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 eating establishments offering cuisine from all over the world.
Local farmers and fishermen quickly realised that major business people from other places were creating their islandto accommodate to the needs of all these new customers and they also, quickly started to open their own businesses to fulfill all the clienteles demands.
Attracted by the beautiful coral reefs surrounding Ko Tao, and the quick growth in recreational scuba diving, a number of companies have established dive businesses on the island, these companies in turn designed exclusive resorts for their customers, and over the years several of these resorts have become quite plush.
This small island was still under Royal Patronage in those days, but it did not stop these fortune hunters from making their claim. The very first generation of today's community started settling when they brought their families to KoToa and began to cultivate and yield the rich earth and natural resources the island had to offer. In spite of it still being under Royal Patronage, acres of land were claimed, and vacated for coconut plantations. You can still see plenty of proof of the massive plantations everywhere on the island.
In 1947, then Khun A-Paiwong, Thailands Prime Minister at the time, requested and got a royal pardon for Ko Tao's prisoners and with thanks to a gracious act by The King of Thailand.
They were the twin brothers Khun Oh and Khun Ueam who reached Ko Tao by boat from the neighboring islandof Kohpangan, KoTao was still under protection of the king in those days but it did not stop those fortune seekers from claiming their stake of land.
The name KohTaomeans Turtle Island; some say that the name is from the islands shape which is meant to look like an inverted down turtle whilst others claim its from the days when the sea surrounding the islandwas swimming with turtles and Koh Taowas their main breeding site.
The most visited of the beach, Sairee Beach always have a scattering of sun worshippers but there's also quieter, more hidden beaches and bays.