Between the mid thirties and late forties Koh Tao was used as a political prison due to its isolation.
A royal pardon ended Koh Tao's claim of being a prison and was left as a deserted paradise.
Soon after this, the island was settled by Thai fishermen and coconut farmers. From these modest roots, the families grew and became an established community.
Koh Tao remained virtually hidden from foreign interest until the eighties, where the first intrepid travellers found its beauty.
Only ten years ago horses and buffaloes were used as the main form of transport and dive shops were just starting to become established.
Since this time the island has been open to the influences of tourism but is still viewed as one of the least developed and most beautiful of the Gulf's holiday islands.