The aptly named Coconut Island lies about 500m off Phuket east coast. Home to around 500 inhabitants, a large coconut plantation, Phuket luxury villas and several resorts, this is a tranquil and other-worldly island, that has yet to have mains electricity installed (all the electricity on the island comes from private generators). The islands Thai name is Koh Maphrao (ma phrao is coconut in Thai) and is easily reached by long tail boat, that drops off visitors at Na-haad, the main pier for tourists on the west coast and facing Leam Hin, a popular seafood dining area just north of Phuket Town. Another pier is located on the north and is called Na-baanand; it is mainly used for deliveries and transportation of goods.
The main occupations on the island, after the tourism brought by the resorts, is fishing and farming: rubber
trees, local fruits and vegetables are grown in the central part of the
island with a large quarter of the south west area home to mangrove forests and the famous long-tailed macaques.
Koh Maphrao is home to 3 beaches. The longest one is on the northern coast, in front of the islands main resort and is also perhpas considered the nicest, mainly because the 2 other beaches are close to the piers and can get quite muddy,
so they are less popular among those tourists who come to swim! There is also a road that stretches from one side of the island to the other, a worth while activity is to hire bikes anbd cycle from one end to the other, perhaps the best way to see the rainforests and authentic wooden stilt houses and experience the views over the east coast, well worth the effort of cycling there!
Coconut Island is one of the last undeveloped islands off Phuket, and this may change in the future due to more developers taking an interest and the possibility of mains electricity, but for now remains an idyll for those wishing to get away from it all.