Coconuts on Phi Phi Island Thailand
Phi Phi Island Business | Phi Phi Islands and their coconuts A look at how the coconut
Anyone who has walked the steep route to Phi Phi View Point overlooking Phi Phi Don Village will tell you that the island is covered with coconut plantations. The magic of Phi Phi island is dominated by the thick coverage of trees through the islands and especially Phi Phi Don where there are many coconut groves.
From the View Point the view is dominated by the linear plantations to such a degree it is difficult to imagine the thriving village below its canopy.
Effect of the hotels on Phi Phi
Since the Phi Phi Island Cabana Hotel and Phi Phi Hotel were built (on more than 3 storeys) there have been islands of roofs appearing amongst the trees tops as coconuts have made way for hotel development.
As the island was initially, partly dependant, on coconut products the cost of cutting down coconut trees is 10000 THB or about $150 per tree. As most land is owned by the traditional families and most villages shops are rented this means few trees are felled.
If they are felled they are pulled down in the traditional fashion (i.e. without a chain saw). Local men will climb the tree, cut off the palms and cut 1 meter sections off by axe before lowering the sections to the ground.
Coconuts have always given growers three products:
The milk comes from fresh green coconuts which are taken. by local people who climb trees. Good climbers or collectors often have very flexible and strong ankles. Sometimes the coconut monkeys from Koh Yao or Krabi get the monkeys to climb the trees, twist the nuts which fall to the ground.
Phi Phi Island coconuts are not particularly sweet and though Bang Pa sells the original down near Arida (Health Center) most of the coconuts come from either Krabi or Phuket Provinces.
Coconut milk for curry.
Dried coconut white that forms in old coconuts is scraped out of the nuts by small grinding machines. (Coconut powder is squeezed, the milk that comes out is coconut curry milk).
Coconut wood is immensely dense and tough, which you would know if you have ever tried to hammer a nail into it. It does however turn mush if left untreated in the rain for more than 2-3 seasons. Planks of coconut are used extensively on local Phi Phi houses and staff quarters in the hotels.
Families on Phi Phi Island Take Note
Coconuts fall off more often in winds May to October and weigh about 10kg. Check if there are coconuts in trees above where you sit.
Last Updated: 04 Mar 2010