Unsurprisingly, Ko Kret is listed as a “convenient travel destination near the city” that bored Bangkokians and adventurous tourists enjoy visiting because it is so easy to travel to. A one-day trip to view Southeast Asia’s oldest Thai-Mon community has something for foodies, cafe hoppers, chillers, merit makers, art enthusiasts, and everyone in between. It’s often said that the rich culture and ways of life of the Mon ethnic group are a treasure that today’s generation is lucky to have inherited.
Upon arriving at Ko Kret, you are greeted with a long stretch of local food stalls featuring hard-to-find menus such as Dok Mai Thot (Crispy-Fried Flowers), Khanom Ba Bin (Grilled Coconut Pancakes), Khanom Thang Taek (Rice-Flour Pancakes with Fillings), Thot Man No Kala Ping (Grilled Young Coconut Shoot Cake), Sai Aua No Kala (Thai Spicy Sausage with Young Coconut Shoot), Khanom Cho Muang (Thai Steamed Flower-Shaped Dumplings). Khanom Cho Mali (Steamed Jasmine-Shaped Dumplings), Khanom Pia Paeng Sot (Freshly Baked Chinese Pastry), Khao Lam (Bamboo Sticky Rice), Mo Kaeng (Thai Egg Custard), Khanom Khai Pla (Rice Flour Mixed with Toddy Palm and Shredded Coconut), Pla Haeng Taeng Mo (Chilled Watermelon with Dried Fish Flakes), Ma Ho (Savoury Minced Pork on Fresh Fruit Bites), Miang Klip Bua (Lotus-Petal Wrapped Bite-Sized Appetizers), Khao Chae (Chilled Rice Soaked in Jasmine-Scented Water Served with Assorted Condiments).
Moreover, cafe hoppers can enjoy an array of riverfront cafes, galleries and vintage styled restaurants. Those who have an interest in religious art or are looking to make some merit can explore temples to their heart’s content, although Wat Poramai Yikawat is a must-visit highlight that houses the familiar Leaning Pagoda, and the only temple with prayer books and Tripitaka written in Mon script. If you are looking for an overnight stay in this quaint community, there are various hostel choices scattered around the island, most of them with a suitably chilled vibe.
Ko Kret residents have presented their community in a way that is fascinating to tourists with workshops on “Earthenware Pottery”, a traditional craft practiced by Thai-Mon people. Visitors can try their hand at crafting their own jars or containers to show off to friends and family at home. They also offer traditional performances for tourists including Pi Phat Mon ensembles, Thai classical dance, and Mon dance and there are even classes for those interested.
As well as handicrafts, Ko Kret residents have also preserved their famous tradition of offering alms on a boat at the end of the Buddhist Lent period and “Chut Luk Nu” (Mon Firework Lighting), a funeral rite for highly revered Mon monks, both of which tourists can observe and learn about. Tourists can travel to Ko Kret by ferry from Nonthaburi Pier and once they disembark, they are advised to travel on foot or on a rental bike to help conserve Ko Kret’s environment. There is also the opportunity to support local products and services and help generate income for the Ko Kret community.
- Bike around Ko Kret and experience the communal way of life and the uncomplicated lifestyles of the locals.
- Craft earthenware pottery according to the local tradition of Thai-Mon people in Ko Kret.
- Taste rare traditional Thai food and dishes influenced by Mon culture.
- Visit and explore archeological sites of the Ayutthaya period which feature great work by Thai-Mon artisans.
- Join various activities connected with Ko Kret’s local festivals and traditions.
Best Time to Visit
- All seasons, weekends and national holidays are recommended.
- One day trip is possible, Ferry Operating Hours are 8:30 a.m.-6.30 p.m.
- Pa Tum Clay Factory Ceramics Open 7 a.m.- 8 p.m.
Old Nonthaburi City Hall (Map)
Tuesday-Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (Free Admission)
Klong Kanomwan Canal (Dessert Canal) (Map)
9 a.m.-5.30 p.m.
Masjid Mosque (Surao Dang Mosque) (Map)
6 a.m.-6 p.m.
Tha It Mosque, Baray Style Mosque (Map)
8 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Buddhist site of Chueng Tha-Na Bot (Map)