It began with the first bamboo and coconut bungalowsnext to the beach for twenty Baht a day, to quite simple thatched bungalows, the local Thai families reacted swiftly to this incursion of strangers otherwise named Farangs, by adapting . KohTaois a small island, only twenty two square kilometres and practically half of that too steep to access. In the begining the islandwas not populated, visited only by fishermen from nearby islands when in search of shelter during thunderstorms or when in need of clean water and food. It seems bizarre that such a tourist paradise should have been at first earmarked as a top-security prison. Odd, but true. From about 1933 until 1947 the islandwas home to political prisoners. Being virtually 70 kilometers from the mainland meant it was moderately escape proof! Alcatraz...piece of cake. KoTao is surrounded by a lot of Black Tip & Whale sharks too.
Local fishermen and farmers realised that major business people from other places were developing their island to accommodate to the needs of all these new customers and they also, quickly started to open their own businesses to fulfill all the clienteles demands.
During the last 10 odd years the island has changed in many ways as it developed to become one of the largest dive operation centres in Thailand, bringing all levels of divers and water lovers alike.
Surrounded by crystal clear waters, Ko Tao changed in the last years to a scuba diversfavorite destination in SE Asia.
The islandwas still under Royal Patronage in the early days, but it didn't inhibit these fortune seekers from staking their claim. The very first generation of todays community started settling when they brought their families to KoToa and began to farm and reap the rich earth and natural resources the islandhad to offer. Even though it still being under Royal Patronage, plots of land were claimed, and vacated for plantations. You can still see loads of proof of the huge plantations all over the island.
Engrossed by the beautiful coral reefs around KohTao, and the growth in recreational scuba diving, a quantity of enterprises established a scuba diving shop on Koh Tao. These enterprises in turn built accommodationfor their clientele, and after a while quite a few of these places changed into a quite plush. Koh Taois small; 21 square kilometer and fifty percent of that too steep to access.