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Sunday, 9 November 2014

Coconut workplace in Hua Thanon

If you're on your way down to the Sweet Sisters cafe, the 100 year old house or the distillery in the Ban Thale / Hua Thanon area, you may pass this very traditional coconut workplace.

Coconut workplace entrance

The entrance to the premises

This workplace is very much Samui old style tradition! Coconuts bought around the island, for anywhere between 2-3 Baht per coconut (pending on the season, demand, etc) are gathered here and being worked on.

Coconut workplace piles of coconuts

Piles of coconuts are everywhere

Coconut workplace piles of coconuts

Working the coconuts

First thing is to sort them out for being usable, a job already started by the collector and secondly and very important, is splitting the coconut open with a sharp object, the sea-am เสียม, mounted on a wooden pole (as pictured below). Once the coconut is split open, it will allow access to the coconut meat, which is scraped out of the nuts and gathered.

Coconut workplace scenic view

Smouldering remains of coconuts

The coconut meat is than used for many applications, like making virgin coconut oil or coconut sun lotion. Both products are being sold here on the premises at the shop.
The sea-am เสียม is a popular decoration item and comes in many different forms and shapes. The Natural Museum in Lamai has several on display.

Coconut workplace splitter

The splitter or sea-am เสียม

Coconut farming was the main source of income on Samui, besides fishing, back before the island was discovered as a tourist destination, back in the 1970's. Samui was one of the main providers of coconuts in Thailand, back in those days and many local people had monkeys to climb the trees and release the coconuts.
Traditionally, the 'good' or favorite children received the land plots with the valuable coconut trees inland and the less favored children or sometimes 'the black sheep' in the family received ownership of the at the time being 'useless' beach land. 
How times have changed!

Coconut workplace the shop

The shop selling virgin coconut oil and more related articles

This workplace is one of the few places left on the island where coconuts are being processed and is well worth a visit, to see come old style and traditional handy craft work in process.

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