A Guide to Going Diving in Cambodia

Beginners Dive Courses in Cambodia

Cambodia is a very enjoyable place to either learn to dive, or join an advanced course/trip. Water temperatures average around 28°C year round and if you are lucky you might get to see moray eels, reef sharks, sea turtles and whale sharks. What makes Cambodia such an appealing dive destination is that there are new dive sites found every week, and the waters around the South coast have still to be explored! Compared to other countries where you can find it difficult to move with the amount of tourists/divers. 


Top Reasons to Go Diving in Cambodia

  • Cambodia attracts a lot less tourists than Thailand meaning the dive sites in the country are a lot less crowded
  • The cost of the courses here are very cheap compared to some destinations in Asia
  • See spectacular wildlife and coral
  • Relax on some of the most incredible islands and beaches on the continent
  • Make new friends and experience a new country/culture 
  • The local food is delicious
  • Do more than just sunbathing!


Best Places to Go Diving in Cambodia

Best Dive Sites in Cambodia

Koh Koun and Koh Rong Samloem are probably the most popular dive site located about 1-2 hours away from Sihanoukville and close to Koh Rong Samleom. There are beginners dive trips, advanced excursions and also night dives available here, dive depth range from 3m – 25m and visibility is usually good, around 3m – 15m.

One of the reasons this area is so popular is because is is a protected marine site, due to local conservation efforts the coral, marine flora and fauna is very healthy. Local dive centres also offer overnight dive trips to remote dive sites around Koh Tang, Koh Prins and Koh Pulawei.


Scuba Diving in Sihanoukville

If you are thinking about staying or and going diving in Sihanoukville we have put together some useful information which should help you.

You can travel by private/public bus from Siem Reap or Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville. The journey from Siem Riep takes about 10 hours so you will need to leave early in the morning or catch an overnight transport. There are plenty of interesting stops along the way making for an exciting journey...choices include a visit to a bamboo sticky rice cake making workshop or Spider town (harbouring…you guessed it, tarantulas!!) 

Most people stay close to the beach in Sihanoukville (as seen above). We also recommend going to stay on the island of Koh Rong Samloem. Accommodation can be included in the price of some dive packages or you can just find somewhere independently, there are great value beach bungalows, hotels and hostels available.

You’ll have the opportunity to take part in one of the many local activities – try visiting waterfalls, or taking a trip out to one of the nearby islands to enjoy a great day of snorkelling in the beautiful clear blue waters. In the evenings, enjoy Sihanoukville’s night life and join in on optional dinners with your group and later visit some of the many local bars for a game of pool, a cocktail or 10, up to you, or just let loose on the dance floor!


Best Dive Centers in Cambodia

These are some of the top dive schools in Cambodia:

  • EcoSea Dive; Sihanoukville
  • Koh Kong Divers Resort; Koh Totang Island
  • The Dive Shop; Serendipity Beach Rd, Sihanoukville

How to Choose a Dive Centre in Cambodia:

With so many dive shops and resorts in Sihanoukville and Koh Rong it can be hard to know which is the best one to make a booking with. Most dive centres offer similar services and packages but each is different in one way or another. To help you make a decision you might want to consider the following questions:

Courses / Facilities:

  • Are the staff friendly & welcoming? 
  • Are the instructors experienced?
  • How many instructors are there per class?
  • How many people will be in a class?
  • Is the equipment modern and of good quality?
  • What times are classes?
  • What dive sites will you visit?
  • What kind of boats are used?
  • Are meals included on boats?
  • Is there enough shade to protect from the sun?
  • Are extra equipment like snorkelling gear free to use?


  • What is the cost of the course?
  • Does the package include all equipment?
  • Is accommodation included in the price and what is it like? Is there a kitchen or wifi?
  • Are there any added bonuses like “fun” dives included?
  • If I pay with a credit card is there an additional fee?
  • Are any discounts offered?.


Top Rated Dive Sites in Cambodia

There are dive sites in Cambodia which are available to all levels of divers; but some of the best ones will require an advanced level of certification. If you are looking to do a day trip we recommend asking to visit:

  • Condor Reef
  • Corner Bar
  • Koh Tang Virgin Reef
  • Koh Sdach Archipelago
  • Shark Island


Best Time of the Year to Go Diving in Cambodia

You can dive in Cambodia all year round, the most popular time is around October to April when usually the ocean is the clearest. Some dive sites are closed during July, August and September due to bad weather and rain caused by monsoon season.


Scuba Diving + Conservation Packages

Some companies offer fantastic scuba diving opportunities where you can get trained as a scuba diver and also help marine conservation efforts. This is a really rewarding way to volunteer in Cambodia and spend a holiday having a big impact on helping the local eco system and marine life.


Live Aboard Diving in Cambodia

You can join a live aboad dive trip in Cambodia to Koh Pulawei, this is a remote island close to Vietnamese waters. This dive site is only reachable by live aboard and only at certain times of the year. You can expect to see pristine coral reefs and a spectacular range of fish. The further away from the coast of Cambodia the more advanced dive locations there are, you can expect more deep dives where you can see pinnacles, wrecks and a incredible pelagics and fish.


Cost of Diving in Cambodia

  • The price you pay really depends on the course/package, the dive centre and the time of year, here is a general guide:
  • You can expect to pay around £50 (US$80) for a day trip which includes 2 dives, this will include training, equipment, transport and food. 
  • For combo dive, PADI course and conservation programs prices are around £500 (US$750)for 2 weeks which includes accommodation, training, qualification, support and a structured experience.
  • If a liveaboard excursion appeals to you then a 2 day trip with around 4-6 dives will cost around £150 (US$195).


Cambodia Dive Reviews

Have you been diving in Cambodia? Would you like to share your experiences? Get in touch with us today.


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