Despite KohTaostill being under Royal Patronage, plots of land were claimed, and cleared for coconut plantations. You will still see lots of evidence of the large plantations all over the island.
The name Ko 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 other people maintain its from the days when the water around Koh Taowas swimming with turtles and Koh Taowas their main breeding site.
From the original bamboo A-Frame bungalows on the beach for 15 Baht a night, to simple thatched bungalows, the local Thai families reacted quickly to this influx of strangers other wise known as Ferangs.
The early 80's brought to Koh Tao some of the first travellers from KoPhangan who were searching for something innovative away from the crowds and masses who were going barmy for the Full Moon party on Ko Phangan. Here they found something more than just a new island to discover and soon the back packer groups were vivacious about the superb newly found island paradise. Mesmerised by the stunning pure white beaches, the back of beyond aura, and of course the economical living, back packers soon came in droves. Departure and arrivals were on the local coconut boats, and even then setbacks of several days were frequent. Back to the hammock and a world of dreams; The boat comes another day . Subsequently, as its status for dazzling nature, unique marine life and amazing landscapes grew, easier access was offered when improved and safer boats were brought in to handle the number of back packers, being engrossed to the island.
The most popular of the beach, Sairee Beach most of the time are filled up with sun worshippers but there's also quieter, more hidden bays and beaches.
Attracted by the striking coral reefs around Koh Tao, and the expansion in recreational scuba diving, some enterprises set up a scuba diving businesses on Koh Tao. These companies in turn built accommodationfor their customers, and after a while many of these places have become quite luxurious.
The very first generation of today's community (began,started] settling when they brought over their families and began to harvest & cultivate the on offer.
While visting Koh Taotourists can see typical picture-postcard views of shady palm trees , bright blue water and amazing sunsets