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  5. Koh Kret Island, Bangkok, Thailand: Retreat To A Cultural Island

Koh Kret Island, Bangkok, Thailand: Retreat to a Cultural Island

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Craving for a nice relaxing weekend getaway amidst all of your shopping and mall hunting in Bangkok? Kret not! We have got just the right place for you. Bangkok is a city decked with several attractions from malls, markets and Buddhist temples. While it makes the perfect cosmopolitan hideaway in your Thai holiday, there is so much more to Bangkok than just these! Bangkok boasts being the royal capital of the current-day Thailand and also the once powerful kingdom of Siam. Naturally, there are so many historically and culturally significant attractions that tell the stories of ancient Thai kings and queens. Explore the vibrant culture, breathtaking landscapes, and exotic cuisine with our exclusive Thailand Tour Packages, offering an unforgettable journey through this enchanting Southeast Asian destination.

Koh Kret is one such island attraction within Bangkok which was originally an adorable meander near the Chao Phraya river. Thai history tells us that this is a gorgeous man-made island that was built during the Ayutthaya period. The island hosts around six temples that show the richness of Thai culture and architecture. With museums, murals, wonderful restaurants and sights that will make you fall in love, this island has everything you will expect from a typical Thai holiday. Get ready to indulge in an amalgamation of history, culture and adventure!

Things to do at Koh Kret Island

Marvel at the murals

When you get down to visit Koh Kret island be sure to carry a camera along with you. There are so many wall paintings and murals which make the perfect aesthetic backdrop for your photograph. Some of these are ancient murals and some have been done only recently. Regardless, all of them offer a vivid cultural flavour to the place that sets it apart from other attractions in and around the city. 

Indulge in Thai culture

In spite of its limited space, the island hosts around six Thai temples that could be traced back to the Ayutthaya era, whose architectural principles they seemed to have adhered to religiously. Take time to explore these temples while you pay a visit to the island. One of these temples, Wat Paramaiyikawat has a white leaning stupa which serves as a landmark as soon as you enter the island. This temple has a three centuries old white leaning stupa which is now starting to get tilted thanks to water erosion.

Spend a night at the museum

The island is considered to be the destination of the Nonthaburi district of Bangkok. It houses the Rama V museum which exhibits a display of articles used by the royal family, such as cutlery, beds, cupboards and even water filters. If Siamese history intrigues you, then the museums at Koh Kret would be a wonderful addition to your Thai itinerary. There is also a museum uniquely dedicated to ancient Thai pottery.

Munch to your heart’s content

Being a main weekend getaway spot around Bangkok, food is of course a primary attraction here at the Koh Kret island. The island offers an ample number of choices for you to choose from at affordable prices. What makes the Koh Kret platter unique is the rarity of its dishes such as Khao Chae, Thot man no kala (a variation of Thai fishcake) and others such as fried-flower which are found exclusively on the island. Some of these dishes are served with unique beverages such as jasmine scented iced water. But it doesn’t stop there! The shops on the island serve amazing Thai desserts based in coconuts, egg yolk and syrup. You can also find shops that sell icy treats perfect for your day in the sun

Koh Kret’s unique pottery

Take a walk from Wat Poramaiyikawat to Moo 6 to find a whole road filled with different types of pottery that you can buy as souvenirs. You could later visit the Kwan aman pottery museum to learn more about pottery and its relation to the island. Pottery happens to be the main source of income to the people of this island. There is a unique method followed in pottery making on the island that results in a natural black colour without any artificial paint! You can find shops that will even let you make some pottery in the authentic Koh Kret style.

Go on a shopping spree

There are so many little shops that are lined up on the alleys in this man-made island. There is an open-air market called ‘A market number 30’. Hit this place up to sit down and enjoy coffees and desserts in cafes with insta-worthy backgrounds. This place also has stalls that sell souvenirs in the forms of vinyl records, accessories and clothes. Don’t forget to shop for porcelains when you are down there!

