About Koh Tao

Aow Leuk, Koh Tao

After scuba diving you can sit at one of the many beach bars or restaurants and enjoy a Happy Hour cocktail and as Sairee beach faces west you can sit and watch amazing sunsets. We have a wonderful choice of food here to suit all tastes and budgets.  From street stalls to mamma and pappa restaurants up to aussie steaks and awesome Thai food.

So many ATMs taking major credit and bank cards that you do not have to worry about taking out cash.  Many of the shops and resorts will also take payment by card, most charge an extra 3% plus Western Union and currency exchanges in Sairee.  The main Thailand banks located in Mae Haad. Several 7-11 convenience stores plus small local stores which can be cheaper.  And enough coffee shops and bakeries to keep you in cappuccinos, iced lattes, croissants and cakes.  But no big name stores or chains here, well, apart from 7-11 and let’s hope it stays that way.

There are several medical clinics and a government hospital staffed by doctors and local staff who can handle most problems associated with Thailand and living on a small island.  Plus several pharmacies should you need a prescription or toiletries. And there is a scuba diving medical team here that are always on call. There is Koh Tao Rescue, which is a group of volunteers who can help with any emergency. As well as the local police and tourist police.  There are three “big” shops on the island should you not find what you need at the local stores.


History of Koh Tao

Initially, the island was uninhabited, with only the occasional fisherman from the neighboring islands, looking for shelter in a storm or just taking a break on their journey.

On June 18, 1899, King Chulalongkorn visited Koh Tao and left as evidence his monogram on a huge boulder at Jor Por Ror bay next at the south end of Sairee Beach.  Which you can still see today.  In 1933 the island was used as a political prison until 1947 when prime minister Khuang Abhaiwongse pleaded and received a royal pardon for all prisoners on the island.  Everybody was taken to the shore of Surat Thani and Koh Tao was left to the coconuts and turtles again.

In the same year, Khun Uaem and his brother Khun Oh reached Koh Tao from neighboring island Koh Phangan by trying out their traditional sailboat and claimed parts of Sairee beach.  Even though the island still belonged to the king.  They brought their families over and lived a simple and tough life harvesting coconuts, fishing and growing vegetables.  Despite the difficulties in reaching the island, the population grew steadily.

By the 1980’s backpackers were beginning to come to Koh Samui and Koh Phangan, as access became faster and safer they started coming to Koh Tao. One of the first diving pioneers was an Italian man who would bring divers from Koh Samui.  He named the popular dive sites Red Rock, White Rock and Green Rock after the colors of the Italian flag.

Do you want to know more Mojo Divers? Read more about about diving course and ourselves:

Freedom beach Koh Tao