Ko Tao, lit. ”Turtle Island”) is an island in Thailand and is part of the Chumphon Archipelago on the west coast of the Gulf of Thailand. It covers an area of approximately 21 km2 (8 sq mi) and is administratively a sub-district of Ko Phangan District (Amphoe) of Surat Thani Province. As of 2006, the official population was 1.3.
The main settlement is Ban Mae Haad. The island’s economy is almost entirely focused on tourism, particularly diving. Diving is extremely popular on Ko Tao due to the clear visibility, reasonable prices, and variety of marine life. History: Before colonization, the island was occasionally visited by fishermen from neighboring islands seeking shelter from a storm or simply resting before continuing their voyage.
Old maps and descriptions indicate that this island was known to European cartographers and sailors as “Pulo Bardia,” meaning that Malayo-Polynesian peoples first settled it. Old maps show a chain of three islands facing north. –Situated south and off the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. The northernmost and smallest of these islands is called P.Bardia, the name it bore until the early 20th century. The best example of a map is John Thornton’s The English Pilot, Book Three, dated 1701, but the specific map of the Gulf of Siam dates to around 1677.
The island is an important breeding ground for hawksbill and green sea turtles. Tourism development has harmed the health of these areas. Still, a breeding program organized in 2004 by the Royal Thai Navy and KT-DOC, a coalition of local turtle diving centers, reintroduced hundreds of young turtles into the island’s ecosystem introduced to the island. Chumpon Pinnacle, a dive site west of the island, is popular with divers looking for whale and bull sharks. However, many bull sharks have migrated to calmer waters due to warmer water temperatures over the past year. The island is home to more than 130 species of hard corals and more than 223 species of reef fish, of which belong to 53 families.
Ko Tao is one of the most popular tourist spots in Thailand. Although the Bangkok Post cannot decide whether it receives 132,000 or three million visitors per year, it does receive many. The island is famous for diving, snorkeling, hiking, rock climbing and bouldering. The most popular spot for tourists is Sairee on the west coast, which has 1.7 km of white-sand beach broken only by a few huge rocks and a mid-range spread. Resorts and restaurants.
Chalok Baan Khao in the south of the island is becoming a popular alternative for those looking to escape the crowds. Many granite boulders, both in the forests and on the beaches of Ko Tao, attract a growing group. The Number of climbers. Koh Tao has just over 25 dive sites to explore. Ko Tao is less developed than Ko Samui and Ko Pha-ngan but is becoming increasingly popular, particularly with backpackers in their mid-20s looking for inexpensive diving opportunities. Certification. In the past two years, the island’s demographics have seen an age increase, with many visitors who first visited the island over a decade ago now returning to their families.
Between 3,000 and 5,000 Burmese workers work on the island to provide for the tourist population. A dominant Thai family on the island owns several diving schools, resorts and bars.