Sunday, June 3, 2012

Trip to Ko Kret

We finally took our trip over to Ko Kret this morning. Total. Waste. Of. Time.

Since we had such a difficult time a few weeks ago trying to find the pier where we could catch the ferry to Ko Kret, we hired a driver to take us there this morning. Most of the time I really appreciate having the independence to drive around Bangkok wherever and whenever I want. However, there are times when I desperately want a full-time driver to chauffeur me everywhere and this morning was the perfect reason why.  It was so EASY - he picked us up at home, knew exactly where to go and we were at the pier in less than 15 minutes.  We did not have to deal with parking and we did not get lost.

So, the report on Ko Kret... We had anticipated a charming and quaint pottery village surrounded by lovely banana plantations, organic farms and lots of tropical forest. What we got, as Christopher accurately stated the minute we disembarked from the ferry, was "just like rest of Bangkok, except surrounded by water."  He hit the nail on the head.  It was filthy, smelly, and crowded with street dogs and food & merchandise vendors - not to mention a gazillion tourists walking around.  Add in the hot & humid weather and the ominous thunderstorm clouds that began to move in as soon as we arrived, it was not worth staying for any length of time. There were a lot of wats (temples) to look at and it was interesting to see how Ko Kret has recovered from being underwater for months during the horrible flooding last Fall.  We did buy some drinks and snacks from a food stall and as Christopher and I were eating the snack, he asked me what it was. I said I had no idea and he replied, "This might be one of those times where it is better not to know."  How true.  We walked around for a while but were so disappointed with the reality of Ko Kret that we left after about two hours. When the driver dropped us off at the pier, he asked us how long we thought we would be and Kevin said, "Maybe four hours?" and the driver laughed. Now we know why.

I did take some photos and I also figured out how to make my photos in these posts larger so you can see more of the detail. One thing for you to remember as you look through these photos is that last Fall, when the flooding was so horrible in this area, all of the homes in the photos below were completely underwater with only the rooftops visible.  If even that.  

From Ko Kret, looking across to the "mainland" - homes on the Chao Phraya river.
Buddha under construction on the mainland.  There is that "oh, so safe" scaffolding again!
On Ko Kret - a restaurant on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. 
The ferry approaching the pier on Ko Kret.  I always say a prayer when we get on one of these boats and breathe a big sigh of relief when getting off.  The ferries going over to Ko Kret this morning were full and we even saw a soi dog disembark from one! 
 Looking from the Ko Kret pier over to the pier on the mainland.  
There is always lots of "stuff" floating in the river.  I call this greenery, river lettuce.  
 Another view of the pier on the mainland.
 Riverfront homes.
More riverfront homes.
Behold the lowly pineapple.
Looks can be deceiving!
Pineapple stuffed with fried rice!  
PeePorn made this for our dinner Friday night and while the presentation was lovely, I thought the fried rice was totally gross.  Too fruity and mushy for me.  In the almost 10 months that PeePorn has been with us, I think this was only the second time she has made a dish that I do not like and would not eat.  Fortunately, she has plenty of wonderful dishes in her repertoire (that we rave about) and we probably won't see this again for many months.

The kids had their last basketball game yesterday in their intramural league.  The game was tied with five seconds left on the clock and Christopher "swooshed" in a three pointer for his team to win. It was very exciting because Caitlynne's team had been down by 11 points going into the final quarter and they managed an awesome comeback.  Caitlynne had a fantastic game with many rebounds, 2 baskets and she totally sunk 2 foul shots.  We think those were the first foul shots she has ever made in a game so she is improving for sure! Kevin was very impressed with her shooting technique on the foul line and said she had the perfect touch.

Kevin and I went to a farewell party last night that was held at a local beer garden/German restaurant.  We have been there a few times as they sponsored Christopher's baseball team so we had our team dinners and parties there. It was a pleasant surprise to find an authentic German restaurant in the 'burbs of Bangkok. The restaurant has great German food (bratwurst, schnitzel, spatzel, sauerkraut and red cabbage) and a good selection of beer.  It started to rain just as we arrived but cleared up after a few minutes and the weather held for the rest of the evening.

Have a great Sunday!

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