The Clock Tower
The clock tower is the first thing you will notice when getting off the boat at Nonthaburi Pier.It is a prominent landmark located inside a roundabout next to the pier.Painted yellow to honour the King this is the main junction for all Nonthaburi's transportaion; the pier is the northernmost stop of the Chao Phraya boat service and all buses stop here.The street market also starts from the clock tower.
Day Trip to Koh Kred from BKK
" Cruising Along Chao Praya River..."
Having visited BKK umpteen times this past year and each time I would try to visit a new place. This time round, together with my travel buddy who has not been to Bangkok, we decided to venture out of BKK for a day trip on our own during our four days stay in BKK.
Before we set off, we have gathered much information on how to arrive Ko Kred from Bangkok. Having read up tips from fellow VTers, we more or less are pretty confident how to get to Ko Kred :P
Instead of the faster and more comfortable way to travel to Ko Kred, we have decided to take a longer route, i.e. by boat via Chao Praya River.
So on this particular Saturday morning, we started by taking the BTS to Central Pier at 7am and managed to catch the 8am boat. There are 4 major lines that ply the Chao Praya River from BKK to Nonthaburi, three are express lines that operate either on weekdays or on Sunday. As we have chosen a Saturday, there was no option, only the LOCAL line in operation :P Coming from a country where boat rides are not popular, it was very exciting as we stepped onto the boat...and it's only costs us 13B each.
We started out at Central Pier (which is Pier 3) and ends at Pier 30!!! It took us about 1.5 hrs to reach Nonthaburi Pier. Along the way, we past by Wat Arun, Wat Pra Keow and some other interesting monuments built along the River.
" Nonthaburi Pier to Ko Kred"
An outdated infomation that I have sourced out from the internet suggested that I can take a green flag boat fron nonthaburi pier to ko kred. well in the end, the pier personnel recommended me to charter a long tail boat to Ko Kred at a cost of 600B a trip!!! Thinking the price quoted was ridiculous and the boatman is not able communicate in English, we decided to ask around for alternative route to Ko Kred. We tried to ask cab drivers to bring us to Pak Kred district, but either they could not understand our way of saying Pak Kred or they really don't know the way.
At my wit's end and almost given up, we approached a 7-11 shop and try to get as much information from the counter staff. They aren't good in english too but at least they understand where we wanted to go.... One of them suggested taking privately-run van to Pak Kred and each pax is only 10B. So we approached this driver standing outside the nonthaburi pier and asked him if he can bring us to Pak Kred. He thought for a moment and nodded his head. Not sure if he really understood, we stepped into his van half-heartedly. :P
We waited till the van was 80% filled and then it drove away from the pier. Along the way, we strained our neck and looked for road signs that would indicated we are on the right path.... so far so good, we were moving towards the direction of Ko Kred phew!!!
About half hour ride later, the kind driver dropped us right at the front of Wat Sanam Nue pier and from there we just take a boat ride across the river to Ko Kred.
" Ko Kred - BKK "
Touring around the whole of Ko Kred can easily lasts you 4-5 hours but it was extremely hot around noon, so we only managed to see three temples on the island.
After which,we took the ferry back and asked for directions (AGAIN?! :P ) to get to the bus terminal. We boarded bus number 166 (blue) back to BKK. The whole ride only takes 30-40 mins and we were back at BKK's victory monument...
Only one island which nearest Bangkok. It became an island when the King Taay Sra of Ayuthaya kingdom decided to make a canal cutted the cape and shorten the Chao Phraya river. The canal called Lad Koh Noi canal . After the stream changed the way , canal became bigger than the old river and cape became an island. After Ayuthaya period, King Taksin , who reign during Thonburi period (before Rattanakosin period) set this place as a community of Mon ( invaders from Burma).
Mon people here was built some temples in Mon style ,easy to notice by chedi. The old Mon tradition, believe and culture ‘re still alive . I ‘ve been there during Songkran (Thai New Year), it ‘s also the Mon New Year . People always go to temple and pour water to chedi and blessing for a good things. The mothod of pouring by raise up a water container to the spired of chedi (by rolling a string) and water ‘ll pour from the top . It ‘s not thai tradition.
The area around this island also a place of pottery making. It ‘s a big pottery manufacture area in Central Thailand. Originally , they mainly produced plant pots and home utilities products ,but one of the best pottery here is water container in Mon style. All these potteries always carved the surface with very delicate details. You can see some beautiful pottery in the museum wher located behide the temple.
Around the main temple ,there ‘re so many sourvenir shops where offer pottery & product from coconut tree (recommend for Sunee pottery shop),food stalls and restuarants where serve Thai & Mon food and Thai desserts. Also you can see some pottery manufactories which you can see how they make it.
Watching pottery and dessert manufactory.
Hiring boat around the island, watching people lifestyle and garden.
Walking along the small road ,it ‘ll reach you around an island in 1-2 hours ,sightseeing for greenery gardens, temples, local people lifestyle and traditional houses.
"Poramai yikawaas temple"
Former name ,Pak Ao temple. This temple was built since Ayuthaya period (more than 200 years ago) . It was abandoned after Ayuthaya kingdom destroyed and became as Mon community in King Taksin reign, the Mon who came was built a Mon style chedi called Rang Kung chedi.After that King Rama V came for renovation again . He changed the name to Poramai Yika-waas as present. The meaning is the temple of grand mother. The king also established this temple as one where collect Tripitaka (buddha law books) in Mon language which is hardly found for now.
Ubosot or ordination hall was renovated during the reign of King Rama V , inside there’re a mural painting in the style of King Rama V which got some details from European influence.
Viharn with a big reclining buddha image .
The great Mon style chedi.
Formerly name is Pa Fai temple . Once was an old mon temple and renovated on King Rama III . The new Ubosot is in King Rama III style.
Pa Lay Lai temple
Not so far from Chim-plee temple , an abandoned temple with Ubosot , chedi and buddha image in Pa Lay Lai pose. This pose included buddha in European sitting ,in front of the buddha are sitting monkey and elephant .
Not so far from island is a temple which famous in amulets. In the reign of King Rama V, the monk named Acharn Soon who lived here was respected by the king. He collected a lot of European glasses and Mother of pearl inlaid boxes which can be seen in temple museum.
Koh Kret as Thai dessert center
Koh Kret ‘s also the center of Thai dessert manufacture,cause of this area is a good dessert resources.The product is so wellknown in delicious and spread over Bangkok and surround . So you can see a big community which mainly produce in Thai dessert here. For visitting thai dessert community ,shopping and see how they make them, you must hire a boat to Klong Kha Nom Waan or dessert canal. There ‘re some interested shops as follow :
Baan Khun Taew
The center of Thai dessert & restaurant ,offer Thai classical music by local people.
Baan Khun Somchai
Not so far from the above.
How to go :
-If you don’t like to discovery with public bus. There ‘re boat trip to Koh Kret in oneday ,but on Sat and Sun only. Contact Supatra express boat company at Mahatrat pier. Opposite Mahathat temple.
-For public bus, take a bus no. 32 (begin from Wat Pho –Tha Chang pier –Tha Pra Chan pier – Thammasat Univ.- The National Museum- Phra A-thit rd.- Bang Lam Phu- Sam Sen-…. And end at Pakkred ). Or air-con bus no. 6 run and end at the same as 32. When stop there, walk to the West (about 1 kms.pass stalls market ) or take a tuk tuk to Wat Sanam Nue pier, cross the river to Koh Kret by boat (2 B/ person).Then you ‘ll reach Poramai Yika-waas temple.