The early 80's brought to KoTao some of the first travellers from full moon party on Koh Phangan. Here they discovered something more than just a new islandto explore and soon the back-packer groups were vivacious about the breathtaking newly found islandparadise. Mesmerised by the outstanding crystal white beaches, the back of beyond aura, and of course the cheap living, backpackerssoon came in droves. Arrivals and departures were on the local coconut boats, and even then setbacks of several days were frequent. Back to the hammocks and a world of dreams; The boat comes another day . Consequently, as its status for beautiful nature, excellent marine life and remarkable landscapes grew, simple access was obtainable when improved and safer boats were brought in to cope with the number of visitors, being engrossed to the island.
Straight after the horrible events of the December 2004 Tsunami, the caliber of tourist visiting Ko Tao have changed, before it had been a Mecca for backpackers, young travellers along their way North to Bangkok and beyond.
The prisoners were all repatriated and transported by boat to Suratthani on the mainland and Koh Tao was deserted yet again.
Attracted by the wonderful coral reefs surrounding Koh Tao, and the quick growth in sport diving, a number of companies have established dive businesses on Koh Tao, these companies in turn developed exclusive resorts for their customers, and over the years several of these resorts have become quite plush.
From the original bamboo A-Frame huts on the beach for 25 Baht a night, to simple thatched bungalows, the local Thai families reacted quickly to this influx of strangers other wise known as farangs.
The first generation of today's community (began,started] settling when they brought their families and began to harvest and cultivate the rich) soil and natural resources Koh Taostill being under Royal Patronage, plots of land were claimed, and cleared for coconut plantations. You can still see plenty of evidence of the large coconut plantations all over the island.
It seems wierd that such a tourist tropical paradise should have been originally earmarked as a prison.
During the last 11 odd years the islandhas changed in many different ways as it developed to become one of the largest divedestinations in Thailand, bringing all levels of diversand water lovers alike.