Discovering Ko Kret Island in 24 hours
Thailand is home to a myriad of experiences, setting it apart from other holiday destinations. In this blog we’ll tell you all you need to know about Ko Kret Island and why you should definitely take the time to head over there.
This fascinating island in the middle of the Chao Phraya River, in central Thailand is well worth a visit. Read on to learn about its history, why it’s now a famous tourist attraction and what you can expect to get up to in a day.
An island in the making
Rewind to 1722 and this small island just north of Bangkok didn’t exist. The reigning King at the time wanted to speed up the time it took ships to travel over across winding the river. As a result, he ordered a canal to be built bypassing a meander. Over time, thanks to erosion the canal became wider and so Ko Kret Island was formed as it became separated from the mainland. The island is mainly inhabited by Mon people who were a tribe that lived in Thailand between the 6th and 10th centuries. Eventually the Mon people began to settle on the island and nowadays they proudly show off their terracotta wares to visiting tourists, but more on that later.
The island today
Ko Kret island occupies a very miniscule area, around 4.2 square kilometres. It’s split into seven villages, the largest one being Ban Mon. This small man-made island has maintained traditional island ways. The Mon people have always made pottery and nowadays the island is famous for it’s Mon style ceramics. The island is also a welcome reprieve from the metropolitan area of Bangkok with a much more rural feel to it.
Fascinating Facts about Ko Kret island
The island is only open to visitors on Saturdays and Sundays so be sure to plan your visit accordingly. This does mean that when you visit you’ll get to experience the weekend market.
There are no cars on the island, only bicycles and motorbikes, making it a peaceful place to spend the day.
Despite being small the island has two schools and a hospital.
Take me to Ko Kret
As we’ve mentioned, visiting Ko Kret is easily accessible from Bangkok so it’s ideal for a day trip. Ko Kret is located in Nonthaburi province and the best way to get onto the island is via a river boar from Nonthaburi Pier. It’s also worth noting you may also like to ride the Chao Phraya River Express Boat which operates daily along the Chao Phraya River.
The adventure onto the island begins as you arrive at the ferry port on the eastern bank of the river. To access the ferry you’ll need to walk through the impressive Wat Sanam Neua temple grounds.
Wander through the weekend market
As we’ve already mentioned your visit to Ko Kret island will coincide with the famous weekend market. The market takes up most of the Eastern side of the island with locals selling an array of goods including trinkets, souvenirs and clothing. The street food here is the real attraction though. You definitely won’t be disappointed. A must-try is the traditional Thai dessert Kanom Babin which is made from shredded coconut and rice flour. There’s also all the usual tast Thai treats including uniquely shaped buns and a Thai favourite of Sticky Rice & Black Bean tucked inside bamboo sticks. But the market wouldn’t be complete without stalls selling the pottery carefully crafted by the Mon people too.
A Potter’s Delight
If you have a love for all things pottery, then you’ll be in awe at the amazing work created by the Mon people. Known for being a pottery village, Ko Kret is home to some very talented potters who still work along the river banks. Be sure to visit the Mon Cultural Centre, which houses Kwan Anam, a museum dedicated to pottery and where you can view a large collection of the ancient works. Or, if you fancy having a go at this unique craft yourself the Soon Hatakam Kreung Pan Din Pao Centre is the place to go.
A trail runs all the way round the perimeter of the island meaning it’s almost impossible to get lost here. A top tip is to rent a bicycle, it’s the best way to explore the island at your leisure and you can take in all the sights of Ko Kret. Look out for the riverside cafés and houses built on stilts for an authentic experience.
If Thailand sounds like somewhere you’d like to experience for yourself then check out our Thailand Travel Guide by clicking the button below.