, Koh Kret feels like a drastically different place. It has a much slower and relaxing pace of life, and whatever you decide to do and see on the island, you should take the chance to appreciate the laid-back vibes while you are on the island.
Visit Wat Poramai Yikawat
One of the top attractions on Koh Kret is Wat Poramai Yikawat, a stunning temple that is located on the northern tip of the island. The temple is considered to be one of the most important religious sites in the area, and it attracts visitors from all over the world.
The temple is home to a large golden Buddha statue, which is a sight to behold. Visitors can also explore the temple's many shrines and pagodas, which are adorned with intricate carvings and colorful decorations.
Explore Pottery at the Pottery Villages
Another must-visit destination on Koh Kret are the pottery villages. There are a few pottery villages that you can visit in Koh Kret, where you can watch local artisans crafting beautiful Mon style pottery using traditional techniques that have been passed down through generations.
The village is home to dozens of pottery shops, where visitors can purchase handmade bowls, vases, and other decorative items. The pottery is known for its unique style, which features intricate patterns and bold colors. Pick up a souvenir from one of the shops, or even better, take part in a workshop and learn to create your own pottery piece under the guidance of a skilled artisan.
Visit The Koh Kret Market
The Koh Kret Market is one of the liveliest places on the island, and it's a great spot to grab some delicious street food and mingle with the locals. Here, you can try traditional Mon dishes like kanom jeen, a type of noodle served with curry, or khao chae, a refreshing dish of rice in iced water.
The market is only open during the weekends, so you should plan your visit accordingly if you want to head to the market. The market tends to be crowded and the streets are rather narrow, so don't try to rush your way through the market! Remember, if you're in Koh Kret, take the chance to enjoy the relaxed pace of life!
Try Traditional Mon Cuisine
One of the best things about visiting Koh Kret is the chance to experience traditional Mon cuisine. The Mon people have a distinct culinary tradition, with many dishes that are not found elsewhere in Thailand. Some of the most popular dishes include kanom jeen, a type of fermented rice noodle served with a spicy curry sauce, khao chae, a refreshing dish of rice served with a variety of accompaniments, and khao kriab pak mor, a type of steamed rice cake stuffed with shrimp and served with a tangy dipping sauce.
Visitors can sample these dishes at one of the many local restaurants on the island. Many of these restaurants are located on the waterfront, offering beautiful views of the river while you dine.
Biking Around the Island
One of the best ways to explore Koh Kret is by renting a bike and pedaling your way around the island. The island is known for its well-maintained bike paths, which make biking a safe and enjoyable experience for visitors of all ages. Along the way, you'll be treated to stunning views of the river and the surrounding countryside. You'll also have plenty of opportunities to stop and admire the local flora and fauna, including the colorful butterflies and birds that call the island home.
As you bike around the island out of the main tourist areas near the market, you'll also be able to explore the local villages and learn about the traditional way of life on Koh Kret.
Best Time to Visit
The Koh Kret market, along with a number of other shops in Koh Kret, only opens during the weekends. So it is recommended to visit Koh Kret on a weekend. If you decide to visit on a weekday, you can expect the island to be much quieter with fewer crowds — making it a great opportunity for you to explore the island at your own pace and take in the sights and sounds without feeling rushed or crowded.
Staying on Koh Kret
If you enjoy the relaxing vibe of the island, it is possible to stay the night at Koh Kret. While there aren't exactly hotels on the island, there are a number of homestays and guesthouses that are available. These accommodations offer a chance to stay with a local family and experience daily life on the island.