The islandis surrounded by big sharks too, nice friendly ones fortunately.
Koh Tao's status increased and promptly increased as it generally became known all over the world through international travellers and adventurous visitors.
Not like before 2000, visitors can get now everything from low-priced basic wooden bungalows with thatched roofs to elegant chic places with their own private swimming pool and facilities.
In the begeining this little island was not inhabited, visited only by fisherman from near by islands when seeking shelter during thunder storms or when in need of fresh water and supplies.
Occasionally progress can be a wonderful thing, it's a good thing KoTao has kept its chilled atmosphere, ]it is,it's] still nigh on impossible to find a crowded beach.
A culture shock to many, but generally the islandreacted 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 all over the globe.
Around 1947, Khun A-Paiwong, Thailand's Prime Minister at the time, requested and got a royal pardon for the islands prisoners and thanks to a affable act by His Majesty the King. They were repatriated and moved to Suratthani on the nearby mainland and the islandwas uninhabited once more. This was in the same year that the original settlers started to claim a large segment of land on what is nowadays known as Sai Ree Beach. These were the two brothers Khun Ueam and Khun Oh who reached Ko Tao by a boat from the neighbouring island of Koh Phangan.
The name KohTaomeans Turtle Island; some say that the name is due to the islands shape which is meant to look like an upside down turtle whilst other people say its from the days when the sea around Ko Tao was swimming with turtles and the island was their main breeding site.