Immediately following the horrible events of the December 2004 Tsunami, the type of tourist coming to KohTaohave changed, previously it had been a Mecca for back packers, young travellers along their way south to Malaysia and beyond.
During the last 13 years KoToa has transformed in many ways as it strived to become one of the best diveislands in Thailand, bringing in all levels of diversand water lovers alike.
Around 1947, Khun A-Paiwong, Thailands Prime Minister at that time, asked for and received a royal pardon for the islands inmates and thanks to a affable act by His Majesty the King. They were repatriated and transported to Suratthani on the nearby mainland and the island was abandoned yet again. This was in the same year that the first settlers laid claim to a big portion of land on what is currently known as Sai Ree Beach. These were the twin brothers Khun Ueam and Khun Oh who reached Koh Toa by a boat from the next island of Ko Phangan.
A culture shock to most people, but generally the island reacted with a passion to these new visitors, over the following months much change has taken place, new resorts, with more facilities, a new array of restaurants offering different food from around the globe.
In 1947, then Khun A-Paiwong, Thailands Prime Minister at the time, asked for and received a Royal Pardon for KoTao's prisoners and thanks to a gracious act by His Majesty the King.
They were the twin brothers Khun Ueam and Khun Oh who reached KoTao by boat from the next islandof Kho Phangan, KoTao was still under Royal Patronage in those days but it didn't stop those fortune seekers from claiming their stake of land.
Their lives consisted of cultivating coconuts, developing fruit and vegetables and of course nourishing themselves with fishing. In those early days getting to Koh Toa was a dangerous boat ride from nearby islands or the mainland, if and when the weatherand seas permitted, but the residents continued to multiply progressively all the same, even when the simple life was hard and without a large amount return.
From the days of being a prison camp, through to its current re-development, Turtle islandhas retained it's sparkle, though it now caters for everyone's tastes and budgets.