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Diving in Cambodia

Cambodia’s tropical waters are teeming with marine life and colorful reefs. Some of the most unexpected diving in Southeast Asia can be found in Cambodia, with its stretch of coastline and small islands in the Gulf of Thailand.

Diving in Cambodia

Quick facts

Cambodia has a reputation for its tropical islands, a variety of fish species and a range of diving environments. The beauty of Cambodia is the wealth of diving sites that this destination has to offer. The famous beachside town Sihanoukville offers stunning islands to explore. From tiny seahorses to huge whale sharks, the marine life in these Cambodian waters is incredible. One of the most unusual and exciting dives to go on is Koh Kon, found tucked between the two larger islands of Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem. There are hundreds of different creatures teeming around the healthy reefs found here. You can see stingrays and plenty of colorful micro fauna like nudibranchs and sea stars. For a long and adventurous day trip, go to Koh Tang, a four hour journey from the mainland. These are some of the most highly renowned sites in Cambodia, where incredible visibility pairs with stunning underwater life. You can see massive barracuda and fantastically colored triggerfish.

Recommended training

Cambodia is a great place to learn to dive with the PADI Open Water Diver course. If you are already PADI certified, look to take the PADI Enriched Air, PADI Deep Diver and PADI Diver Propulsion Vehicle (DPV) courses so you’re prepared for diving the many different dive sites across this destination. As a fast growing tourist destination, Cambodia is also a perfect location to become a PADI Divemaster or PADI Instructor.

When to go

Cambodia experiences a wet season from June to October with mostly afternoon rain. The dry season runs from November to about May. However, scuba diving is possible year-round, and water temperatures remain around the 28-30°C/82-86°F for most of the year.

Rain and temperature

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Water temperature

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* Koh Rong and Koh Rong Saloem – These two islands are surrounded by amazing dive sites. From Sihanoukville it will usually take about two hours to reach these islands. The range of marine diversity at these locations is incredible and includes the curious cobia fish, scorpion fish, stingrays, sea stars, and nudibranch. Top dive sites around these islands include Secret Garden, Cobia Point, Rocky Bay and Nudibranch Heaven. * Koh Kon (Koh Koun) – Located between the two larger islands of Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem, Koh Kon is a smaller island with two primary diving sites. The western dive site is filled with colorful coral, large parrot fish, box fish and large schools of yellow goatfish. The southern dive site is shallower and is a popular spot for night diving where cat sharks, blue spotted rays and a range of eels dwell. * Koh Tang and Koh Prins – Located around four hours off the mainland, these islands are well worth the journey. The dives sites at Koh Tang and Koh Prins are known for their fantastic visibility and corals which are exploding with color. These dives sites are visited by trigger fish, large barracuda, nudibranch, and a range of crustaceans. These dive spots are best explored by overnight liveaboard. Some of the top dive sites located here include Explosion Reef, Three Bears, Giraffe Lookout, and Sting Ray Alley.

What to see

Cambodia is home to a great range of marine life. Some of the highlights include brilliantly colored coral varieties with an impressive selection of inhabitants, such as seahorses, nudibranchs, butterfly fish, clownfish and angelfish. There are also huge cobia and barracuda at many of the popular dive sites. Plus, the Gulf of Thailand is home to batfish, boxfish, scorpionfish and the majestic whale shark.


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Beautiful Cambodia is a decidedly underrated destination in Southeast Asia, tucked between Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand. This stunning nation boasts lovely forests, mountains and endemic wildlife. The seasons here switch between wet and dry, with temperatures ranging from 69-95ºF (21-35ºC). Ancient and beautiful, Cambodia’s history is rich. For thousands of years, people have been living and thriving in this gorgeous nation. After a rough patch during the 20th Century, Cambodia has flourished.

Other attractions

Aside from the amazing underwater locations, the Cambodian topside also has a rich history and culture, as well as gorgeous white sandy beaches and jungles to discover. You will spoilt for top side attractions in Cambodia. Popular choices include relaxing on the coast in Sihanoukville, visiting cultural centers, marveling at the many temples of Angkor Wat or visiting the capital Phnom Penh. The cuisine throughout Cambodia is also a highlight of any trip. Once you head in from the beach, you’ll find glossy rice patties pressed up against terraced hills, and rickety suspension bridges stretch across murky rivers.

Getting there

You can get to Cambodia by plane, sea or land. Sihanoukville, Phnom Penh and Siem Riep all boast international airports. Getting around the country is best done on local transport. Alternatively, hiring a taxi is a straightforward affair.


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Note - Travel to any destination may be adversely affected by conditions including (but not limited) to security, entry and exit requirements, health conditions, local laws and culture, natural disasters and climate. Regardless of your destination, check your local travel advisory board or department for travel advice about that location when planning your trip and again shortly before you leave.

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