Diving in Cambodia has recently been put on the “diving map”. The coastline of Cambodia has much to offer with a wide variety of different dive sites to visit. Some dive sites are even still being discovered. The most popular dive sites are located in Sihanoukville and are generally about a two hour boat ride away.
Some of the further outer lying islands such as Koh Tang, Koh Prins and Koh Pulawei are only accessible at certain times of the year due to their location. Most dive centers in Cambodia only offer overnight trips to these sites.
Koh Koun (located near Koh Rong Samloem) is by far the most popular and dived area in Sihanoukville. It is host to five sites with two others located very close on Koh Rong Samloem. The depth ranges from 3m – 25m and visibility depending on the time of year can range from 3m – 15m.
This area is a protected marine environment and over the last four years of marine conservation, the marine flora and fauna has dramatically increased and showing better signs of growth and health.
Dive experience Cambodia
There is a wide array of corals to be seen and many different species of fish. A popular muck dive site called “The Corral” is home to a variety of species of sea horses as well as many other marine animals such as stone fish, bent stick pipe fish, stingrays, octopus and nudibranchs. Koh Koun offers a macro divers paradise with a great variety of nudibranchs and shrimps.
Koh Tang is located about a further two hours from Koh Rong Samloem and offers seven different scuba dive sites. Due to the remoteness of this island, the visibility can range anywhere from 10m – 30m with an average of about 15m.
Dive sites found in Cambodia
Dive sites range from a depth of about 3m – 20m and offers a huge variety of marine life from marine worms, batfish, spotted sweetlips to giant trevally and barracuda. Koh Prins is similar to Koh Tang, but located about another hour away. It has deeper sites with excellent visibility and scuba divers in the past have spotted whale sharks and marlin.
Due to the distance to get to this site, you will only be able to access it on a live aboard vessel and only for a few months of the year. But you will be rewarded as this is an untouched paradise and is hardly ever dived on giving you the freedom of not diving with crowds.
Liveaboard Diving in Cambodia
Koh Pulawei is the most remote island that is situated near Vietnamese waters. Again, only accessible by a live aboard and only for a few months of the year; it plays host to undisturbed coral reefs and some of the largest fish in these waters.
When to dive Cambodia?
The best time of year to go diving in Cambodia is from October until March when you will find the clearest and calmest waters. For a real diving experience, you can stay on Koh Rong Samloem in an island bungalow and have the easiest access to the dive sites around Koh Koun, giving you the opportunity to get in more dives as well as some night dives.
You will also get to experience the traditional life of a Khmer fishing village that is based on the island and socialize with the very friendly community.
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Blog written by: Rutger Thole who used to be a scuba scuba instructor but he got stuck in a suit a couple of years ago. Now he is on his way back, as a the founder of bookyourdive he travels and dives as much as he can.