Ko Tao is surrounded by big sharks too, nice friendly ones fortunately.
About 1947, Khun A-Paiwong, Thailand's Prime Minister at that time, asked for & received a royal pardon for the islands inmates and thanks to a affable act by His Majesty the King. They were repatriated and conveyed to Suratthani on the mainland and the islandwas isolated yet again. This was in the same year that the initial settlers started to claim a large portion of terrain on what is currently known as Sai Ree Beach. These were the twin brothers Khun Ueam and Khun Oh who came to KoTao by a boat from the neighbouring islandof Koh Phangan.
Ko Tao now has 24 hour electricity on the island too and finally they have had a water reservoir made to ensure that even in the dry season there is enough water for all.
A culture shock to many, but generally the island reacted 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 is a small islandnext to famous Samui.
Strange, but true, from 1933-1947 Koh Taohoused political prisoners. Being situated about 70 kilometres from the mainland meant it was fairly escape proof! Alcatraz...piece of cake.
It seems strange that such a tourist tropical paradise should have been first setup as a prison.
Ko Tao is a little island, only 22 sq km with half of that too steep to attain. To begin with the islandwas not populated, visited only by fishermen from nearby islands while looking for cover during heavy storms or when in need of fresh water and food. It seems strange that such a tourist paradise should have been in earlier times earmarked as a penal island. Odd, but true. From about 1933 until 1947 the island was home to political prisoners. Being virtually seventy kilometers from the nearby mainland meant it was somewhat escape proof! Alcatraz...piece of cake. KohTaois surrounded by lots of Whale sharks & Black Tip Sharks too.