The given name KoTao means Turtle Island; many say that the designation is due to the islands shape which is meant to appear to be an upside down turtle while others declare it is from the day's when the water surrounding the islandwas rich with turtles and the islandwas their breeding grounds.
On the 18th of june 1899, the then king of Thailand King Chulalongkorn (Rama V 1868-1910) visited KohTaoand left his monogram as evidence on a huge rock at Jor Por Ror Bay next to Sairee Beach.
In 1947, then Khun A-Paiwong, Thailand's then Prime Minister, asked for and got a Royal Pardon for Koh Tao's prisoners and thanks to a gracious act by His Majesty the King.
KohTao is surrounded by big sharks too, nice friendly ones fortunately.
Surrounded by pure clear waters, Koh Taoevolved in the grown into a diverstop destination in SE Asia.
This was at the same time that the 1st settlers laid claim to a large part of land on which is now known as Sairee Beach.
Suddenly the islandferries were disgorging people with suitcases, not backpacks, portable computers not guitars, and what is this; sneekers not flip flops?!, and some had children too.
The very first generation of todays community (began,started] settling when they brought over their families and started to cultivate & harvest the rich) soil and natural resources Ko Tao still being under Royal Patronage, plots of land were claimed, and cleared for coconut plantations. You will still see lots of evidence of the huge coconut plantations all over the island.