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Sunday, December 3, 2023

A Information to the Automobile-Free Island Close to Bangkok

Koh Kret, usually spelled “Koh Kred,” is a singular island situated within the Chao Phraya River, simply north of Bangkok, Thailand. The tiny island covers an space of roughly 3.2 sq. kilometers (about 1.2 sq. miles).

Identified for its conventional Mon tradition and exquisite pottery, this island is an attention-grabbing, off-the-beaten monitor place to go to in Bangkok.

Historical past

This island, of artifical origins, was crafted by the excavation of a canal nestled between two meanders of the Chao Phraya River.

Nearly all of its inhabitants hint their lineage again to the Mon hill tribe, a minority group that was granted permission to relocate and set up their properties there through the reign of King Taksin within the aftermath of Ayutthaya’s fall.

A subsequent wave of Mon migrants arrived through the rule of King Rama II.

The Mon individuals, recognized for his or her craftsmanship, introduced their pottery-making abilities to Koh Kret, which is characterised by intricate designs and patterns.

No Vehicles, No Vehicles!

Some of the distinctive options of Koh Kret is the absence of automobiles and vans on the island, which is massively refreshing when having been uncovered to air pollution of central Bangkok.

The dearth of autos contributes considerably to the island’s peaceable environment. This restriction on vehicles is a deliberate selection made by the native authorities to protect the island’s conventional lifestyle and to guard its fragile ecosystem. Consequently, the first modes of transportation on Koh Kret are bicycles, mopeds and foot visitors.

Sights and Actions

1. Wat Paramai Yikawat


Picture credit score: Preecha.MJ

Wat Paramai Yikawat, also referred to as Wat Paramai Yikawat Woramahawihan, is a distinguished Buddhist temple on Koh Kret, Thailand.  Whereas the precise founding date of the temple is just not extensively documented, it’s believed to have been established many many years in the past, with the Mon group enjoying a pivotal function in its building and growth.

Situated on the island’s far proper, adjoining to the temple, stands the “Phra Chedi Mutao,” a Mon-style white pagoda. King Chulalongkorn visited in 1884 to enshrine Buddha relics, and this pagoda has a singular attribute – it leans. Initially upright, erosion precipitated it to tilt round 1891, regardless of a restoration try in 1992. This pagoda replicates Myanmar’s revered Shwemawdaw Pagoda in Bago.

Guests to Wat Paramai Yikawat can discover the temple grounds, providing a glimpse into conventional Mon structure and design. Mon structure usually options intricate carvings, ornate decorations, and a mix of Burmese and Thai types. The temple’s buildings are adorned with these ornamental parts, making it an architectural and creative marvel to behold.

Along with the primary stupa, additionally, you will discover different vital buildings throughout the temple complicated, corresponding to viharas (halls for meditation and prayer), Buddha statues, and shrines.

2. Pottery Village


As talked about beforehand, Koh Kret is famend for its pottery, making it a preferred vacation spot for these all in favour of conventional Thai and Mon ceramics. Native pottery workshops on Koh Kret supply a singular and immersive expertise for guests. These workshops are the place expert artisans exhibit their craftsmanship, showcasing the intricate and time-honored strategies used to create the gorgeous pottery that the island is legendary for.

Whenever you go to these pottery workshops, you may observe the expert artisans as they form and enhance clay to supply pottery items. You may witness the precision and experience that goes into creating the distinctive patterns, designs and varieties that characterize Mon pottery.

Many of those workshops supply guests the possibility to strive their hand at pottery making. Beneath the steerage of skilled potters, you may create your pottery, whether or not it is a bowl, vase or one other ceramic piece.

By supporting the native pottery trade on Koh Kret, you contribute to the preservation of a cultural legacy. The island’s potters take satisfaction in persevering with the traditions handed down by generations, making certain that these creative strategies and cultural practices endure.

3. Chit Beer


Chit, pronounced “sheet”.

“Temples and pottery? Come on, Peter, I simply need a chilly beer!” Okay, okay. I bought you…

Craft beer in Thailand is a rarity as a result of legal guidelines favoring main beer corporations. As I am positive you realize, two dominant family-owned giants management 90% of the market. However a man referred to as Wichit “Chit” Saiklao is main a craft beer riot.

