This small islandwas still under Royal Patronage in those days, but it didn't put off these fortune seekers from making their claim. The first generation of todays community started to settle when they brought their families to Koh Taoand began to farm and reap the rich soil and natural resources the islandhad to offer. Although it still being under Royal Patronage, acres of land were claimed, and cleared for coconut plantations. You can still see loads of proof of the massive coconut plantations everywhere on the island.
These days, you can find everything from cheap simple wooden bungalowswith palm leaf roofs to exotic high class villas with their very own exclusive swimming pool.
In the late 1990's KoTao's very first, and until recently, only road was constructed, it runs South to North from the far side of Sairee to the southern settlement of Chalok Baan Kao.
A new road is under construction towards Tanote Bay, and when finised it will open up the other side of the island for greater development, it is accessable with care at the moment with 4x4.
Around 1947, Khun A-Paiwong, Thailands Prime Minister at the time, asked for & got a royal pardon for the islands prisoners and thanks to a affable act by His Majesty the King. They were released and moved to Suratthani on the nearby mainland and the island was isolated yet again. This was in the same year that the initial people started to claim a large part of terrain on what is at this time identified as Sairee Beach. These were the two brothers Khun Ueam and Khun Oh who came to Koh Toa by a boat from the next island of KohPhangan.
Suddenly the island ferries were disgorging people with suitcases, not backpacks, laptops not guitars, and what is this; sneekers not flip-flops?!, and some had children too.
Surrounded by crystal clear waters, Koh Taohas naturally become in the recent a scuba diversfavorite destination in SE Asia. Koh Taonow 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 season there is enough water for all. KohTaois little; 21 sq kilometer and 50% of that too steep to access.
On June the 18th 1899, His Majesty the King Chulalongkorn (Rama 5 1868-1910) visited KohTaoand left his monogram as evidence on a huge boulder at Jor Por Ror Bay near Sairee Beach.