Koh Kret Brewery and Pottery Village
Koh Kret is definitely my favorite islands in Bangkok.
Another island in Bangkok? Previously we visited the beautiful island of Bang Krachao in central Bangkok.
Today we are going just north of Bangkok to Nonthaburi Province. This is where Koh Kret Island is located in the Chao Praya River.
Koh Kret is one of the most relaxing places to hang out in Bangkok. The slow village life, the cool breeze sitting by the Chao Praya River, traditional handmade goods from the Koh Kret Pottery Village and of course great beer from the local Koh Kret Brewery.
It is really one of those unique places you will find in my comprehensive Thailand travel guide.
Background of Koh Kret
Koh Kret is an island in the Chao Praya River which was formed way back in 1722.
The island was created by widening the canal to provide a shorter route for transporting goods down the river to Bangkok.
The people living on Koh Kret are actually of the Mon culture. This is the same ethnic background as those who constructed the Mon Bridge in Sangkhlaburi in the far east of Thailand.
Wander through the Weekend Market
As you leave the ferry pier, start making your way around Koh Kret in a counterclockwise direction. Your first destination is the riverside weekend market.
Here you’ll find handmade pottery for sale such teacups, incense burners, plates, stewing pots and much more. These make great and useable souvenirs to take home with you.
The market also offers a huge range of Thai foods and sweets. It has a similar assortment of foods to that found in the foodie heaven Khlong Lat Mayom floating market.
Don’t be afraid to try some odd looking foods such as these green blobs. These are Pandan based noodles which are served soaked in a sweetened condensed milk syrup.
It is also worth trying khao chae (ข้าวแช่) in this small riverfront wooden store. Boiled rice comes soaked in an aromatic iced water soup. This is accompanied by a small assortment of dried fish condiments and Thai herbs.
Koh Kret Pottery Village
As you wander through the market there are a number of small alleys which lead down to homemade pottery businesses.
Here you can watch the locals create their pottery from scratch. They start by shaping the goods on the wheel, then carefully etched in patterns one stroke at a time. Finally, the goods are fired in the kiln out the back.
You won’t find a cheaper place to buy pottery in Thailand than in the Koh Kret Pottery village. Get shopping!
Circle the island by foot or Bicycle
Continue from the Koh Kret Pottery village to explore the rest of the island. This is best done by following the 5km path which circles the island.
There are no real roads or cars on Koh Kret, therefore you have 2 options of getting around; cycle or walk.
Cycling is quicker and bicycles can be rented for about 100 THB near the ferry. It is also quite annoying to drag the bicycle through the markets.
Walking is more tiring, but you can jump on the back of a motorcycle taxi at various points around the island. For just 50 THB per person, you can get pretty much anywhere.
We chose to walk the island. It took about 2 hours in total but definitely worth it!
Relax at the Koh Kret Brewery (Chit Beer)
Once you’ve finished your journey around the island be sure to drop by Chit Beer, otherwise known as the Koh Kret Brewery.
The owner Chit brews his beers from Monday to Friday every week, only to have them entirely consumed during Saturday and Sunday.
His beers have become so popular that he even runs beer brewing courses!
Brewing your own alcohol is actually illegal in Thailand. Something to do with Chang and Singha corporations having a monopoly over the market. However, this doesn’t stop Chit.
The Koh Kret Brewery is open weekends only as per our last visit.
If you loved this place then you will love my favorite bars in Bangkok with live music!
Stay Overnight on the Island
Want to enjoy traditional Thailand a little longer? It’s also possible to stay overnight on Koh Kret in one of a few small homestays.
I have never done this, but have passed a few small wooden homestays which offer this. As you wander around the island keep an eye out for homestay signs then drop in to say hello.
How to get to Koh Kret from Bangkok
The most interesting way to get to Koh Kret from Bangkok is by boat on the Chao Praya River.
Unfortunately, the Koh Kret Express boats are no longer operating. You will have to take the Chao Praya Express boat from Saphan Taksin pier up to Nonthaburi pier. The journey takes about 1 hour.
From Nonthaburi pier, you can take a smaller longtail boat to Koh Kret. Be warned that these boats are often overpriced and a sucker for tourists. The better option is to get a taxi from Nonthaburi pier to Koh Kret costing less than 100 THB (USD 3).
It is also possible to get to Koh Kret from Bangkok directly by taxi. This is probably the better option for returning home after a long day out. A taxi takes about 30-45 minutes and costs about 300 THB.
Tip: ask the taxi driver to use the elevated expressway (tang duwan) to avoid the terrible Bangkok traffic.
Bus routes 104 and 166 will also get you from Bangkok to Koh Kret. Local Bangkok buses might be cheap, however, they are slow, hot, not air-conditioned and cramped. Take the bus if you want to save money, but you’ve been warned.
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