Koh Kret, Bangkok
I first heard about Koh Kred (or Koh Kret) from fellow VTer, "TheDouglas". Thought I will check it out myself one good day.
That one good day finally arrived. In fact, it was so good that it was too hot to explore the island, especially after noon day. Felt that I could fry an egg on top of my head.
Koh Kred was created in the Chao Phraya River through digging a canal around a cape in 1722. There was no island originally. As the current diverted while making the canal larger, the island was formed.
Today, the island is popular with the locals as a day trip destination. It is home to the Mon people, and they are renowned for their pottery. In fact, there are 2 pottery villages on the island and it is in these villages where activities were centered.
While there is supposedly a river express boat every Sunday bringing city folks to the island, my entourage arrived at Pak Kred, just across the river via taxi. It was just a 30-40 mins ride from the city. Thereafter, we hop onto a hired speedboat and crossed the river.
We landed at the southern part of the island, away from the main activities. There is a concrete path linking the entire island where motorbikes do good business ferrying people around as an "island taxi". You can't miss them - the drivers wear red vests. It is said that one needs an 1-2 hours stroll to circumnavigate the island. It took us almost 1 hour to travel from the south to the northeast (where the villages are) in repressive heat. Not that we did not enjoy ourselves. There were rustic villages and cosy temples dusting the road and it was refreshing to be away from the greyish concrete to embrace lush greens. (Singaporeans: Think Pulau Ubin) Like Pulau Ubin, you can hire bicycles in the villages for easier exploration.
The villages were swarmed with weekend merrymakers, mostly locals, out for a hunt of good bargains. There is a Sunday market here, full of stalls and shops selling hand-made trinklets, jewelries, furniture and of course, the famed quintessential potteries. My entourage carted back lovely clay aromatherapy urns, quaint motiffed plates and fanciful hand-made wind charms, with prices not seen in Bangkok.
Local stalls were selling plenty of local food and snacks as well - including deep fried wild flowers ala Tempura style and steamed coconut puddings.
On the far deep northeast end of the island, look out for Wat Paramaiyikawat, a snow white stupa, tilting to one side ala the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and adorned with a deep red sash in the middle. This is seemingly the most famous landmark on the island.
You can also learn more about the island through Wikitravels' page on Koh Kret.
An enjoyable way to see Koh Kret is by hiring a bicycle and ride around the Island.It cost about 40 baht to hire the bike and the ride is around an hour depending on your pace.Just follow the path that goes all the way around the Island.On the way you will see the locals going about their daily lives.We stopped at the community center for a cold drink,enjoy the nature,took a few pictures and rode back as the sun was setting on Koh Kret Island.
Ko Kret located in Pak Kret district, Nonthaburi province, northwest of Bangkok.
Ko Kret is a small islet beside the Chao Phraya River. You can ride a boat from Bangkok or just across The Chao Phraya River from Pak Kret district.
Ko Kret actually it is mostly the communities of Thailand’s Mon people, immigrated from their homeland in Burma (Myanmar), have been living there for few centuries now, still preserving their lifestyle as good as before.
When you get in Ko Kret, you can make a leisurely walk along the elevated walkway which rings the islet, wander through the villages to see lifestyle of locals, many locals set there home as a shop present their culture, local product, little nice restaurants with local Mon food, food stall, souvenir shops.... etc There're many ceramic houses, Mon-style pottery, handicraft houses, and a village in one canal where they demonstrate how to make thai sweet desert etc
I think this is a great place to get away for a day from busy Bangkok, spend a day exploring by foot or even ride a bike around.
Another major attraction of Ko Kret is its ancient temples of the Ayutthaya period, I found they are very beautiful and in a quiet atmosphere.
For more information please visit my Pak kret page at link below, many more detail and photos from my visits.