Fascinated by the beautiful coral reefs around KohTao, and the development in recreational scuba diving, some enterprises established a diving shop on the island. These enterprises in turn built resortsfor their clientele, and after a while a lot of these resortschanged into a quite developed places.
Straight after the terrible events of the December 2004 Tsunami, the caliber of tourist coming to the islandhave changed, before it had been a Mecca for back packers, year out students along their way south to Malaysia and beyond.
Local fishermen and farmers realised that business people from other places were developing their island to accommodate to the needs of all these new customers and they also, immediately began to open their own businesses to fulfill all the customers demands.
KoToa is a very small island, only 22 sq km and practically half of that too rugged to reach. At first the island was not populated, frequented only by fisherman from nearby islands when seeking refuge during storms or when they require fresh water and supplies. It seems peculiar that such a tourist paradise should have been originally set up as a prison. Bizarre, but true. From about 1933 until 1947 the island was home to political prisoners. Being nearly 70 km from the nearby mainland meant it was somewhat escape proof! Alcatraz...piece of cake. KoTao is surrounded by a lot of Whale sharks & Black Tip Sharks too.
Kho Tao is situated in a amazing paradise full of coconut palms and crystal clear turquoise waters.
Despite Koh Taostill being under Royal Patronage, plots of land were claimed, and cleared for coconut plantations. You will still see lots of evidence of the large coconut plantations all over the island.
During the last twelve years Koh Toa has transformed in a number of ways as it developed to become one of the main divedestinations in Southeast Asia, drawing all levels of water lovers and diversalike.
On the 18th of june 1899, His Majesty the King Chulalongkorn (Rama V 1868-1910) visited the islandand left his monogram as evidence on a huge rock at Jor Por Ror Bay near Sairee Beach.