Starting withing the original A-Frame bamboo and coconut bungalowson the beach for twenty Baht for a night, to quite simple thatched houses, the local Phangan clans decided rapidly to this influx of visitors otherwise known as Farangs, by adapting to it.
Local farmers and fishermen grasped that merchants from outside Thailand were expanding their islandto provide all these new visitors and they too without delay initated a businesses to fulfil all the clients demands.
Here they discovered some thing more then just a new island to explore and soon the back packer network was buzzing about the fantastic newly found tropical island paradise of Ko Tao.
Mesmerised by the pure white sandy beaches, the back of beyond aura, and of course the cheap living, backpackers soon arrived in droves.
The name Koh Tao means Turtle Island; some say that the name is from the islands shape which is meant to look like an upside down turtle whilst others say its from the days when the sea surrounding KoTao was rich with turtles and the island was their breeding area.
The prisoners were all pardoned and transported by boat to Suratthani on the mainland and Koh Taowas deserted yet again.
Suddenly the islandferries were disgorging people with suitcases, not backpacks, portable computers not guitars, and what is this; trainers not flip-flops?!, and some had children as well.
About 1947, Khun A-Paiwong, Thailand's Prime Minister at the time, asked for & got a royal pardon for the islands inmates and thanks to a gracious act by His Majesty the King. They were released and moved to Suratthani on the mainland and the islandwas uninhabited yet again. This was the same year that the first settlers started to claim a large segment of land on what is currently identified as Sairee Beach. These were the twin brothers Khun Ueam and Khun Oh who came to Ko Tao by a boat from the next island of Koh Phangan.
Throughout the last twelve years KohTaohas transformed in many ways as it strived to become one of the main diveislands in Southeast Asia, drawing all levels of diversand water lovers alike.