Saturday, February 23, 2008

Ko Kret - the Mun island in Chao Phraya

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Pottery at Ko Kret

Seven small and sleepy villages, palm trees, bananas, temples and pottery: Ko Kret, a tropical looking island in Chao Phraya River, just 15 kilometres north from Bangkok, is a pretty place for a boat and walking trip, its quiet during the week and quite busy on weekends (Marke on Sundays). One way up by boat takes one hour. You take the Chaophraya River Express to Nonthaburi and get there out at the last stop and walk to the street. Get into a Minibus to Wat Sanam Neua. Walk through the temple to the river pier. From here you can croyy by ferry to Ko Kret.
The island is more than two hundred years old. It was created, when 1722 a canal was built to shorten the Kings sailing trips upwards Chao Phraya River to the capital Ayutthaya. Mon people who came down from Burma are living here for generations, and they are famous for pottery in kwan arman style and sweet Thai desserts. First they took the earth from Ko Kret to create pots. This led to erosion on the island. So by the years the base of the around two hundred years old Chedi of Wat Poramaiyikawat วัดปรมัยยิกาวาส was washed away, so today the Chedi is leaning towards the river.

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The Chedi of Wat Poramaiyikawat, leaning towards Chao Phraya River

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Wat Poramaiyikawat. See more pictures

At the temple in Mon style is also a small pottery-museum. The pots are known for their red-black glazed surface and design. If you are hungry: thera are many food vendors. The island is wellknown for "Khao Cher": rice with chilled fragrant water and small side dishes. or you enjoy "Tod mun pla nor gala", spicy fish cake with ginger. Or: Mon tempura: deep-fried vegetables, fish, shrimp in a banana-leaf. of course you find also restaurants.

If you take a bout tour around Ko Kret you see traditional thai houses. A walk around the island takes 2 to 3 hours. There are also motor cycle taxis. And you can even rent bikes.

Don't forget to be back at the ferry pier by sunset: then the last ferry is leaving. There is no hotel or guesthouse for staying during the night, but a resort: Baan Dvara Prateep is offering yoga and meditation courses with accommodation.

If you don't want to travel by yourself, then there is a tour every sunday operated by Chao Phraya Express Boat for 300 Baht.

Discover more in Bangkok:
Your Guide to Bangkok

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