Since moving to Bangkok seven months ago,
we finally had a weekend of exploring closer to home.
Realizing we had not even been on the Chao Praya River
was nothing short of a travesty.
So, off we went.
An adventure like Planes, Trains and Automobiles...
except our day trip consisted of...
Skytrains, Riverboat Taxis' and Long Tail Boats.
Same, same but different as they say here in Thailand.
We hopped on the nearby Bangkok Transit System (referred to as the BTS skytrain) station
and traveled a mere four stops away to the Saphan Taksin station,
where we then took an Orange flag taxi...
to the northernmost stop...
Some travel guides suggest traveling to this point by taxi or bus
but why would you miss the excitement of life on the water.
The tugboats on the river are like traveling bed and breakfasts;
complete with families and chickens.
The trip north on the river took about an hour.
At that point we were on our own to find a Long Tail Boat and driver
to take us to our destination of Ko Kret.
Of course, this was no problem...
they saw us coming a mile away.
Fifteen minutes later we were on the island
with two hours to spend exploring before our driver would return to pick us up.
As we meandered our way along the narrow paths,
any stress from zipping across the river at 15 knots,
melted away as we met the locals...
and tourists alike biking through the jungles of this rustic village.
There are a few motorbike taxis but not many.
Most travel is on foot or bicycle (which you can rent) around the island.
There are a few new businesses on the island filling the desire for a slower pace.
We enjoyed visiting with the young employee of the Gong Coffee Gallery and Cafe
where you can leisurely DIY your own cuppa.
From roasting to sipping.
And then there is beer.
Another example of youthful desire to share an experience with others,
Chit Beer holds weekend brewing classes
where you return a few weeks later to pick up and enjoy your creation.
Ko Kret is known for its hand thrown pottery...
and I could already see Ren Man shaking his head
as I slowly accepted the reality
of holding one of these large pots between my legs on the
long tail boat ride,
river taxi ride,
and skytrain ride home.
I will treasure some smaller pieces purchased instead.
The creative spirit is packed into every corner
as business owners turn their bare bones establishments into cozy enclaves.
October, two years ago, most of this island was underwater,
as the Chao Praya river had no where to go but inland
after heavy rains in the area.
You would never know it by the smiles we encountered on this island.
our two hours were clearly not enough time to see the entire island
and enjoy its residents,
although a place we will most definitely return.
I do have to admit my welcomed surprise
when our long boat captain was waiting happily...
exactly where he told us he would be.