A culture shock to most people, but generally the islandreacted with a passion to these new visitors, over the following months much change had taken place, new resorts, with more facilities, a new array of eating establishments offering different food from all over the globe.Ko Tao is a small islandnortheast of Surat Thani in Thailand.
In 1947, then Khun A-Paiwong, Thailand's Prime Minister at the time, requested and received a Royal Pardon for KohTao's prisoners and with thanks to a gracious act by His Majesty the King.
It seems strange that such a tourist tropical paradise should have been first earmarked as a prison.
From the days of being a prison camp, through to its current development, Turtle islandhas retained it's charm, though it now caters for everybodys requirments and costs.
Their lives mainly consisted of harvesting coconuts, growing fruit & vegetables and of course sustaining by fishing.
Ko Tao is a very small island, only twenty two sq km with all but half of that too harsh to access. In the begining the islandwas not occupied, visited only by fishermen from nearby islands while in search of shelter during storms or when they require fresh water and food. It seems bizarre that such a tourist paradise should have been firstly set up as a top-security prison. Strange, but true. From about 1933 until 1947 the island was home to political prisoners. Being just about 70 km from the nearby mainland meant it was somewhat escape proof! Alcatraz...piece of cake. KoToa is surrounded by a lot of Black Tip & Whale sharks as well.
Ko Tao is an island of impressive beauty and charm, a place, where visitors can have a holiday far anyway, lazy and on the beach or active and fast paced.