Prior to arriving in Thailand I contacted my friend Toi, a Thai native I had met in New York City who was now residing in Bangkok. She offered to be my guide for a day in Bangkok, and I happily accepted.
We used “intermodal transport” — Skytrain, taxi, bus — to reach Ko Kret, an island north of Bangkok that was created by dredging a canal in a bend in the Chao Phraya River. After having a peek at a Buddhist wat, we walked the path on the periphery of the island, a route of several kilometers. A portion of the path was lined with vendors selling souvenirs and food. Other than the wat and the market, it seemed the island was mostly a rustic village.
We stopped to have lunch at a small restaurant situated in a wooden structure perched off the canal. As the menu was entirely in Thai and the staff did not speak much English, I relied on Toi to order for both of us.
Ko Kret has a large settlement of Mon people, who have been in Thailand for over a millennium. The Mon create a kind of unglazed pottery known as “kwan arman” and there are many kilns on the island.
I was grateful to Toi for guiding me on an excursion I would not have been able to manage on my own, due to the language barrier and my general unfamiliarity with the geography of Bangkok and its surrounding area.