DJs, producers, and trumpet and trombone players Matthew Busch and Matt Waters, a.k.a. IMT have been on a whirlwind musical journey since 2009. The two reunited in 2017 when they simultaneously moved to Haikou, China. A fusion of live horns and house, this duo from Los Angeles is pushing what it means to perform dance music. Their sound has been described as a ‘medley of jazz, funk, and house’, and has consistently kept clubs moving and beach parties grooving. They recently released their debut LP ‘First Inversion’ via HMP Records. The new album features a blend of soaring trumpet sounds paired alongside funky house music production elements.
Since moving to China, the duo and great coconut lovers have made it their thing to find the best coconuts on the island of Hainan. As whole nut, ice cream or coconut milk-infused coffee – they found all the variations, but most importantly the spots where you can enjoy it with good music. In this Electronic Music Travel Guide they reveal the top five coconut spots in Haikou, China for you.
The shop downstairs in Guomao, next to their studio
Ask anyone who’s anyone where their favorite coconut spot is located, their answer will most definitely be “the shop downstairs/across from/next to our apartment.” Ours is no different. Our self-built recording studio is located right in the heart of Guomao, the downtown business district, and our go-to spot to grab an ice-cold, shaved, perfectly ripened coconut is no more than 40 meters from the ground floor of the 18-story building. The family who own the shop always greet us with a smile stretching from ear-to-ear. Ask nicely, and they’ll split them open for you to get at the flesh. The price of coconuts here has gone up in the past year due to demand on the mainland, from 8 RMB to an eye-watering 12 RMB (that’s 1.58 Euros or 1.85 USD). Still worth it.
Wholesale coconut street on Xingang Road
As I’m sure you are all asking, “but what if I need a lot of coconuts?” The best spot to get a truckload of your favorite tropical fibrous one-seeded drupe is on Xingang Road. This is the best spot to kick back and admire the trucks offloading and loading cages of coconuts from farm to your local shop or restaurant. Here you can find multiple varieties of coconuts, from miniature, just sprouted yellows to young greens and old and fleshy (our favorites). If your Chinese is up to snuff, haggle with the distributor for a great rate.
Coconut ice cream and coconut milk-infused coffee at Qiloud Old Street
If you’re feeling touristy, head down to Qilou to take in some architecture and tasty coconut treats at Coconut House. From coconut ice creams, chilled coconut milk with frozen fruit to coconut milk-infused coffee, this is a great place to take a load off during a sweltering subtropical day and enjoy some of Hainan’s finest coconut delicacies. Across the street in an intimate second-floor bar, we debuted our live set, chock full of live looping and manipulation of brass sounds.
Live DJs and coconuts at Holiday Beach in the west of downtown Haikou
Fancy a beach day? Head down to Holiday beach, a short 20-minute drive to the west of downtown Haikou to soak up the sun. Cages of sweet Hainan nectar line the beach every hundred or so meters. A lovely bunch of coconuts is a staple at our regular beach parties, replete with live DJs and the occasional fire spinner. Crack one open and top it up with your favorite spirit, or limes and shaken, if that’s your preference.
Fire-branded coconuts at Haikou Ritz Carlton
Last but certainly the most bougie is the fire-branded coconuts at the Haikou Ritz Carlton, located about 25 minutes south of downtown overlooking a stellar set of golf courses. The price may be marked up a tad from retail, but what can beat a pool-side refresher with some Tropical House on tap with close friends.
Do you love coffee with coconut milk? Check out the best coffee places worldwide according to Wehbba.
Pictures by IMT