On the 18th of june 1899, the then king of Thailand King Chulalongkorn (Rama 5 1868-1910) visited Koh Taoand left his monogram as evidence on a huge rock at Jor Por Ror Bay near Sairee Beach.
Over the last thirteen years Koh Toa has changed in a number of ways as it developed to become one of the foremost divedestinations in Southeast Asia, drawing all levels of water lovers and diversalike.
Ko Toa is a very little island, only 21 square kilometres and just about half of that too harsh to access. In the begining the island was not colonized, frequented only by fishermen from nearby islands when seeking a safe haven during heavy storms or when they require fresh water and food. It seems odd that such a tourist paradise should have been initially earmarked as a penal island. Strange, but true. From 1933 until 1947 the island was home to political prisoners. Being almost seventy kilometers from the mainland meant it was fairly escape proof! Alcatraz...piece of cake. KohTao is surrounded by loads of Black Tip ans Whale sharks as well.
Over the last thirteen years Koh Toa has changed in a number of ways as it developed to become one of the foremost dive destinations in Southeast Asia, drawing all levels of water lovers and divers alike.
Arrivals & departures were on the local coconut boats, and even then delays of several days were common practice, so back to the hammock and a world of dreams, the boat will come another day.
These days, you can find everything from cheap simple bamboo bungalowswith thatched roofs to elegant up-market villas with their very own exclusive swimming pool.
In the late 1990's Koh Tao's first, and until recently, only road was built, the road runs North to South from the far side of Sairee to the southern settlement of Chalok Baan Kao.
A new road is being developed on the way to Tanote Bay, and once finised it will open up the other side of Koh Taofor better development, it is accessable with care at the moment with 4x4.
This small islandwas still under Royal Patronage in those days, but it did not stop those fortune hunters from staking their claim. The very first generation of today's community started to settle when they brought their families to KohTaoand began to farm and reap the rich soil and natural resources the islandhad to offer. Although it still being under Royal Patronage, pieces of land were claimed, and vacated for coconut plantations. You can still see plenty of confirmation of the very large coconut plantations everywhere on the island.
All the prisoners were all pardoned and transported by boat to Suratthani on the mainland and Koh Taowas deserted yet again.