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Koh Kret Island Nontaburi

Kho Kret (or Ko Kred) is an island in the middle of the Chao Phraya River, located 20 kilometers north of Bangkok, near the eponymous province Nonthaburi. This artificial island dates back from 1722, when a canal was built to bypass a large loop drawn by the Chao Phraya River.

 The island continues to be a refuge for the Mon Community which was a majoritarian ethnic group from the centre of Thailand between the 6th and 10thCenturies; it counts many Buddhist relics and pottery pieces. The island draws a near perfect square, around 2 kilometers on each side. A small road (path) circles the entire island. It takes approx. 2 hours to walk it.

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Location: Chao Phraya River, Nontaburi, 20kms North of Bangkok. Longdo map link

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YouTube Video

Koh Kret Island
Zone: Nontaburi  <> Rated: F-PG <> Duration: 5hr <>  Cost: Minimal, include in a River tour

It was never really intended that it should be an Island. It just happened to be a piece of land that needed to be circumnavigated with some water. That there were people living there, and have lived there since.  So, Ko Kret Island is the result of a little bit of waterway engineering that started back in 1722. It was decided to make a canal 'short-cut' to avoid a long, severe bend in the Chao Phraya river.  Over the years, the canal has been widened both manually and by natural erosion of the river waters, resulting in a considerable width of water to now justify the area of Ko Kret as a true island.

The main ferry pier landing area is near to everything that happens on this small island, but it would be sacrilege simply to stay in this 'tourist' area. Ko Kret is a wonderful community of friendly people, living in a world that has for the most part passed them by. On the plus side, there is tranquillity and friendship on Ko Kret Island, on the minus side, tourists - both Thai and foreign - tend to flock to the island - particularly at weekends

The island is totally devoid of cars. Bicycles and foot being the normal mode of transport. Rush hour on the island is as fast or as slow as you want to make it!  The island is about 2km across and a convenient footpath runs right around the perimeter. It takes a couple of hours lazy walk to do the walk around Ko Kret. Longer if you are interested in all that is going on there. You can also hire a bike. Walking or cycling are the two options. Walking is best, for much of the time you will have to get off your bike anyway.

Eating: Ko Kret is rightly renowned for the food is serves up - whether from a couple of barrels upturned, with a plank of wood or a tin sheet acting as counter, or at one of the 'sit-down' places near the main market/landing area. Much of the food to be had has a local flavour with historic leanings towards the Mon people who largely inhabit the island. There are several delicious local-made sweets that just ache to be tried. Don't fill up at the first stall, for there will be others to try en-route. Then you will have either started, finished your trip near the market. 


Pottery: The main inhabitants of the island of Ko Kret, are ancestors of the Mon Tribes who were commonplace in central Thailand in middle sixth - tenth centuries. The Mons have their own distinct form of Buddhism - with more emphasis on superstition and astrology than their Thai cousins. Spirits are important part of the Mon form of Buddhism. They are also adept with their pottery making skills - a main source of income for many of the inhabitants of the Ko Kret Island. The clay for the hand-thrown earthenware pottery is gathered locally from the Island.

Most of the pottery can be sought out at the small individual potters along various lanes and footpaths.

Wat Paramai Yikawat

The favoured Wat on the Ko Kret Island, is Wat Paramai Yikawat - also known as Wat Mon - several pagodas of white marble, together with a Mon-style Marble Buddha. It is well known - being the central point of all things tourism on the Island. Near the market place/Wat you will find the leaning Chedi - accident or engineering marvel it matters not. It is interesting. Some say that the base is constructed - nay hewn - out of marble. If that turns you on, then fine. Marble - white or not, does not normally have to be painted regularly with exterior grade emulsion paint!

Getting there:  typically you should incorporate the adventure within a River tour. 
From Saphan Taksin - Sathorn central Pier allow 90mins by ferry to Pier Nontaburi, then 20 mins by private boat which you can book at the pier.

Accommodation:  Homestay options are available see more <. pushbike hire available on the Island.

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