The first settlers lives consisted of collecting coconuts, growing vegetables and fruit and providing for themselves with fishing.
During the last 12 odd years the islandhas changed in many ways as it developed to become one of the largest divedestinations in Thailand, attracting all levels of diversand water lovers alike.
On the 18th of june 1899, His Majesty the King Chulalongkorn (Rama V 1868-1910) visited KohTao and left his monogram as evidence on a huge boulder at Jor Por Ror Bay next to Sairee Beach.
And yes, you can still snorkel with sharks, and perhaps the odd turtle too, just check out our web site for all the local dive centres available.
From the original A-Frame coconut and bamboo huts right on the beach for twenty Thai Baht a day, to very simple thatched huts, the native Phangan families decided quickly to this incursion of outsiders otherwise named Farangs, by adapting to it.
It seems wierd that such a tourist paradise should have been originally setup as a prison.
The name KoTao means Turtle Island; some say that the name is from the islands shape which is meant to look like an upside down turtle whilst other people say its from the days when the water around KoTao was swimming with turtles and the islandwas their breeding area.
This was at the same time that the first settlers laid claim to a large portion of land on what is now known as Sairee Beach.