Around 1947, Khun A-Paiwong, Thailands Prime Minister at the time, requested and received a royal pardon for the islands prisoners and thanks to a affable act by His Majesty the King. They were released and conveyed to Suratthani on the nearby mainland and the islandwas discarded yet again. This was in the same year that the first settlers started to claim a big part of land on what is now recognized as Sai Ree Beach. These were the two brothers Khun Ueam and Khun Oh who came to KoTao by a boat from the neighbouring islandof Ko Phangan.
Not like a few years ago, visitors can get today everything from economical plain wooden huts with thatched roofs to graceful high-class places with private facilities and swimming pool.
During the last 12 odd years the island has changed in many different ways as it developed to become one of the largest dive operation centres in Thailand, bringing all levels of divers and water lovers alike.
Koh Tao is a natural paradise with many swaying palms and bright turquoise waters.
Strange, but true, from 1933-1947 KohTaohoused political prisoners. Being situated about 75 km from the mainland meant it was hard to escape from! Alcatraz...piece of cake.
On June the 18th 1899, His Majesty the King Chulalongkorn visited Koh Taoand left his monogram as evidence on a huge boulder at Jor Por Ror Bay next to Sairee Beach.
From the original bamboo A-Frame huts on the beach for 20 Baht a night, to simple thatched bungalows, the local Thai families reacted quickly to this influx of backpackersother wise known as Ferangs.
Engrossed by the outstanding coral reefs surrounding Koh Toa, and the increase in recreational scuba diving, some companies established a scuba diving businesses on Koh Tao. These enterprises in turn constructed resortsfor their clients, and over the years several of these resorts transformed into quite plush.