Postcard from... Koh Kret

The house was abandoned, with objects strewn across the dusty wooden floors, but they offered clues as to those who once lived there. This island, Koh Kret, was once a bend in the Chao Phraya River before a canal was built as a shortcut for boats in 1722, separating it from the mainland. Mon people settled here and today Koh Kret is still known for the Mon style pottery produced there as well as  several temples, including one next door to the house. Had this been the home of monks? It seemed that way, based on the things we found as we picked our way over the open terrace in the middle of this traditional Thai style house.

One object in particular caught our eye; a mountain scene, the peak high and snowy, looking down on a lake. Rocky paths, leading from the shore up towards the summit. Where was it? Certainly not Thailand… We tried to imagine the person that once looked upon this painting. Where had he got the painting from? How did it make him feel? Why hadn’t he taken it with him when he left? But we had no access to him, or any of them who had once called these ruins home. Any stories we could pull from the wooden walls were only those of the imagination, pieced together with what had been left behind. The next time we came to the island we resolved to find out more, but the house had gone. It had been cleared away, and all the objects in it.