Ko Kret (also Koh Kret) is an island in the Chao Phraya River that’s around 25 km from Bangkok in the neighboring province of Nonthaburi. The island has existed since 1722 when a canal was constructed to create a shortcut passed a bend in the river. There aren’t any cars on the island, so it’s a peaceful place to spend a day. On Saturdays and Sundays there’s an excellent market that attracts mainly Thai people.
The island is around 2 km long and 1 km wide, so it’s easy to get around on foot or bicycle. There are also motorbike taxis available for hire.
Most of the inhabitants of the island are Mon people, who were a tribe that lived in central Thailand between the 6th and 10th centuries. They are well known for their pottery, which you’ll see for sale all around the island.
If you’ve spend some time in the chaotic surroundings of Bangkok, you’ll be in for a real treat when you arrive on the island. This is one of the best green areas near the city and it’s very easy to get to.
As the island is prone to flooding, most of the paths are raised a few feet above the ground. Many of the houses are also built on stilts.
You’ll see these paths all around the island, and at many points you’ll also be able to see the Chao Phraya River.
The main path around the island often goes straight passed the houses of local people, so gives you great insight into daily life here.
Ko Kret Market
Ko Kret market has an amazing amount of food of all sorts, and this is one of the main reasons that so many Thai people come to visit on weekends. Above is a woman cooking Kanom Babin, a Thai dessert made from mainly shredded coconut and rice flour. You’ll also see this dessert for sale at many places around Bangkok.
Above is a range of deep fried foods at the market.
When I first saw these I thought they were some kind of Thai dessert, but they have deep fried chicken inside a bun that’s been made into a chicken shape. Thais love this kind of thing.
Sticky Rice & Black Bean inside a bamboo stick is another Thai favorite that you’ll see being sold at various places around the country.
This stall seemed to be more popular with people taking photos rather than buying the products.
These lasagna pots were less than $2 each, which is a real bargain.
But there market isn’t all food. There are stalls selling a wide range of goods, including the soaps that are shown above.
Thai people seem to love cute and colorful toys, and the miniature sheep shown above sold very well. They were only 10 baht ($0.30) each.
Ko Kret is famous for its pottery, so you’ll see quite a few stalls selling it. You can also visit one of the pottery villages and watch a demonstration of the pots being made.
The pottery for sale is very reasonably priced, and would cost multiple times more in Western countries.
Getting Around Ko Kret
Getting around Ko Kret is easy. Just look at the map above and you’ll see that there’s just one main path that loops around the island. It’s almost impossible to get lost, as all you have to do is follow the river around.
Most people just come for the market, but it’s worth exploring the island as well, especially if it’s your first visit. You can get around on foot quite easily, but it’s also fun to hire a bike and cycle around. We hired two bikes while we were there. They cost just 40 baht (just over $1) each. You’ll need to leave your ID or a deposit when you hire one. The bike hire is near the ferry pier.
Once you’ve got your bike, just cycle around the loop, stopping along the way to see anything that interests you.
How To Get To Ko Kret
Early morning (06:15-08:00) on Monday to Friday you can get the green flag commuter boat all the way from Central Pier (Tha Sathorn) to Pakkret (Pier N33). Unfortunately, this doesn’t run at weekends when the market is open. The return boats run 15:30-18:05 Monday to Friday.
The orange flag boats from central Bangkok only go as far as Nonthaburi (Pier N30), so if you take the BTS to Saphan Taksin, you can then get that boat to Nonthaburi pier. I read that there were local boats between Nonthaburi pier and Pakkret, but we didn’t see any.
From Pakkret Pier there is a cross-river ferry that costs just 2 baht each way.
We got a taxi from Silom to Pakkret and this cost us 230 baht ($6.50). On the way back we got a taxi to Nonthaburi Pier and an orange flag boat from there back to Central Pier. The taxi was 120 baht ($3.50) and the boat was 14 baht each.
Where To Stay In Bangkok
There are a couple of home-stays on the island but most people choose to stay in Bangkok. The last hotel we stayed at in Bangkok was the Furama Silom Hotel. It has a rooftop pool and bar, and a really excellent buffet breakfast. For other great hotels in Bangkok, check out Agoda Bangkok, our favorite hotel booking website. Click here for our review of Furama Silom.