Consequently, as its reputation for beautiful nature, unique marine life and beautiful landscapes grew, better access was became available as soon as safer built were brought in to cope with the number of back packers being attracted to the island. KohTaois a very small island, only twenty two sq km and all but half of that too rugged to reach. To begin with the islandwas not populated, visited only by fishermen from nearby islands when in search of a safe haven during thunderstorms or when they require fresh water and supplies. It seems bizarre that such a tourist paradise should have been originally set up as a top-security prison. Odd, but true. From about 1933 until 1947 the islandwas home to political prisoners. Being almost seventy km from the nearby mainland meant it was reasonably escape proof! Alcatraz...piece of cake. KohTaois surrounded by lots of Whale sharks & Black Tip Sharks too.
Over the last twelve years Koh Toa has altered in many ways as it developed to become one of the major dive destinations in Southeast Asia, drawing all levels of divers and water lovers alike.
Around 1947, then Khun A-Paiwong, Thailand's Prime Minister at the time, asked for and received a Royal Pardon for the islands prisoners and thanks to a gracious act by His Majesty the King.
Attracted by the stunning coral reefs surrounding KoTao, and the escalation in recreational scuba diving, a number of companies started a scuba diving businesses on the island. These enterprises in turn constructed accommodationfor their customers, and over the years many of these places have become quite luxurious.
KoTao's reputation spread and quickly grew as it widely became known all over world through international travellers and adventurous visitors.
The early 80's brought to Ko Tao some of the very first travellers from Ko Phanganwho were looking for something new away from the crowds & masses who were going mad for the full moonparties on Koh Phangan.
During the last 10 odd years the islandhas changed in many ways as it developed to become one of the largest diveoperation centres in Thailand, bringing all levels of diversand water lovers alike.