All the prisoners were all pardoned and transported to Suratthani on the mainland and the islandwas deserted yet again.
During the last 10 odd years the islandhas changed in many ways as it developed to become one of the largest diveoperation centres in Thailand, attracting all levels of diversand water lovers alike.
Ko Toa is a little island, only 21 square km with half of that too steep to reach. To begin with the island was not occupied, visited only by fishermen from nearby islands when looking for cover during thunderstorms or when they require clean water and supplies. It seems strange that such a tourist paradise should have been formerly earmarked as a penal island. Odd, but true. From about 1933 until 1947 the island was home to political prisoners. Being nearly 70 km from the nearby mainland meant it was comparatively escape proof! Alcatraz...piece of cake. Koh Tao is surrounded by lots of Black Tip ans Whale sharks as well.
Kohtao's climate is during all seasons a perfect for a holiday. Blue-sky days and a steady sea breeze nearly everyday. For the purists, end of December to late of March is the ideal holiday island experience.
A enormous variety of fishes and some beautiful coral reefs offer diversa unique experience. Other day time activities now include kite surfing and Mountain Treks.
Ko Tao has unnumbered undeveloped bays and coves.
It has lots to offer but it hasn't lost what attracted back packers here in the 1st place, it is still a small piece of tropical paradise for all to share and enjoy.
Koh Toa's reputation broadened and quickly improved as it extensively became known all over the world through international travellers and adventurous visitors.