Koh Kret Island for a quick getaway from Bangkok

Koh Kret Island for a quick getaway from Bangkok

Koh Kret Island is a small, tranquil and green enclave on the Chao Phraya River near Bangkok, which is famous for the masterfully carved ceramics produced by the Mon community. This is why Koh Kret is referred to as 'Pottery Island'. I recommend this place for a quick getaway from busy Bangkok. You can wander around the island, ride a bike and even stay overnight. A truly wonderful place!

The fascinating Koh Kret Island story

Koh Kret Island for a quick getaway from Bangkok

Koh Kret is an artificial island in the Chao Phraya River that was created in 1722 by digging a canal through a stretch of land in the meander of the river. Hence the island's name - Kret means 'river bend' in Thai. Initially, however, the channel was so narrow that this place was not recognised as an island. Only after some time the Chao Phraya's swift waters widened the channel, creating an island of about 3.5 square kilometres.

The island is mostly inhabited by the Mon community, who arrived in the area during the Ayutthaya period. Thanks to the fact that the island is not connected to the mainland by any bridge, it has managed to preserve its extraordinary charm and ancient traditions. We spent a wonderful few hours on Koh Kret.

Sources:

Conservation and Development of Koh Kret Community Environment in Nonthaburi, author Srisak Phattanawasin (Faculty of Architecture and Planning, Thammasat University, Pathum Thani 12121, Thailand)

Unique pottery from Koh Kret Island

I first discovered ceramics from Koh Kret while I was shopping in Icon Siam and came across a stall where an elderly lady was carving intricate patterns into a clay cup. I immediately fell in love with her crafts and bought several teacups for us and for family gifts. While writing this article I am drinking coffee from my all-time favourite black teacup from Koh Kret. 

Ceramics from Koh Kret are traditional handicrafts, made the way they were done in the old days. The art has been handed over from generation to generation among the Mon community. Pottery from Koh Kret Island is marked with the mark of OTOP - One Tambon One Product, as a unique handicraft for a particular tambon (sub-distric 

Koh Kret pottery can be recognised by its intense colouring and patterns related to nature such as leaves, lotus flowers and flower petals. The predominant colour among the ceramics is orange, but some of the products are black. The black colour is produced by firing high temperature clay mixed with plant husks. The old kilns where ceramics used to be fired can still be found on the island.

Source:

Arts and Crafts Koh Kret Potterysacit.org.th

Koh Kret pottery
Thai spirit house and kilkn on Koh Kret island

What you can do on Koh Kret Island

Wyspa Koh Kret Tajlandia

Koh Kret Island is the perfect place for a day trip from noisy Bangkok. It's amazing what a tranquil atmosphere it has, with no cars and without high-tech structures. What you'll find on Koh Kret are temples, traditional villages, cafés, a street market and narrow pathways swirling between the houses in the eastern part. The western part, meanwhile, is a more peaceful, landscaped area, great for a cycling ride.

Wyspa Koh Kret Tajlandia
Koh Kret Island, Thailand
Koh Kret Island, Thailand

Explore Koh Kret on foot or by bike

Koh Kret is so small that it can be cycled around in less than an hour and can be walkable. On the island, right next to Wat Poramai Yikawat temple, there are bicycle rental shops. For as little as 40-60 THB you can rent a bicycle for the whole day. The bikes come in different sizes and some have seats for children.

We were mainly interested in visiting Pottery Village, which we decided to go on foot to. On the way, we stopped off at one of the cafes for refreshments and to admire the views and the island's interesting architecture.

Go to Wat Poramai Yikawat and The Leaning Pagoda

Pagoda Wat Poramai Yikawat Koh Kret

The Leaning Pagoda of Chedi Mu Tao, is the first place on Koh Kret Island that you will still see from the land shore. It is located on the grounds of Wat Poramai Yikawat temple, which is the only temple in Thailand where the Mon language is spoken. 

It is worth being aware that ferries and boats arrive at the Wat Poramai Yikawat temple, thus by respect it is advisable to dress appropriately. 

Learn to make your own pottery

Tajlandia z dzieckiem na wyspie Koh Kret

Walking along a path through Koh Kret, we came across a street mural with a signpost that led us to a pottery workshop. For only 100 THB, you could try your hand at it and learn how to make pottery out of clay. Our younger children accepted the challenge and truly enjoyed the experience. 

Koh Kret Island Thailand with kids
Na wyspie Koh Kret w Tajlandii

Visit the Pottery Village on Koh Kret Island

Pottery Village Koh Kret Island Thailand

Finally, we went to a village where the pottery has been made for ages and which still houses a big kiln. In the village and on the way there, you can buy some beautiful pottery. The Pottery Village captivated us with its beauty.

Traditional pottery kiln from Koh Kret

Taste local delicacies

Smażone kwiaty Koh Kret tajskie jedzenie

On Koh Kret Island, people specialise not only in pottery, but also in making pretty, colourful Thai desserts. What particularly caught my eye were the deep-fried edible flowers.  

How to get to Koh Kret Island

Tajlandia z dzieckiem na wyspie Koh Kret
How to get to Koh Kret island

Koh Kret is an island that is not connected to the mainland, therefore boats are the only means of transport. It is possible to take a boat from Bangkok to Koh Kret Island. Chao Phraya Express Boat Green Yellow Line operates this service. Boats depart from Sathon pier to Pak Kret. From the Pak Kret marina, you can catch a boat for THB 100.

In addition, the Chao Phraya Express organises weekend trips to Koh Kret, departing from Sathorn Pier. 

Koh Kret can also be accessed in just a few minutes by a small ferry from the Wat Sanam temple. Nuea za 2 THB za osobę. My się udaliśmy na wyspę w święto i obłożenie promu było tak duże, że wybraliśmy prywatną łódkę.

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