Koh Tao – a paradise or an island of death?


Tourism has flourished in Koh Tao in recent years, a pristine island in Thailand that is so heavenly that it draws tourists from all over the world.

Also known as Turtle Island, the secret behind Koh Tao’s soaring popularity is the clear turquoise water, Sairee Beach, and lush jungles. Scuba divers flock to there to discover its amazing underwater worlds. Besides, it’s in proximity to the party islands Koh Samui and Koh Pha Ngan.

However, some gruesome incidents have made many people call this paradise a ‘tourist trap.’ There have been several recent tourist deaths that indicate the alleged ruling of a local mafia or at least the active operation of a criminal gang.

Photo Credit: Sairee Cottage Diving

According to a report in the Guardian, a mafia family has been ruling the island for a couple of generations. They were in the control of Koh Tao before the police even got there.

Ian Yarwood, an Australian lawyer, has warned the backpackers not to be deceived by the picturesque beauty of the island. He considers the place extremely dangerous for the unwatchful tourists. According to him, the visitors should not be given a sense of false security.

The island first raised the red flag after the battered dead bodies of two backpackers were found at a diving resort in 2014. The names of those tourists were David Miller and Hannah Witheridge. The gruesome murders shook everyone including the distraught families of the victims.

Photo Credit: Koh Tao Divers

Two Myanmar migrants were found guilty of the killings and sentenced to death. However, the investigation raised question marks because of the investigators’ failure of preserving DNA samples and unwillingness to examine the key pieces of evidence. In addition, the accused said that the police tortured them and took the confession forcefully.

The concerning fact is that the death count did not stop with Miller and Witheridge. It followed by the suspicious deaths of several other tourists.

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Rehana Akter

Rehana Akter is a freelance writer who loves writing about a little bit of everything. She has experience in article, blog post, and news article writing. She loves exploring new topics and subjects and writing on them with a touch of creative flair. Her writing style morphs itself according to the target audience and the required parameters.Rehana is a native Bangladeshi who is currently based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. She has been into freelance writing for more than five years.