Ko Tao is petite; 22 square kilometer and half of that too steep to access.
Around 1947, Khun A-Paiwong, Thailand's Prime Minister at that time, asked for and received a royal pardon for the islands inmates and thanks to a affable act by His Majesty the King. They were repatriated and moved to Suratthani on the mainland and the islandwas abandoned yet again. This was the same year that the first settlers started to claim a large piece of land on what is nowadays recognized as Sairee Beach. These were the two brothers Khun Ueam and Khun Oh who reached Koh Taoby a small boat from the next islandof Ko Phangan.
Surrounded by pure clear waters, Kho Tao is about to become in the last years to a divers top destination in Asia.
Kohtao has many popular things to do one being diving at many of Kohtao bays.
Departures and arrivals were on the local coconut boats, and even then delays of several days were common place, so back to the hammock and a world of dreams, the boat will come another day.
The islandwas still under Royal Patronage in the early days, but it didn't inhibit these fortune seekers from making their claim. The very first generation of today's community started settling when they brought their families to Koh Toa and began to farm and yield the rich earth and natural resources on offer. In spite of it still being under Royal Patronage, acres of land were claimed, and vacated for plantations. You can still see plenty of verification of the large coconut plantations throughout the island.
The name Ko Tao means Turtle Island; some say that the name is due to the islands shape which is meant to look like an upside down turtle whilst others claim its from the days when the sea surrounding KohTaowere rich with turtles and the islandwas their breeding area. Kohtaohas unnumbered beautiful beaches and coves.