Lifestyle: Koh Kret
Speaking about all the “Kohs” in Thailand most people would create similar mental pictures: endless white beaches, crystal clear sea full of fish and tasty food and drinks directly at the beach. While this seems to be kind of the ultimate definition of thai islands – which is in fact not so far from reality in many cases – Koh Kret is probably the farest you can get away from this typical Leonardo-DiCaprio-The-Beach-image.
It starts with the location: the surrounding water of Koh Kret does not contain any salt – it is located in the Chao Phraya River. This is why it is a perfect day trip from Bangkok even if it already belongs to next province called Nonthaburi. Furthermore it is a great opportunity to take a break from the traffic jams in Bangkok as there no cars on Koh Kret.
Although, getting around there is no problem at all – there is just one big ring road, rather a ring path which you can discover within three to four hours by walking. If you want to go a bit faster you can rent a bike for around 50 Baht or use a motorbike taxi. On your way you will cross several temples and small markets while in between you will feel like walking around some distant rural area in Thailand.
However, don’t forget to bring a big backpack for your shopping! Koh Kret is also called “pottery island” because the mon minority living there is well known for their long lasting handcraft pottery tradition – if you are looking for some souvenir which is really special and something completely different from all the night market stuff, you will find it here at very reasonable prices. The same goes for food and drinks – make sure to try some traditional mon style dish!
After all there is one last question to be answered: How do I get there? The easiest way might be to book a day trip from one of the main tourist piers – but it will be much cheaper to do it on your own. If you want to go by yourself, the journey also starts at one of the piers taking the normal Chao Praya express boat to the very last pier, called Nonthaburi. Arriving there, make sure not to fall for the guides who will try to sell you a two hour boat tour for 600 Baht telling you this is the only way to get to Koh Kret. Instead, take a taxi (going on taximeter is much more easier than in Bangkok) to Pak Kred for around 100 Baht and don’t be surprised that it will take another 20 minutes and the driver will seem to go very far away from the river – it is not as close as it looks on most maps! He will also know where to drop you, if you tell them you want to go to “the island”. The last step is taking the ferry to Koh Kret for 2 Baht which is really small and only needs less than five minutes.
One final thing you should not forget: Bring your sunscreen! Sun might be burning on the island and there are some longer distances to walk with no shadow at all.