Have a traditional photoshoot

There is a quirky little photo booth nestled inside this island area. The booth has a wooden chair set against the wall which has been fashioned in the Koh Kret theme. Step in to get your souvenirs ready in the shape of an adorable postcard capturing a Koh-Kret moment, in just a few minutes!

Explore Koh Kret’s unique diners

Koh Kret island is known for some of its signature dishes that you cannot find anywhere else. But there is also something special about its diners and restaurants. There are so many eateries fashioned in unique themes for you to choose from guaranteeing you a wonderful weekend here on the island. Rong Si studio is one among these restaurants which also happens to be a homestay. Interestingly, this place used to be a rice mill. The restaurant still nurtures some of the old equipment which brings a rusty vibe to the atmosphere. Other restaurants also offer an extensive selection of Thai cuisine based dishes that bring a sophisticated cultural touch to your typical Thai island experience. 

A booze snooze

The island hosts not just culturally and historically significant places but also a select variety of beers and pubs that bring the much loved spirit of Bangkok in your precious weekend getaway. Let your hair down and party a little with the pretty bars lined up on the island. It is beautiful to see the place come alive as the night grows and the lights glow. Explore the vibrant culture, stunning landscapes, and rich history of Thailand with our curated Bangkok Tour Packages, offering an unforgettable journey filled with adventure and relaxation.

Highlights of Koh Kret Island

  • This island was initially just a meander along the Chao Phraya river which became an island of its own due to continued water erosion
  • Mon pottery is the unique highlight of the island, this involves baking pof unglazed red clay and carving intricate patterns on it and pottery is their main source of income
  • The chefs on the island are trained to cook rare Thai dishes such as Khao Chae and fried-flower in a preserved Mon style which cannot be found anywhere else
  • There are six preserved temples in this island and it is the only remaining island which has temples reciting Buddhist prayers in Mon language
  • There is a museum uniquely designated to educate its visitors on the principles of pottery on the island 
  • Beer shops on the island allow their customers to try various kinds of brews along with strangely unique snack choices such as beef flavoured ice cream
  • The island’s population is not just of Thai origin but traces back to several different foreign routes, as this place was encouraged to take in immigrants during the Ayutthaya period
  • This island was also used as a popular hideout spot for several politicians and officers of high ranks during the second world war

Best time to visit Koh Kret Island

Open only on the weekends (Saturdays and Sundays) and public holidays from 9 in the morning to around 5:30 in the evening. Entry into the island is free.

How to reach Koh Kret Island

This island is completely isolated from the mainland and so the best way to get to this place is by boat. You could hire a boat from Wat Sanam Nuea from 5-9 PM to get here. 

Once you reach the island you could rent a bicycle or take a walk all around the place.

Other attractions within Koh Kret Island

Wat Poramai Yikawat

This temple is considered to be the main temple of this island. The temple has a white stupa which is the primary attraction. The architecture of this temple strikes a perfect balance between Thai and Mon styles. The Mon community on the island considered this to be their focal point. The prayers and the scriptures here are in Mon language which is its unique feature. The ordination halls here are decorated with Italian marble brought to the island by King Rama V. 

Wat Bangchak

This is an old Buddhist temple built in the province of Thonburi during the Ayutthaya era. The main attraction in this temple is the huge Buddha statue with the maravijaya mudra. The ordination halls have been painted to narrate ancient Buddhist folk tales. The materials used in building this temple are said to have been inspired by the disciplines found in Chinese architecture. 

Wat Sanam Nuea

This temple is placed on the way to getting a ferry to reach Ko Kret. The temple is famous among locals and tourists alike. It stands as a magnificent gateway to the island inside. You can spend a few minutes here to look at the architecture.

Frequently Asked Questions about Koh Kret Island

The island does not have an entrance fee of its own. But you might have to pay for the boat or ferry ride to get to the island from the pier.

The island is tucked away from the mainland, so it is accessible only by water. It would be best to take a ferry from the temple Wat Sanam Nuea. 

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