From the first bamboo A-Frame bungalowson the beach for 20 Baht a night, to simple thatched bungalows, the local Thai families reacted quickly to this influx of strangers other wise known as farangs.
Kho Tao is a place of natural beauty and charm, an island, where you can have a holiday far anyway, kicked back and relaxed or active and fast paced.
The island of Ko Tao is one of the country's real tropical paradise. Blessed with white beaches and secluded bays, visitors from all over the world come back every year to soak up the amazing feeling of the island.
In 1947, Khun A-Paiwong, Thailands Prime Minister at that time, requested & got a royal pardon for the islands political prisoners and thanks to a gracious act by His Majesty the King. They were repatriated and transported to Suratthani on the mainland and the island was uninhabited once more. This was the same year that the first settlers laid claim to a large portion of terrain on what is currently known as Sairee Beach. These were the twin brothers Khun Ueam and Khun Oh who came to Koh Tao by a boat from the neighbouring island of Koh Phangan.
Ko Tao is a tiny island, only twenty square kilometres with about half of that too rugged to access. To begin with the islandwas not colonized, visited only by fishermen from nearby islands while in search of a safe haven during heavy storms or when they require fresh water and supplies. It seems odd 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 islandhoused political prisoners. Being almost seventy kilometers from the mainland meant it was comparatively escape proof! Alcatraz...piece of cake. KoToa is surrounded by loads of Black Tip & Whale sharks too.
Consequently, as its reputation for gorgeous nature, unique marine life and beautiful landscapes got bigger, better access was became available as soon as better constructed were brought in to cope with the number of back packers being attracted to the island.
In those days getting to KoTao required a treacherous boat trip from the main land or near by islands, if and when the seas &weatherpermitted but the population of the island continued to grow steadily all the same, even when simple life was hard without much reward.
Departures and arrivals were on the local coconut boats, and even then delays of several days were common place, so back to the hammock and a world of dreams, the boat will come another day.