Hotels in Bangkok

Ko Kret

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The island dates only to 1722, when a canal was constructed as a shortcut to bypass a bend in the Om Kret branch of the Chao Phraya river. As the canal was widened several times, the section cut off eventually became a separate island. The island continues to serve as a refuge to the Mon tribes who dominated central Thailand between the 6th and 10th centuries and have retained a distinct identity in their version of Buddhism and, particularly at Ko Kret, their pottery.

One way to reach Ko Kret is to take the once-weekly Chao Phraya Express, which leaves the Central Pier (BTS Saphan Taksin) every Sunday at 09:00 and visits a number of attractions before returning at 15:30. The cost of the cruise and guided tour is 300 baht (no lunch). Many other companies also offer similar tours, often just as a stop on a longer upriver trip to Ayutthaya.
Independent travel to Ko Kret can be a little more challenging. The easiest option is to take public bus 166 from Victory Monument which travels all the way to the market in Pak Kret. From there, you have to walk about 500 metres (or take a moto/samlor) towards the river to the ferry pier, which is located behind Wat Sanam Neua. If you exit the bus before the U-Turn simply continue towards the river. On the left you will see the entrance to a fairly inconspicuous market. Enter this then follow the market as long as you can (i.e. stay with the shops). Eventually you will come out near to the Wat and the route will be very obvious.

The Chao Phraya “green flag” express boat offers a direct service from BTS Saphan Taksin to Pak Kret (pier N33) during peak hours only. Boats operate every 15-20 min from 06:15 to 08:00 in the morning from Ko Kret south to Bangkok, and again from 15:30 to 18:00 in the evening from Bangkok northwards to Ko Kret, with no service on Sundays. The trip costs 20 baht and takes just over an hour. As the service from Pak Kret operates INTO town in the morning and OUT of town in the evening this service is not particularly helpful for day trippers from Bangkok.
Outside peak hours, the closest you can get is Nonthaburi pier, the last stop (pier N30) of the normal (Orange or Yellow flag) Chao Phraya Express Boat. From here options are:
Take the air-con van service (just 10 baht) or public bus 32 to Pak Kret, then head to the ferry pier serving the island. There are no signs in English, and so finding your way can be tricky.
Hire a river taxi, for which touts will quote prices around 500 baht. With enough haggling this may be a reasonable option for a group.
If you can’t get a return trip for less than 200 baht (and you probably can’t), it’ll be cheaper to take a taxi to the temple of Wat Sanam Neua (80-90 baht) in the neighbouring district of Pak Kret, from where ferries shuttle across the river to the island pretty much non-stop for the princely sum of 2 baht (return). Just tell the cabbie “Ko Kret”, they will understand.
Getting back is more interesting still, the easy way out again being the river taxi, plenty of which lounge about near the pier. If not, take the ferry back to Wat Sanam Neua, then take a moto or samlor out of the soi (5 baht) to the main street. From here you can easily grab a taxi back to pier, or try your luck with the many buses, minibuses and songthaews heading back to central Nonthaburi and Bangkok. The pier you want to return to is Tha Nam Nonburi or simply Tha Nam Chao Phya in Thai (Chao Phraya Pier).

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