Koh Kret - Mon Island in the Chao Phraya River
By now I can’t recall how many times I’ve been to this unique place, exploring it either on foot or by bicycle, probably starting in the late 80s when it was still a backwater, before OTOP and way off the Thai tourist track.
Originally just a piece of land causing the Chao Phraya to flow around it, until in 1722 one of the Thai Kings ordered a 1 km shortcut canal to be built and the result was an artificial island; Koh Kret.
That original shortcut’s name was Khlong Lat Kret but nowadays is seen by most as the Chao Phraya River!
The majority of the island’s population are of Mon descent, refugees from wars in a distant past, who have managed to maintain their culture reasonably successfully.
Since then it has seen a lot of changes, the tree growing in the chimney of the old rice mill and the rusty plane have disappeared, and new developments include a large touristy market, fancy coffeeshops/restaurants and new cycling/walking paths, but retains enough of its original charme. Most important, it's also still car-free!!
Of course pottery as well as local snacks are heavily promoted and sign boards with maps and info are easily found all around the island nowadays.
No lack of bike rentals but keep in mind that the quality of those contraptions can vary a lot, make sure to check the brakes!
Don't forget to try out at least some of the local delicacies such as the above 'khanom toey'.
Most visitors travel first to Pak Kret's Wat Sanam Nua from where they can take a 2 baht ferry to the island.
The island's landscape is very, very rural and scenic, easily explored either by bicycle or on foot as the main path around the island is only about 6 km.
Alongside the elevated concrete paths food stalls, coffee shops and small restaurants can be found.
The river front is attractive as well, offering plenty of wooden houses, all kinds of boat traffic (unfortunately also the occasional jet-skis nowadays) and views of the impressive Masjid Mosque on the other side of the river.
Koh Kret is definitely worth a visit, no matter whether you are an Instagram photo addict, foodie, or like to try pottery by yourself, there is something for everyone here.
A warning though, it can become addictive and before you know it you might end up like me!