KohTaoIsland.net - Accommodation and Diving Guide for Koh Tao Koh Tao means Turtle Island; some of Whale sharks and green turquoise waters.
The name Koh Phangan who were common practice so back packers soon as soon as it will open up the then setbacks of swaying palm trees
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Koh Tao and Koh Nang Yuan

Koh Tao Island Facts:

Did you know that:

  • The Island covers an area of just about 21 km², most of it mountains and tropical jungle.
  • Koh Tao literally translated means Turtle Island,
  • Koh Tao also has more coconuts per square kilometer than anywhere else on earth
  • Island population is approximately 5000 locals
  • The economy of the island is almost exclusively centered around tourism, especially scuba diving
  • Island does now have cell phone towers, internet access and ATM's
  • 95% of all traffic on the island is motorbikes, with mopeds and dirt bikes being the main mode of transport
  • Koh Tao has no airport


History of Koh Tao - From Prison to a Diver's Paradise

It was supposedly discovered by King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) 1868-1910, who traveled around Koh Phangan and up to Koh Tao, writing his name in the form of etchings with gold leaf.

Around 1930 Koh Tao was used as a political prison, Koh Tao has evolved into a paradise for travellers, divers and backpackers from all around the world. Koh Tao's distance from the mainland, the island is 85 km from Chumphon province and 120 km from Surat Thani, kept prisoners from escaping.

In 1944, Prime Minister Khun A-Paiwong, pleaded royal pardon for all prisoners on the island and three years later all were released. At this time the journey was dangerous and long, but these early settlers had to spend more than 12 hours crossing over on sailboats from Koh Phangan Island, even it was just 45 km away. It's hard to believe that only some forty years ago pirates were still seen in these waters. It was around that time too that Thai farmers came to the island from Koh Phangan and Chumphon to planted the first Coconut Trees. Coconut farming soon flourished into a local economy and a small marketplace formed

About 15 years ago, the first backpackers turned up on the island. Words about its unspoiled beauty , many beaches and bays as well as long stretches of coral reefs that surrounding the island - are passed on from one tourist to another. An eco-tourism economy spawned and with it's constant demand the scuba business grew and the first bungalows were built. The 1990's brought more growth to Koh Tao, and the first roads were paved. Koh Tao has no monster discos like Koh Samui to offer, but for parties, there is always nearby Koh Phangan.

Since the main attraction is diving - the beaches remain tranquil and uncrowded while facilities, food and accommodation have greatly improved since the early days of turism. Today faster, more efficient ferries providing better access to the paradise island. The basic bungalows of the past have now been supplemented by new resorts with 24 hour air-conditioning and better facilities. The island, though, still remains a beautiful and unspoilt paradise.

You may not be a prisoner here, but you can still escape the trappings of society and simply chill out on an isolated beach and giving thanks to the perfect existence that beholds you. The irony of the historic prison camp here is that on these same beaches today people are paying to be temporarily deserted.

Koh Tao is one of these 'must-see places' for divers, holidaymakers and adventurers worldwide. The island is one of the premier dive spots in Thailand and, officially, the cheapest place in the world for PADI certification. It is also one of the few places in the world where during the right season (March-June) divers can swim with whale sharks, the largest fish in the world.



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