Ko Kret: An island on the outskirts of Bangkok

Located in the Chao Phraya river just a few miles north of Bangkok lies Ko Kret, a tiny island in the river’s oxbow bend known for its pottery, desserts and distinct Mon culture. Only a few hundred people live on the island full time but during the weekends the population multiplies as Thais, local expats and tourists alike flock to this oasis in the middle of the urban sprawl for a convenient getaway.

A map of Koh Kret welcomes guests as soon as they step on to the island, highlighting points of interest.

A map of Koh Kret welcomes guests as soon as they step on to the island, highlighting points of interest.

The area around the pier is dominated by Wat Poramaiyikawat, the largest temple on the island, and shops selling various food items, souvenirs and handicrafts. Most shows are only open on Saturday and Sunday and visitors should come early to avoid the crowds.

Everywhere on Ko Kret street vendors sell cold drinks in typical Mon style pottery. They make for a cute souvenir and the terracotta keeps the sugary drinks cold.

Everywhere on Ko Kret street vendors sell cold drinks in typical Mon style pottery. They make for a cute souvenir and the terracotta keeps the sugary drinks cold.

Getting around on Ko Kret is easy. The island is only around 1 kilometer wide and 2 kilomete3s long and walking along the ring road that goes around the entire island takes approximately an hour and a half. There are also some places that rent out bicycles and all along the river, small taxi boats await to take you on a tour.

The main road on Ko Kret can be walked in under two hours or be explored on a bicycle. Several places rent out bikes for the day for as low as THB40 for an entire day.

The main road on Ko Kret can be walked in under two hours or be explored on a bicycle. Several places rent out bikes for the day for as low as THB40 for an entire day.

There are several ways of getting to Ko Kret. If you decide to go via boat, get up early and take the BTS to Saphan Taksin on the Silom line. Get off at Saphan Taksin and take exit 1 or 2 down to the pier. Get the Express Boat service (the one with the green flag) all the way to Pak Kret pier (THB20), which is numbered N33 and located right next to Wat Sanam Nuea. It will take around one hour and the boat leaves every 15-20 minutes from 6.15 a.m. to 8 a.m. in the morning and again in the afternoon from 3.30 p.m. to 6 p.m. From Pak Kret pier, take the ferry across the river to Ko Kret.

The boat from Pak Kret pier to Ko Kret leaves every 10 to 15 minutes throughout the day. The journey takes less than 5 minutes and costs just THB2 each way, payable on arrival on the island.

The boat from Pak Kret pier to Ko Kret leaves every 10 to 15 minutes throughout the day. The journey takes less than 5 minutes and costs just THB2 each way, payable on arrival on the island.

Another, and faster, option is to take the BTS skytrain to Mo Chit on the Sukhumvit line and get a taxi to Pak Kret pier, then take the ferry across. The taxi ride is around half an hour and will cost around THB150. Leaving Ko Kret you can hire one of the many taxi boats to take you back to the main pier, or cross back over to Wat Sanam Nuea/Pak Kret pier and get a taxi back to Mo Chit BTS station or all the way back to the city center.

The pier on Ko Kret looking towards Pak Kret pier.

The pier on Ko Kret looking towards Pak Kret pier.

There are a few ATMs on the island so fear not if you have forgotten your cash at home. This ATM is located just when you get off the pier and turn right towards Wat Poramaiyikawat and Wat Poramaiyikawat Museum.

There are a few ATMs on the island so fear not if you have forgotten your cash at home. This ATM is located just when you get off the pier and turn right towards Wat Poramaiyikawat and Wat Poramaiyikawat Museum.

Ko Kret is famous amongst other things for its desserts that come in all the colors of the rainbow. This is just one of the many shops along the first part of the walk way and the small boxes cost THB20. The shop is mainly open on the weekends from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Ko Kret is famous amongst other things for its desserts that come in all the colors of the rainbow. This is just one of the many shops along the first part of the walk way and the small boxes cost THB20. The shop is mainly open on the weekends from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

One of the many temples on Ko Kret, Wat Chimphli Sutthawat, is located just around 10-15 minutes south of the pier.

One of the many temples on Ko Kret, Wat Chimphli Sutthawat, is located just around 10-15 minutes south of the pier.

This jewelery shop sells home made pieces. It is located around 10 minutes south of the pier on the main road and it's open from 9 a.m. to  3 p.m. on weekdays and 7 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. on weekends.

This jewelery shop sells home made pieces. It is located around 10 minutes south of the pier on the main road and it’s open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays and 7 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. on weekends.

Hand-made rings for THB79 per piece.

Hand-made rings for THB79 per piece.

A lady selling traditional sweets -- a bag of 3 pieces costs THB55.

A lady selling traditional sweets — a bag of 3 pieces costs THB55.

A shop selling wooden utensils including spoons, forks, spatulas, and knives. The prices start from just THB10 for a small wooden spoon.

A shop selling wooden utensils including spoons, forks, spatulas, and knives. The prices start from just THB10 for a small wooden spoon.

Ko Kret is also known for its pottery. This particular pottery maker is open every day from around 9 in the morning to 4 or 5 p.m.

Ko Kret is also known for its pottery. This particular pottery maker is open every day from around 9 in the morning to 4 or 5 p.m.

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