In the begeining this petite islandwas not inhabited, frequented only by local fishermen from near by islands when looking for shelter during thunder storms or when in need of fresh water and supplies.
Now a days, you can get everything from cheap simple bamboo bungalowswith thatched roofs to elegant up-market villas with their own exclusive swimming pool.
In the late 1990's the islands very first, and until recently, only road was built, it runs South to North from the far side of Sairee to the southern settlement of Chalok Baan Kao.
A new road is under construction on the way to Tanote Bay, and when completed it will open up the far side of the islandfor better development, it is accessable with care at the moment with 4x4.
Ko Tao has a lot of popular activities one being scuba diving at most of the island beaches.
The name KoTao means Turtle Island; some say that the name is from the islands shape which is meant to look like an upside down turtle whilst other people maintain its from the days when the water around the island was swimming with turtles and the island was their main breeding site.
Ko Tao is surrounded by big sharks too, nice friendly ones fortunately.
It began with the original bamboo and coconut bungalowson the beach for thrity Thai Baht for a night, to very simple thatched bungalows, the native islandfamilies reacted quickly to this arrival of outsiders otherwise known as Farangs, by adapting to it.
Straight after the terrible events of the December 2004 Tsunami, the type of tourist coming to the islandhave changed, before it had been a Mecca for backpackers, year out students along their way south to Malaysia and beyond.
Consequently, as its reputation for fabulous nature, unique marine life and amazing landscapes got bigger, easier access was made available as soon as safer built were brought in to cope with the large number of backpackersbeing attracted to the island.