Strange, but true, from 1933-1947 Koh Taohoused political prisoners. Being positioned approximately 70 km from Suratthani or Chumporn meant it was very hard to escape from! Alcatraz...piece of cake.
Ko Tao's status expanded and rapidly improved as it extensively became known all over the world through international travellers and adventurous visitors.
During the last 12 years Ko Toa has transformed in a number of ways as it strived to become one of the foremost dive destinations in Thailand, bringing in all levels of water lovers and divers alike.
A enormous range of fishes and some fantastic coral reefs offer divers unrivalled adventures. Other day time activities now include kayaking and Boat tours.
In 1947, then Khun A-Paiwong, Thailand's Prime Minister at the time, requested and received a royal pardon for KohTao's prisoners and with thanks to a gracious act by The King of Thailand.
The islandwas still under Royal Patronage in those days, but it didn't put off those fortune hunters from making their claim. The very first generation of todays community started settling when they brought their families to KoToa and began to cultivate and reap the rich earth and natural resources the islandhad to offer. In spite of it still being under Royal Patronage, pieces of land were claimed, and vacated for plantations. You can still see loads of confirmation of the massive plantations everywhere on the island.
A culture shock to most people, but generally the island reacted with a passion to these new visitors, over the following months much change had taken place, new resorts, with more facilities, a new array of eating establishments offering different food from around the globe.Kohtao is a beautiful island next to famous Samui.