Straight after the terrible events of the December 2004 Tsunami, the caliber of visitors coming to Ko Tao have changed, before it had been a Mecca for backpackers, young travellers along their way Chiang Mai and beyond.
Attracted by the wonderful coral reefs surrounding Ko Tao, and the growth in sport scuba diving, a number of companies have started diving businesses on the island, these companies in turn developed resortsfor their customers, and over the years several of these resortshave become quite plush.
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 coconut plantations all over the island.
These days, you can find everything from cheap simple bamboo huts with palm leaf roofs to exotic high class villas with their own exclusive swimming pool.
In the late 1990's KohTao's very first, and until recently, only road was built, the road runs South to North from the far side of Sairee beach to the southern settlement of Chalok Baan Kao.
A new road is under construction towards Tanote Bay, and once completed it will open up the far side of Koh Tao for greater development, it is accessable with care at the moment with 4x4.
On the 18th of june 1899, the then king of Thailand King Chulalongkorn (Rama 5 1868-1910) visited Ko Tao and left his monogram as evidence on a huge rock at Jor Por Ror Bay next to Sairee Beach.
The early 80's brought to Ko Toa some of the very first travellers from KohPhanganwho were seeking for something new away from the masses and crowds who were going mad for the full moonparties on Ko Phangan. Here they located something more than just a new islandto discover and soon the back-packer groups were vivacious about the amazing newly found islandparadise. Mesmerised by the stunning crystal white beaches, the back of beyond aura, and of course the low-cost living, back-packers soon came in droves. Arrivals and departures were on the local fishing boats, and even then delays of several days were common. Back to the hammocks and a world of dreams; The boat comes another day . Therefore, as its standing for gorgeous nature, excellent marine life and mind-blowing landscapes grew, easier access was obtainable when improved and safer boats were brought in to deal with the number of visitors, being attracted to the island.
No question, Koh Taohas some of most postcard like beaches anywhere in Thailand.
Consequently, as its reputation for fabulous nature, unique marine life and amazing landscapes grew, better access was available when safer built were brought in to cope with the number of back packers being attracted to the island.