Strange, but true, from 1933-1947 Ko Tao was home to political prisoners. Being located approximately 65 km from Suratthani or Chumporn meant it was fairly escape proof! Alcatraz...piece of cake.
They were the twin brothers Khun Ueam and Khun Oh who reached the islandby boat from the next islandof Kohphangan, Koh Taowas still under Royal Patronage in those days but it didn't stop these fortune seekers from claiming their stake of land.
The Island has to offer many popular activities one being snorkeling at many of Kohtao bays.
A enormous range of fishes and some amazing coral reefs offer divers unrivalled adventures. Other activities now include trekking and Mountain Treks.
Their lives mainly consisted of cultivating coconuts, developing fruit & vegetables and of course sustaining themselves with fishing. In those days reaching Ko Toa required a treacherous boat journey from the nearby islands or the main land, if and when the seas and weatherpermitted, but the inhabitants continued to enlarge progressively all the same, even when the easy life was hard and without a great deal of return.
The given name Ko Toa means Turtle Island; many say that the designation is due to the islands shape which is meant to look like an inverted turtle while others declare it's from the days when the sea nearby the islandwas rich with turtles and the islandwas their breeding grounds.
Attracted by the outstanding coral reefs surrounding KoTao, and the quick growth in sport scuba diving, quite a few companies have set up diving businesses on Koh Tao, these companies in turn developed resortsfor their customers, and over the years several of these resortshave become quite plush.
Departures and arrivals were on the local coconut boats, and even then delays of several days were common place, so back to the hammock and the world of dreams, the boat will come another day.