Latest Efforts Transferring and planting banana trees in Thailand.
Thais use almost every part of the banana tree in addition to the fruits. The leaves can be used as a serving plate, food wrapping, roofing material, ceremonial lanterns and even as a floor polisher. You can find banana leaves on sale in the fresh markets around Chiang Mai, folded up like freshly laundered bed sheets. The soft pith at the center of the trunk is often used to feed pigs, while the outer layers can be used to make string. Banana flowers often appear in salads as well as some stir-fries. But of course it is the plentiful fruit that everyone loves the world over.
Given its many uses, it will come as no surprise that the banana plays an important role in Thai culture as well. You will see bananas as offerings on the alters at homes and businesses, and even at weddings. Because the banana tree grows in any kind of soil, and then bears several suckers that multiply, it signifies abundant food, a long and prosperous life, and a big, united family.