A culture shock to many, but generally the islandreacted 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 restaurants offering cuisine from around the world.
Ko Tao's standing spread and rapidly improved as it widely became known all over the world through adventurous visitors and international travellers.
Ko Toa is a very small island, only 22 square kilometres with nearly half of that too rough to attain. At first the island was not populated, frequented only by fisherman from nearby islands while looking for shelter during heavy storms or when they require fresh water and supplies. It seems bizarre that such a tourist paradise should have been in earlier times set up as a prison. Odd, but true. From about 1933 until 1947 the island was home to political prisoners. Being nearly seventy kilometers from the nearby mainland meant it was moderately escape proof! Alcatraz...piece of cake. KohTao is surrounded by a lot of Whale sharks & Black Tip Sharks as well.
Despite KohTao still being under Royal Patronage, plots of land were claimed, and cleared for coconut plantations. You can still see lots of evidence of the huge plantations all over the island.
In the early days getting to KoTao required a treacherous boat journey from the main land or near by islands, if and when the weatherand seas permitted but the population of the islandcontinued to grow steadily all the same, even when simple life was hard without much reward.
The name KohTaomeans Turtle Island; many say that the name is due to the islands outline which is meant to appear to be an inverted turtle whilst many others say it is from the day's when the sea nearby the islandwas rich with turtles and the island was their breeding spot.
Here they found some thing more then just a new island to explore and soon the backpackernetwork was buzzing about the wonderful newly found island paradise of KoTao.
Mesmerised by the beautiful beaches, the back of beyond aura, and of course the cheap living, backpackerssoon arrived in droves.
You can book for a wide range of Guesthouses and Bungalowson Ko Tao for differnt kind of budget, availible for online reservationprovided by PhanganIsland.com. KohTaoisland is situated approximately 75 km east of the coastline inbetween Suratthani and Chumporn in the Gulf of Thailand and is about 22 kilometer in size - so small but not too small.