Koh Kret – Bicycle Touring Route
Route: Leisurely route that takes you around the quaint ‘Koh Kret’ island. This area, in Nonthaburi province of Thailand, is a sort of man-made island that separates the Pak Kret area of Nonthaburi from the tiny islet of Koh Kret by a divert of the Chao Praya River.
Start / End point: Ferry boat pier behind Wat Sanam Nua on the Pak Kret riverside of Nonthaburi province. Bicycle route around Koh Kret begins at Wat Poramai Yikawat ferry boat pier (MAIN pier for the whole island) on Koh Kret island.
Koh Kret (home of the MOST expensive Durian in Thailand) is famous for being one of the small islets close to Bangkok that has NO large roads, and NO cars or trucks. On Koh Kret, you will only find bicycles and motorbikes sharing the island’s cement pathways. I easily cycled the pathway around the entire island on a Thursday morning without any problems, but was advised that a BIG weekend market on Koh Kret causes the area to become quite busy because of visiting Bangkokians. My advice – If you fancy a bicycle ride, go on a weekday, but if you like the bustle and ambiance of a ‘serious’ local market, then by all means visit on a weekend (without your bike).
What to see and do on Koh Kret? The island is home to several temples, and is known for its pottery craftsmen and distinct varieties of rare Thai food treats. While you cycle the island, you will see handcrafted pottery and wood crafts made by local artisans on display outside of their houses and shops, and you will have the chance to stop in at small restaurants to sample Khao Chae, Thaut Man Nau Kala, and Dokmai Chub Bpang Thaut. During my trip, I enjoyed ALL of these as well as a delicious Iced Mocha Coffee at a shop conveniently located on the cycle path.
- Khao Chae is cooked blue rice in ice-cold jasmine flavored water. This traditional summertime treat was originally only served to royalty at Thailand’s grand palace starting in the reign of King Rama 5. I ate this local treat at Lung Daeng restaurant on Koh Kret.
- Thaut Man Nau Kala is deep-fried fish cake made with ingredients from a local variety of tree found on Koh Kret.
- Dokmai Chub Bpang Thaut is a selection of local flowers that have been dipped in batter and fried (tempura style) and are meant to be a light snack eaten with sweet chili sauce.
Ferry Notes: Taking the ferry from the Wat Sanam Nua pier to the Wat Poramai Yikawat pier (which is the main pier for Koh Kret) costs 2THB/person and less than 10THB/bicycle. The price for bringing a bicycle varies with the fullness of the ferry boat. I have paid as little as 2THB for my bicycle to accompany me and as much as 10THB when the boat was quite full. Nevertheless, you can get you and your bicycle to the island of Koh Kret for 12THB or LESS on any day. What a bargain!
Bicycle Notes: When you arrive to the ferry pier at Wat Poramai Yikawat, go immediately left towards the food carts and you will find bicycle rental (if you have not brought your own) for 40THB at Khun Joom Jakrayan (Tel. 086-561-0745). This price gets you a single gear casual cruiser bicycle for the entire day. You pay for the rental bicycle when you bring it back. There is no time limit.
Route Notes: Small cement pathways through quaint residential areas and shops – 100% paved. There are convenient mirrors at every blind corner to alert you of other users on the pathway. My rental bicycle had a bell, which came in quite handy more than once at these points.
Don’t want to go it alone? You can book a tour of Koh Kret with Your Thai Guide.