The name Ko Toa means Turtle Island; many say that the name is due to the islands appearance which is meant to appear to be an upside down turtle whilst many others state it is from the day's when the sea close to the islandwas full of turtles and the islandwas their breeding area.
These were the twin brothers Khun Oh and Khun Ueam who reached KohTaoby boat from the next island of Ko Phangan, KohTaowas still under protection of the king in those days but it didn't prevent those fortune seekers from staking their claim.
The first settlers lives consisted of harvesting coconuts, growing friut and vegetables and of course providing for with fishing.
In 1947, then Khun A-Paiwong, Thailands then Prime Minister, asked for and got a Royal Pardon for Ko Tao's prisoners and with thanks to a gracious act by His Majesty the King.
Ko Tao now has twenty four hour electricity on the islandtoo and finally they have had a water reservoir constructed to make sure that even in the dry periods there is enough water for all.
Strange, but true, from 1933-1947 Ko Tao housed political prisoners. Being located about 65 kilometres from the mainland meant it was fairly escape proof! Alcatraz...piece of cake.
Not like before 2000, guests can get now everything from inexpensive plain wooden bungalowswith thatched roofs to graceful high-class places with private facilities and swimming pool.