This small islandwas still under Royal Patronage in those days, but it didn't prevent these fortune hunters from staking their claim. The first generation of todays community started settling when they brought their families to KoTao and began to farm and yield the rich soil and natural resources on offer. Although it still being under Royal Patronage, pieces of land were claimed, and cleared for coconut plantations. You can still see loads of verification of the large coconut plantations everywhere on the island.
From the days of being a prison camp, through to its current development, Turtle islandhas retained it's magic, though it now caters for everyones needs and costs.
Initially this tiny island had no one living on it, visited only by fisherman from near by islands when looking for shelter during storms or when in need of fresh water and supplies.
Strange, but true, from 1933 until 1947 the island housed political prisoners. Being situated about 70 kilometres from Suratthani or Chumporn meant it was fairly escape proof! Alcatraz...piece of cake.
Consequently, as its reputation for beautiful nature, unique marine life and beautiful landscapes got bigger, easier access was made available when better built were brought in to cope with the number of visitors being attracted to the island.Koh Tao is a beautiful islandnext to famous Samui.
Straight after the horrible events of the December 2004 Tsunami, the type of visitors visiting Koh Taohave changed, before it had been a Mecca for backpackers, year out students along their way Chiang Mai and beyond.
They were all repatriated and transported by boat to Suratthani on the mainland and KoTao was deserted yet again.