KO TAO TRANSLATES AS "TURTLE ISLAND", SO NAMED BECAUSE OF IT'S SHAPE AND ALSO THERE WERE MANY OF TURTLES LIVING AROUND. It's only about 21 sq km and is remotely located about 70 km far from the mainland.
From 1933 to 1947 Ko Tao was used to jail political prisoners of the Bowaradech Uprising. Many were transferred from Koh Tarutao to Ko Tao by reason of its location lonely in the middle of the Gulf of Thailand.
The community in Ko Tao was settled at the first time when the villagers from Koh Samui and Koh Phangan immigrated and were on the land of Ko Tao in 1947. Before that there were some people who came and used the land for coconut plantation and small fishery.
During the past fifteen years the reputation of Ko Tao's natural beauty, especially its marine life and coral reefs due to the island's distance from the mouth of Mae Nam Tapi, which affords high visibility and an abundance of marine life. It soon became one of the major dive sites of South East Asia.
More info : www.kohtaocenter.com
How to get here
The trip from Bangkok to Ko Tao consists of two part traveling: from Bangkok to Chumphon and from the pier at Chumphon to Ko Tao by boat. And for the tourists who want to visit Koh Samui and Koh Phagnan at the first, you can take a boat from Suratthani instead of Chumphon.
The most popular journey to get here from Bangkok - Chumphon - Ko Tao is to use the bus/boat combination trip where the tickets are available from many travel agencies on Thanon Khao San.
Bus & Boat Time Table
BANGKOK TO SAMUI ROUTE
SAMUI TO BANGKOK ROUTE