Chit’s brewery, hidden away on Koh Kret, operated in secrecy for years. Nevertheless, in 2018, he secured the nation’s first authorized craft brewery license.

It is most likely the preferred spot on the island. And, past brewing and serving jugs of chilly beer, Chit shares his information by courses, usually booked months forward (so do e book upfront).

Chit’s college students additionally get an opportunity to characteristic their creations at Chit Beer. You could possibly be subsequent!

4. Biking and Exploring

Picture credit score: Koh Kret Tourism

Biking is one of the simplest ways to discover Koh Kret. The island’s compact measurement and flat terrain make it supreme for leisurely bike rides. There are additionally no automobiles to have to fret about.

You possibly can convey your personal bike or lease one there.

When you arrive on the pier, head left in the direction of the meals carts, and you may uncover a bicycle rental service operated by Khun Joom. For 40 Baht you may lease a single-speed cruiser bicycle for the complete day. You may settle the rental charge whenever you return the bicycle, and there are not any restrictions on the length of use.

This is a steered biking route across the island:

  • Begin on the Pier:  Most guests arrive on Koh Kret by boat from the mainland, so you may start your biking journey from the pier. There are bike rental retailers out there close to the pier the place you may lease bicycles for the day, together with the one talked about above.
  • Head to Wat Paramai Yikawat: Your first cease could be Wat Paramai Yikawat, the distinguished temple with the beautiful white stupa. Discover the temple grounds, take within the architectural magnificence, and maybe attend a non secular ceremony.
  • Cycle Alongside the Riverside: Comply with the highway that runs alongside the Chao Phraya River. You may be handled to scenic views of the river, passing by native homes and gardens. The riverside path is usually shaded by timber, making it a nice and cozy trip.
  • Go to Pottery Workshops: Make a cease at one of many conventional Mon pottery workshops. Right here, you may watch artisans at work and even strive your hand at pottery making. Do not forget to select up a singular pottery memento.
  • Discover the Island’s Villages: As you cycle inland, you may encounter charming wood homes, lush gardens and peaceable lanes. Take your time to discover the native villages and admire the island’s rustic magnificence.
  • Pattern Native Delicacies: Koh Kret is thought for its scrumptious Mon and Thai delicacies. Be sure you cease at an area eatery to savor genuine dishes like Khanom Krok (coconut rice pancakes).
  • Full the Loop: Proceed biking alongside the island’s perimeter, and you may ultimately full the loop, returning to the pier the place you started your journey. Alongside the way in which, you may uncover different factors of curiosity, together with extra temples, markets and parks.

Getting There


The ferry journey is over in a few minutes.

Koh Kret is definitely accessible from Bangkok. You possibly can take a taxi to Wat Sanam Nuae Pier, then take the boat throughout the river. It’s a very brief boat trip, no more than two minutes.

The ferry trip itself is an pleasing expertise, offering scenic views of the Chao Phraya River.

On the Pak Kret Pier, you may discover a number of boats and ferries ready to move passengers to Koh Kret. You possibly can usually buy your ferry ticket straight on the pier. The ferry operators have set schedules and boats run frequently, so you will not have to attend lengthy for the following one.

Taking the ferry from the Wat Sanam Nua pier to the Wat Poramai Yikawat pier (which is the primary pier for Koh Kret) prices 2 Baht per particular person within the daytime, and three Baht within the night. It prices 10 Baht per bike, typically much less for the bike, relying on how busy it’s.


Whereas Koh Kret is a well-liked day-trip vacation spot, it’s attainable to remain in a single day in one of many island’s guesthouses should you want to expertise its peaceable ambiance for an prolonged interval. Nevertheless, a half or complete day journey is often enough to see all you wish to see.


For those who keep till the solar goes down, you may chill overlooking the Chaopraya River

In Abstract

Koh Kret is not a picturesque island; it actually would not have a sandy seaside or water price swimming in. However it’s an attention-grabbing place.

It is fairly weird {that a} small piece of land, reduce off from the town, with its personal distinctive group, no automobiles, a brewery and three temples inside 3km, exists in a suburb of Bangkok.

Koh Kret is a cool place, and positively price a go to.

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