The islandof Ko Tao is one of the country's true tropical gems. Blessed with postcard like beaches and hidden bays, tourists from many different countries come again year after year to experience the unforgettable Thai culture.
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 inverted down turtle whilst others say its from the days when the water surrounding KohTaowere rich with turtles and Koh Taowas their breeding site.
It seems wierd that such a tourist paradise should have been originally earmarked as a prison.
About 1947, Khun A-Paiwong, Thailand's Prime Minister at the time, asked for & received a royal pardon for the islands political prisoners and thanks to a affable act by His Majesty the King. They were repatriated and conveyed to Suratthani on the mainland and the island was uninhabited once more. This was in the same year that the original people laid claim to a big portion of terrain on what is now recognized as Sairee Beach. These were the twin brothers Khun Ueam and Khun Oh who reached Koh Tao by a small boat from the neighbouring island of Ko Phangan.
Engrossed by the beautiful coral reefs surrounding Koh Tao, and the increase in recreational scuba diving, a quantity of companies set up a diving shop on the island. These enterprises in turn constructed resortsfor their customers, and over the years many of these places changed into a quite plush.
Surrounded by crystal clear waters, Koh Taohas naturally become in the last years to a scuba diversfavorite destination in Asia.
It has lots to offer but it still hasn't lost what attracted backpackershere in the first place, it's still a little piece of tropical paradise for everyone to share and enjoy.
Local farmers and fishermen recognised that business people from outside Thailand were developing Ko Tao to accommodate all these new customers and they too instantly launched a businesses to fulfil all the visitors demands.