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kohtao

kohtao

Koh Tao

Koh Tao, in area of 21 sq.kms. is one of the most smallest inhabited islands in the archipelago translated as Turtle island because of its similar shape to the aquatic reptile.

Located 70 km east of the Suratthani coast line and about 50 kms north east from Koh Phangan, the islad was used as a political prison for Barworndej rebels in 1933, and participants of the coup in 1938. The deep rough sea was the strong natural barrier dividing the two worlds.

October 20, 1944, Khun A-Paiwong, prime minister at the time pleaded for royoal pardon for all prisoners on the island. Three years later everybody was released and taken to the Suratthani shore. The "Turtle" was abandoned but was not left alone for long.

In 1947 the first generation of today's community arrived on Koh Tao. Even though the island was still under royal patronage, it didn't stop the first pioneers, the two brothers Grandfather Ueam & Oh, who started to claim their land on the western side, geographically laying flat at the foot of the mountain, well sheltered from storms and monsoon.

They had a very simple and tough life harvesting coconuts, fishing and growing vegetables. The excess produce was sold to Koh Phangan.

If you look closely, you can see that from Sairee, at the north, through Mae Haad to Chalok Baan Kao, the coconut trees are fairly tall, their shadows covering the shore. This is where the inhabitants in the early era started planting.

Then, the population continued growing. Getting to the island was still a rather long and difficult, sometimes even dangerous journey, using small fishing boats.

In the eighties the first back-packers discovered the Island and their special info-network quickly made it a popular destination. Soon enough bigger, faster and safer transportation was provided.


Then, the population continued growing. Getting to the island was still a rather long and difficult, sometimes even dangerous journey, using small fishing boats.

In the eighties the first back-packers discovered the Island and their special info-network quickly made it a popular destination. Soon enough bigger, faster and safer transportation was provided.

In the middle nineties the reputation Koh Tao gained for its serenity and beauty, especially its marine life and coral reefs, spread widely and caused an explosion of visitors from around the world.

Consequently, many relevant business expanded rapidly to serve the needs of new comers and the island today, yet remaining a absolute paradise, has to offer a wide range of facilities, especially regarding scuba diving.

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