It began with the first A-Frame bamboo and coconut huts on the beach for twenty Baht a day, to very simple thatched bungalows, the native Phangan clans decided swiftly to this arrival of visitors otherwise named Farangs, by adapting to it.
Their lives consisted of harvesting coconuts, growing vegetables & fruit and of course nourishing themselves through fishing. In those early days reaching KoTao required a treacherous boat journey from nearby islands or the main land, if and when the seas &weatherpermitted, but the residents continued to multiply steadily all the same, even when the simple life was hard and without much return.
These days, you can get everything from basic simple wooden bungalows with thatched roofs to elegant up-market villas with their own private swimming pool.
In the late 1990's KohTao's first, and until recently, only road was laid, the road runs South to North from the far side of Sairee to the southern settlement of Chalok Baan Kao.
A new road is under construction on the way to Tanote Bay, and once finised it will open up the far side of Koh Tao for better development, it is accessable with care at the moment with 4x4.
On the 18th of june 1899, His Majesty the King Chulalongkorn (Rama V 1868-1910) visited KoTao and left his monogram as evidence on a huge rock at Jor Por Ror Bay near Sairee Beach.
A culture shock to many, 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 around the globe.
It seems wierd that such a tourist paradise should have been first constructed as a prison.
Departures and arrivals were on the local coconut boats, and even then delays of several days were common place, so back to the hammock and the world of dreams, the boat will come another day.
The early 80's brought to KohTaosome of the first visitors from KoPhangan who were searching for something new away from the masses and crowds who were going mad for the full moon party on Ko Phangan. Here they found something more than just a new islandto explore and soon the backpackernetwork was buzzing about the wonderful newly found island paradise. Mesmerised by the outstanding powdery white beaches, the back of beyond aura, and of course the low-priced living, backpackerssoon arrived in droves. Departure and arrivals were on the local fishing boats, and even then hold-ups of several days were frequent. Back to the hammock and a world of dreams; The boat comes another day . Subsequently, as its reputation for gorgeous nature, unique marine life and astonishing landscapes grew, easier access was obtainable when enhanced and safer boats were brought in to deal with the number of back packers, being attracted to the island.