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The legend of Bardia on the history of Koh Tao

Posted August 12, 2011, 20:31 (viewed 4385 times)

One of these nights when we have nothing to do, I am interested in the Wikipedia article on Koh Tao in English available here:

And I dwelt on the following paragraph:

"It Would APPEAR from old maps (1600-1850) That this island and descriptions by European cartographers WAS Known and mariners as"Pulo Bardia". The best example IS a map by John Thornton dated 1685 Page 383 of 'The Edinburgh Gazetteer, or Geographical Dictionary' (1822) mentions the island and Also Provides a Geographical position. In His book titled "Narrative of a residence at the capital of the Kingdom of Siam"By Frederick Arthur Neale (1852 p. 120) he Describes the people and wildlife of Bardia. According To the account There Were Even cows and farms in a village on the bay lying to the west side of the island - (probably Sairee?) . The book includes a Fanciful illustration of 'Bardia' Showing huts and palm trees. "

So we are told that Koh Tao was called before Pulo Bardia and we find traces in ancient documents
That's what we'll see! or not

Curious as I am, I started looking for sources. We live in a great time, not only the sources (books and maps) are available free online but in addition, requires history, part of the document is hosted in France (crow), in Gallica (BNF)

Here are links to the sources:

  • Map of golf of Siam John Thornton published in 1701 (Not in 1685?)
    You will see options for zommer. On this map we see actually three islands:
    Bardia which is Koh Tao, Sacoria Pulo, which is Koh Phangan, and Pulo Cornom which is Koh Samui
    Something disturbing : Bardia seems close to the mainland while in practice, Koh Tao is very far from the coast. I'm not an expert in charting and maybe it is the change of reference that gives that impression
  • The Edinburgh Gazetteer, or Geographical Dictionary.
    It shows the following info: "small isl. In the Gulf of Siam. Lon. 99. 40. E. Lat. 10.. 48 N."
    Something disturbing : When looking at the location coordinates Lon. 99. 40. E. Lat. 10. 48. N (see Google Map) we arrive at 64 km off the coast of Koh Tao, near the coast Chumphon.

  • Narrative of a residence at the capital of the Kingdom of Siam
    Page 120 of this document, there is actually a illustrion of Pulo Bardia (below), as well as the following:

    "On the west side of Pulo Bardia, and just opposite to the town of Champon, IS a large and thriving Situated village, representatives of the unusual-Which we found to Be a civil, obliging, and industrious people. Their farm-yards Were well stocked with pigs, poultry, goats, cows and Even A Few. We never wanted for fresh eggs, or milk, or butter DURING our stay. The better-looking men Were Than the general run of Malays, and Some of the women and Were girls really Remarkably handsome, not the Slightest Possessing a cast of Malay profile, and with Figures That Were MOST UNEX-ception [...]"

    Something disturbing : We are told of a village on the west coast of Pulo Bardia to be located in front of City Champon In your opinion, when is Sairee Beach, has wanted to say you one that is in front of Chumphon? Not only it is not Chumphon (Champon), but in addition we do not even see the mainland
    Strange is not it?

I pushed a little research and found other documents such as this:
Maritime and colonial history where we are told that Pulo Bardia is still "very near the earth"."

I found another map of the Gulf of Siam most recent (18th century) where we see even appear Pulo Bardia, always very near the ground, almost touching Bardia, which is another name for Chumphon at the time

Let us return to the geographical coordinates of Pulo Bardia this: The Edinburgh Gazetteer, or Geographical Dictionary .
I can say that at the time localization techniques were not accurate (an error of 64 km still ..)

Yet in the same document, it also gives us the coordinates of Bardia (former name of Chumphon) Lon. 99.30 E. Lat. 10.52 N. (See Google Map) It happens right there in Chumphon, but with an error of 4 / 5 km if one wants to wait for the coast. Their localization technique is therefore a priori not so bad

Another trial with Koh Samui before Cornom called Pulo. There are also details in a contemporary document: A Geographical Dictionary or universal gazetteer . Lon 100.13 E Lat 9.52. N (see Google Map) Item, we arrive in Koh Samui well with an error of 4 / 5 km


Koh Tao alias Palu Bardia would it suddenly drifted over the centuries?
Pulo Bardia would it just not Koh Tao?
If Pulo Bardia is Koh Tao, which is Pulo Bardia?
Is there more Pulo Bardia?

You decide

The origin of the name

A story goes that Koh Tao was called before Bardia. Written ???????? in Thai
The Chinese who arrived later came to deliver bad ??????? ("Bardia")
They pronounced "Kubi" rather than "Bardia"
Kubi in Chinese means turtle. Tao in Thailand, means turtle
The island of Bardia, aka the island of Kubi, is thus called Koh Tao

One wonders why they had not thought of before:)


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