In the 1930's, the
Thai government realised the strategic advantage of Koh Tao as
a penal colony and started to relocate a number of political prisoners
from camps on the west coast to a new facility built on the island.
island, surrounded for miles by ocean, there was little or no
chance of escape.
In 1944 with
a change of government, after all prisoners were freed and given
an official pardon, the prison camp was closed down. As 'regular'
people started to arrive, three main settlements emerged and to
this day, Haad Sairee, Ban Mae Haad and Chalok Ban Kao.
Koh Samui and Koh Phangan, Koh Tao remained untouched by tourism
for many years. Then, in the late 1980's the first Samui based
dive operators began running overnight live-aboard trips and were
amazed by what they saw.....
clear waters boasting an awesome array of colour and coral reefs,
alive with an incredible diversity of marine life.
operators began re-locating to Koh Tao realizing they had uncovered
a wealth of untouched beauty.
Tao remains one of S.E. Asia's most beautiful islands and has
the image of a "picture-postcard" tropical escape!