Koh Kret (Ko Kret)
Although Ko Kret is an artificial island, it’s been there for a long time--it was formed by canal construction in the 18th century. There are several villages on the island, mainly inhabited by the ethnic Mon people. Although it’s not far from Bangkok, Ko Kret has a largely rural feel, so is a relaxing getaway from the capital. Ko Kret is especially famous for its hand-thrown Mon pottery, and many visitors come to shop for pottery, see how it’s made, and to tour the temples and monasteries of the island. Most travelers visit the island independently, although if you want a guided tour you can hire the services of a private guide around Bangkok.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Don’t miss Wat Poramai Yikawat, a Buddhist temple on the island that houses an indigenous Mon-style marble Buddha statue and a museum displaying local pottery, as well as a distinctive leaning stupa.
- Try some Mon specialty food while on the island, from sweets made with local sugar palm to fried shredded fish patties. Many local restaurants serve Mon dishes, plus items are sold at the weekend market.
- The island and its sights are well signposted, with maps on boards around the place.
How to Get There
The best way to reach Ko Kret is on a ferry from Wat Sanam Neua, which leaves regularly throughout the day. On Ko Kret, get around on a rented bike or by motorbike taxi, as there are no cars on the island. You can walk, but it’s quite hot.
When to Get There
Ko Kret holds a lively market at the weekends, selling food, clothing, and pottery. However, the island can get very crowded at weekends, so is more comfortable mid-week. Every April, the Mon Songkran festival is held, and is a lively time to visit, with traditional Mon entertainment.
Visit Ayuthhaya For a day trip from Bangkok that’s a bit further afield, head to Ayutthaya, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) away. Ayuthhaya was once the center of power in what is now Thailand, although now it’s a small town. There are dozens of archaeological sites, Buddha statues, and other remnants of the town’s past glory. Travelers interested in Thai history and culture, as well as Buddhism, shouldn’t miss Ayuthhaya.
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