Engrossed by the beautiful coral reefs around Ko Tao, and the escalation in recreational scuba diving, a number of enterprises started a diving businesses on the island. These enterprises in turn developed accommodationfor their customers, and after a while a lot of these places transformed into quite luxurious.
Ko Tao has a lot of popular things to do one being diving at many of Kho Tao beaches.
Despite KoTao 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 plantations all over the island.
During the last thirteen years Ko Toa has changed in many ways as it developed to become one of the major dive destinations in Thailand, attracting all levels of water lovers and divers alike.
In the beginning of 80's brought to KoToa some of the first travellers from KohPhanganwho were seeking for something innovative away from the masses and crowds who were going barmy for the full moon party on KohPhangan. Here they found something more than just a new islandto explore and soon the back-packer network was buzzing about the superb newly found islandparadise. Mesmerised by the striking pure white beaches, the back of beyond aura, and of course the inexpensive living, backpackerssoon came in droves. Arrivals and departures were on the local coconut boats, and even then delays of several days were common. Back to the hammock and a world of dreams; The boat comes another day . Consequently, as its reputation for beautiful nature, extraordinary marine life and wonderful landscapes grew, easier access was offered when enhanced and safer boats were brought in to deal with the number of back-packers, being attracted to the island.
This was at the same time that the first settlers laid claim to a large part of land on which is now known as Sairee Beach.
From the days of being a prison, through to its current redevelopment, Turtle island has retained it's magic, though it now caters for everybodys needs and budgets. KohTaois a small island, only 21 sq km with practically half of that too rugged to get to. To begin with the island was not inhabited, visited only by fisherman from nearby islands when seeking refuge during storms or when they require clean water and supplies. It seems out of the ordinary that such a tourist paradise should have been initially earmarked as a prison. Bizarre, but true. From 1933 until 1947 the island housed political prisoners. Being nearly seventy km from the mainland meant it was fairly escape proof! Alcatraz...piece of cake. Ko Toa is surrounded by lots of Whale sharks and Black Tip Sharks too.