Located in Nonthaburi district, around 20 kilometers north from the center of Bangkok, Koh Kret is an artificial island cut off from the mainland by the Chao Phraya River. The island is home to one of Thailand’s oldest settlements of Mon people, a community known for their unique style of handmade clay pots, which are sold at markets throughout Bangkok. Koh Kret is famous not only for its distinctive pottery, but also for its centuries-old temples, delicious Mon food, and busy weekend market.
Despite the urban bustle of Bangkok not far away, Koh Kret has an isolated island feel due to its total lack of vehicles and rural landscape that has escaped development. Life on the island is traditional, rustic, and relaxed, allowing you to amble through its tiny hamlets and witness local life at your own pace. Aside from the pottery shops, the island’s biggest attraction is Wat Poramai Yikawat, a Buddhist temple located across from the main pier. Inside, you’ll find several Mon-style marble Buddha statues, plus a museum featuring local pottery and various religious relics. The temple also has a distinctive leaning stupa that juts out from the island’s northeast corner.
A Koh Kret tour is a family-friendly day out where you’ll meet skilled craftspeople at the island’s pottery workshops, walk along rural paths observing local life, and visit the impressive Wat Poramai Yikawat. You’ll also get to try traditional Thai-Mon food such as khao cher and tod mun pla nor gala.
Insider’s Tip: If you don’t like crowds, head to Ko Kret on a weekday instead of at the weekend when it can become incredibly busy. There might be fewer shops and eateries open during the week, but you’ll have the place virtually to yourself.
If not arriving as part of an organized tour that includes hotel pickup, drop-off, and the return boat trip to Koh Kret, you can take the Chao Phraya express boat, which runs peak-time services from Sathorn Taksin Pier over to Pak Kret in the mornings and back again later in the day. You’ll need to get up early though, and be sure that you don’t miss the last boat back in the afternoon!