Koh Tao is small; only 21 sq kms. And half of that too steep to access initially the island was not inhibited, visited only by fisherman from near by islands when seeking shelter or when they need supplies. It seems strange that such a tourist paradise should have been originally earmarked as aprison.From 1933 until 1947 the island housed political prisoners.

The name Koh Tao means Turtle Island; some say that the name is due to the islands shape which is meant to look like an upside down turtle whilst others claim its from the days when the water surrounding the island were rich with turtles and the island was their breeding ground


The island is located 1.5 hrs. journey by speed boat from Koh Phangan or about 2.0 hrs. from Chumporn province. The majority of the area is mountainous, with the hills gently sloping into the beaches. The island is only 3.4by 7.6 kilometers large, while the coral reef stretches for 8 kilometers in front

Despite the small size, this peanut shaped island has eleven bays and ten peninsulas .The total length of the coastline is twenty-nine kilometers. Each beach has accommodations for visitor

Fringed by coral reefs as well as deeper offshore pinnacles, its not hard to understand the islands popularity among backpackers and members of the dive community alike. A number of sheltered sandy bays provide the perfect depths for novice divers, while the more adventurously inclined can visit deeper sites and perhaps even live the divers dream of spotting a whale shark or two. Currents are usually minimal and the water temperature ranges between 26 and 30C; perfect for tropical diving.
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