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Travel bucket list idea:

Last updated: 10 November, 2022
Expert travel writer: Chris Schalkx

Located in a horseshoe bend of the Chao Phraya River some 45 minutes north of Bangkok proper, palm-studded Koh Kret offers a welcome antidote to the city’s concrete jungle.

The island was created in 1722 by digging a canal to separate it from the mainland, and was once home to the Mon Hill Tribe, who emigrated here after the fall of Ayutthaya in 1765. Life here continues pretty much as it has done for centuries, with nothing more touristic than a handful of souvenir stores selling the community’s signature pottery.

These days, their descendants inhabit a lively little village near the pier, with wooden footbridges and cycle paths linking the shacks, tumbledown houses and historic temples. If you want a glimpse of authentic Thai village life, this is the place to come.

Price: Free
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 13+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

Koh Kret is located in Nonthaburi, a province just north of Bangkok. The easiest – and most scenic – way to reach it is the weekly Chao Phraya Express boat leaving from the Saphan Taksin pier on Sundays at 9am, with a guided tour and stops along the way, before heading back at 3.30pm.

If you’re visiting independently or during the week, boats usually don’t go further than the Nonthaburi pier, from where you can reach Koh Kret by taxi in about 15 minutes.

While Koh Kret is small enough to be walkable, getting around on a rental bike is much more pleasant. Just follow the main road, which starts in the village adjoining the pier and loops around rice fields, palm groves and scenic stilted houses.

When to do it

This is a living island, so it’s open all day. However, getting back to Bangkok by public transport becomes challenging after 5pm.

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