Their lives consisted mainly of picking coconuts, growing vegetables and fruit and sustaining through fishing.
From the days of being a prison, through to its current redevelopment, Turtle islandhas retained it's charm, though it now caters for everybody's requirments and expeniture.
Now a days, you can find everything from cheap simple wooden bungalows with thatched roofs to elegant up-market villas with their own exclusive swimming pool.
In the late 1990's the islands first, and until recently, only road was laid, it runs North to South 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 when completed it will open up the other side of Koh Tao for better development, it is accessable with care at the moment with 4x4.
Engrossed by the outstanding coral reefs surrounding KoToa, and the expansion in recreational scuba diving, a number of enterprises set up a scuba diving shop on the island. These companies in turn built accommodation for their customers, and over the years many of these resorts have become quite plush.
The islandof Kho Tao is one of Thailand's interesting tropical paradise. Blessed with sunny beaches and secluded bays, people from many different countries come back year after year to soak up the unique feeling of the island.
It seems wierd that such a tourist tropical paradise should have been originally constructed as a prison.
Surrounded by pure clear waters, Koh Taoevolved in the recent a scuba diversfavorite destination in South Thailand.
In 1947, Khun A-Paiwong, Thailand's Prime Minister at that time, asked for & got a royal pardon for the islands prisoners and thanks to a gracious act by His Majesty the King. They were released and transported to Suratthani on the mainland and the islandwas isolated once more. This was the same year that the first people laid claim to a large piece of land on what is currently identified as Sai Ree Beach. These were the twin brothers Khun Ueam and Khun Oh who came to Ko Toa by a boat from the neighbouring island of Ko Phangan.