The first settlers lives consisted of picking coconuts, growing fruit & vegetables and sustaining themselves through fishing.
About 1947, Khun A-Paiwong, Thailands Prime Minister at the time, requested & received a royal pardon for the islands political prisoners and thanks to a gracious act by His Majesty the King. They were released and transported to Suratthani on the mainland and the islandwas isolated once more. This was in the same year that the original people started to claim a big portion of terrain on what is now recognized as Sai Ree Beach. These were the twin brothers Khun Ueam and Khun Oh who came to Ko Tao by a boat from the neighbouring islandof KohPhangan.
The name KohTao means Turtle Island; some say that the name is due to the islands shape which is meant to look like an inverted down turtle whilst others say its from the days when the sea surrounding Koh Tao was swimming with turtles and the island was their breeding ground.
Arrivals & departures were on the local coconut boats, and even then delays of several days were common practice, so back to the hammock and the world of dreams, the boat will come another day.
Starting withing the first A-Frame bamboo and coconut bungalowsright on the beach for twenty Thai Baht for a day, to very simple thatched bungalows, the local Thai clans reacted swiftly to this incursion of outsiders otherwise known as Farangs, by adapting to the business.
Ko Tao's reputation spread and quickly improved as it generally became known throughout the world through international travellers and adventurous visitors. Koh Taonow has 24 hour electricity on the islandtoo and finally they have had a water reservoir built to make sure that even in the dry periods there is enough water for all.
The Islandhas many popular things to do one being snorkeling at most of Ko Tao beaches.