When I was teaching English in Bangkok, Thailand a group of parents of the Thai kids I was teaching organized a day trip to show the new teacher around. They took me to Koh Kred, a small island on the Chao Praya River just a few miles north of Bangkok. An island famous for its pottery, Mon culture and interesting architecture. Since then, I’ve been back to Koh Kred (also known as Ko Kret) several times as it’s fascinating. If you’re a tourist to or live in Bangkok, Koh Kred is a must see place. Here’s how to get there and what to see when you do.
How To Get To Koh Kred – The first time I traveled to the island, I went in a car with several Thai parents, who all seemed to know exactly how to get there. The second time, I took the boat myself and, boy, was that fun.
With several ways to get to Koh Kred including several boats and a bus, this is the best way if you don’t want to get lost. Take an Express Boat on the Chao Praya River (the one with the green flag) all the way from Saphan Taksin pier in Bangkok north to Pah Kret pier. The boats only run early in the morning between 6:15 am and 8am (every 20 minutes or so) and return in the afternoon between 3:30pm and 6pm. The boat trip takes just over an hour. At Pah Kret pier, you can take a 1 baht (3 cent) ferry boat across the river to Koh Kred.
What Is Koh Kred? – Koh Kred is a small island right in the middle of the Chao Praya River around two kilometers square. A few hundred people live on Koh Kred, mainly from the Mon tribe who used to be the dominant peoples in Thailand. The island is famous for its unusual pottery, several temples and traditional Thai desserts. On the weekends, in particular, Koh Kred is packed with Thai couples and families who go across for the day, often just to enjoy the famous food.
What To See On Koh Kred
Hire a Bicycle – The first time I visited the island, we walked a long way around, as it’s so pleasant to be on a place with no cars. and then later hired a bicycle and cycled around. Cycling on Koh Kred is a great way to see the island, as you can stop off at interesting areas, restaurants or shops and safely leave the bike without fear of it being stolen.
Take a Tour Boat To Get Dessert – Koh Kred is famous for its traditional Thai desserts with some dessert restaurants where you can not only buy the desserts but see them being made too. We hired a small tour boat and guide who took us around the island to one of the more popular dessert shops sitting right on the river bank. We watched the dessert chef make several types of kanom (Thai for ‘dessert’) then, of course, bought several types to take home.
Visit the Kwan Aman Pottery Museum – As I said, Koh Kred is famous for its handmade pottery, a distinct style in Thailand. On the island, you can visit the Kwan Aman Pottery Museum and learn about the history of the pottery, the designs and what they mean and how its made. The curator of the museum was delightful and even spoke enough English to be able to answer my questions.
Buy Some Koh Kred Pottery – Of course, you can’t leave Koh Kred without buying a piece of pottery. I was going to buy something on my first trip, then some of the parents bought several lovely terracotta pottery for me to take home as a remembrance of the trip. You’ll see the pottery being sold in shops all over the island and it’s extremely cheap, with smaller items as inexpensive as $1.
Eat Tempura – Koh Kred is famous for its vegetable and local fresh shrimp tempura and it’s delicious. Several restaurants serve it and it’s extremely inexpensive. Don’t leave the island without trying some.
On your trip to Koh Kred, don’t forget to take your camera. The rustic architecture of the houses, the gray timber shops and cafes, and the old temples are lovely to photograph.
Photo – Riverside coffee shop at Koh Kred – copyright Michael Adams/Creative Commons