Ko Kret

Ko Kret (also Koh Kred) is an island in the Chao Phraya River, in Nonthaburi province 20 km north of Bangkok, Thailand.

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A simple house in Village 1

The island dates only to 1722, when a canal was constructed as a shortcut to bypass a bend in the Om Kret branch of the Chao Phraya river. As the canal was widened several times, the section cut off eventually became a separate island. The island continues to serve as a refuge to the Mon tribes who dominated central Thailand between the 6th and 10th centuries and have retained a distinct identity in their flavour of Buddhism and, particularly at Ko Kret, their pottery.

The easiest way to reach Ko Kret is to take the once-weekly Chao Phraya Express, which leaves the Central Pier (BTS Saphan Taksin) every Sunday at 09:00 and visits a number of attractions before returning at 15:30. The cost of the cruise and guided tour is 300 baht (no lunch). Many other companies also offer similar tours, often just as a stop on a longer upriver trip to Ayutthaya.

Independent travel to Ko Kret is a little more challenging. The easiest option is to take public bus 166 from Victory Monument (at the footbridge’s end) or bus 505 from Central World to the end of the line in the Pak Kret market. From there, you have to walk about 500 m (or take a motorbike taxi/samlor) towards the river to the ferry pier, which is located behind Wat Sanam Neua.

More fun, though, is to arrive by boat. If you plan to stay overnight the “green flag” Chao Phraya express boat offers a direct service from BTS Saphan Taksin to 13.9147100.49441 Pak Kret (Pier N33). but only M-F. Boats run to Pak Kret 16:05-18:05 every 20 min, and to Saphan Taksin 06:10-08:10 every 15 min. The trip costs 31 baht and takes just over an hour. 

Outside peak hours, the closest you can get is 13.8423100.49151 Nonthaburi (Pier N30). the last stop of the “orange flag” Chao Phraya Express Boat.  From here, the options are:

  • Take the air-con van service (just 10 baht) or public bus 32 to Pak Kret, then head to the ferry pier serving the island. The catch is that there’s no signage in English, so finding your way can be tricky.
  • Hire a river taxi, for which touts will quote prices around 500 baht. With enough haggling this may be a reasonable option for a group.
  • If you can’t get a return trip for less than 200 baht (and you probably can’t), it’ll be cheaper to take a taxi to the temple of 13.9128100.49181 Wat Sanam Neua (วัดสนามเหนือ). (80-90 baht) in the neighbouring district of Pak Kret, from where ferries shuttle across the river to the island pretty much non-stop for the princely sum of 2 baht (return).  Just tell the cabbie “Ko Kret”. He will understand.

Getting back is more interesting still, the easy way out again being the river taxi, plenty of which lounge about near the pier. If not, take the ferry back to Wat Sanam Neua, then take a moto or samlor out of the soi (5 baht) to the main street. From here you can easily grab a taxi back to the pier, or try your luck with the many buses, minibuses and songthaews heading back to central Nonthaburi and Bangkok. The pier you want to return to is Tha Nam Nonburi or simply Tha Nam Chao Phya in Thai (Chao Phraya Pier).

. . . Ko Kret . . .

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