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Koh Tao: The Island of Death or a Paradise in Thailand?

Koh Tao Isla de la muerte

Welcome to our blog about Thailand! Here, you can learn about the beautiful beaches and paradisiacal islands like Koh Tao. This island is a small tropical paradise that engages millions of tourists every year because it has the best beaches to dive in the world.

Likewise, Koh Tao is also renowned for being a diving island with a wide range of diving centers that offer PADI and SSI certifications. BUT, on this occasion, we will discuss the mysteries of Koh Tao for some dying without result. Being named the “Island of the Dead”.

Cases of deaths and disappearances on Koh Tao

Over the years, Koh Tao has seen cases of tourists dying or disappearing under mysterious circumstances. These incidents, ranging from tragic accidents to unsolved crimes, have raised concerns and speculation about security on the island. And how can it be? From our Koh Tao diving school, we give you the details because, since 2014, at least 9 tourists have died or disappeared in mysterious circumstances on the island. 

The first incidents occurred in september 2014, when 2 British foreigners, Hannah Witheridge y David Miller, were found dead on a beach in Koh Tao. Both had been beaten to death, and she also showed signs of sexual assault. Two migrant workers from Burma were convicted of the murders, but many people questioned the validity of the evidence and the fairness of the verdict.

In January 2015, another British tourist, Christina Annesley, was found dead in her bungalow in Koh Tao. Even though her death was initially attributed to natural causes, it was later revealed that she had taken prescription medications with alcohol on the night of her death.

For that reason, we recommend that you be always careful with remote places because you never know what is going to happen. For example, going to parties in Koh Tao o Koh Phangan. In that same year, a French tourist, Dmitri Povse, was found hanged with his hands tied behind his back.

In 2016, a tourist from Great Britain, Luke Miller, was found in a swimming pool. In February 2017, Valentina Novozhyonova, a Russian tourist, disappeared in her hotel mysteriously, and Belgian tourist Elise Dallemagne was found hanged in the middle of the jungle. In 2018, Alexandr Bucspun from Moldavia was found drowning during a night swim. Finally, in 2019, an Argentine tourist, Rocío Gómez died with her diving equipment. 

Diving en koh tao - Nitro

Is Death Island myth or truth?

Koh Tao’s reputation as a safe tourist destination has been questioned due to media coverage of some controversial cases. The deaths and disappearances have led to conspiracy theories and accusations of a cover-up. Relatives of the victims and other critics have accused Thai police of incompetence, corruption, and failing to carry out proper investigations.

A common theory is that the local mafia is involved in the deaths and disappearances. According to this theory, the mafia controls the island and has influence over the local police. Others point to the lack of security and poor regulation of tourism on the island as contributing factors. However, answering the question: is the “Island of Death” an exaggerated myth or are there grounds for concern? The answer may lie in a broader understanding of the challenges and beauty this Thai island has to offer.

Is Koh Tao Island safe?

Koh Tao Island is becoming more popular as a tourist destination as there is growth in visitors each year. Many tourists visit the island without incident and have very positive experiences. On the other hand, being a remote and relatively small island, it faces challenges in terms of security and control. Limited infrastructure and resources make effective law enforcement and emergency response difficult, which can exacerbate perceptions of risk for visitors.

We do not have an answer for these events, but what we can really say is that at Nitro Koh Tao Diving we prioritize the safety of our clients. Always safety first! For this reason, we offer diving courses with reduced groups with a maximum of 4 people, accident insurance with new equipment. Besides, we have the best professional divers who speak English and Spanish.  

In the end, you have to think that your safety is the main thing and something can happen to you anywhere. So, if you are thinking of visiting Koh Tao, but are afraid of these events. Don’t worry! Come t+¡with someone and discover this wonderful paradise, do a diving course, go to a snorkeling excursion around Koh Tao to see turtles or to visit amazing  Koh Tao viewpoints. We are sure you will not regret your visit at all!