Shall we go to " Ko Kret" in Nonthaburi province?
This is the first place that I went to visit after returning to Thailand. My sister asked me to visit 9 temples in one day with her. I said "yes" without any hesitation when I realized that we could go to see " Ko Kret" as well. Actually, I went to there when I was about 22 years old. I didn't get to fully appreciate all its beauty and wanted to go again. I think my maturity and experience will allow me to see the place in an different way.
The first time I went there I thought the shopping was very good with many cute things. However, the second time, I thought Ko Kret maintains Thai culture with a wide selection of arts and crafts. People who live there are passionate and cooperate together in making valuable things. With Thailand facing numerous problems recently, many travellers don't want to come here. Nevertheless, in my opinion, I think there are many peaceful places in Thailand that we can travel to safely, such as Ko Kret.
Although officially located in Nonthaburi Province, Koh Kret is reasonably accessible from Bangkok. An island in the middle of the Chao Phraya River, Koh Kret was founded in the Thonburi era and is home to ethnic Mons whose ancestors set up ‘Kwarn Ar-marn’ (pottery village) on the Island after their capital was attacked by the Burmese. The island is famous for blood-red, Mon-style pottery called ‘Hai’ which is still made on the island today. The islanders’ produce is regarded as the most beautiful of all unglazed pottery available and is, of course, hand made. Visitors can attend demonstrations of craftsmen’s skills at the island’s earthenware museum.
Although Koh Kret could very easily have become a ‘traditional way of life’ theme park, tourism to the island is limited and a result of the pottery made there - not the other way around. If visitors stopped going to Koh Kret, the pottery would continue. As such, Koh Kret is probably Bangkok’s best example of a traditional way of life.
The island is also famed for its Thai desserts (‘Khanom’).
Thai desserts are more than just something sweet to eat after a meal but have also been used in Buddhist rituals and ceremonies and are very popular gifts for special occasions. The names of each dessert also represent positive symbolic meanings to promote prosperity and success to participants in such auspicious occasion. Many Thai desserts (Kanom Thai) include the word ‘Thong’, which literally means gold in Thai and signifies glory and high esteem.
Thai desserts are made of three principle ingredients: flour, sugar, and coconut (eggs were later introduced by Portuguese traders). Despite these simple components, Thai desserts can require sophisticated skills, requiring time and care in their preparation. These three ingredients are carefully mixed and prepared using time honoured methods to create tantalizing treats. Thai desserts may also contain any number of other fresh ingredients including palm sugar, rice flours, lotus seeds, cassava roots, various fresh fruits… and other ingredients.
The art of Thai desserts have been passed down through the generations. Some of today’s Thai desserts are on record as far back as the Sukhothai period, almost 800 years ago.
When you get in Ko Kret, you can make a leisurely walk along the elevated walkway which rings the islet, wander through the villages to see lifestyle of locals, many locals set there home as a shop present their culture, local product, little nice restaurants with local Mon food, food stall, souvenir shops.... etc
There're many ceramic dolls, handicraft houses, and a village in one canal where they demonstrate how to make thai sweet desert etc
I think this is a great place to get away for a day from busy Bangkok, spend a day exploring by foot or even ride a bike around.
Another major attraction of Ko Kret is its ancient temples of the Ayutthaya period, I found they are very beautiful and in a quiet atmosphere.