When thinking of Cambodia, diving is not the first thing that comes to mind. But continuing our trend of diving wherever we can reasonably fit it into this trip, we blocked out two days to spend a few hours breathing canned air in the Gulf of Thailand.

Thorny starfish
Tridacna maxima (giant clam)
Tridacna maxima

   Dive shops are based in Sihanoukville and on the islands of Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem. The islands are about 1.5-2 hours from Sihanoukville and dive sites in that area have a maximum depth of 15m. We booked an overnight trip out to Koh Prins and Koh Tang, another 2.5 hours from Koh Rong Samloem where dive sites are still being explored and max depths exceed 25m. Sadly, a storm was moving in and the captain declared a trip that far from shore a safety hazard. Fortunately, the diving around Koh Rong Samloem and neighboring Koh Kon was worth the trip.

Sunset before a night dive

We each logged five dives on including Jen’s second night dive. She remains unimpressed by night diving and although I’m not giving up, I’m still not convinced it’s a better use of my evenings than enjoying a cocktail while the sun goes down. The macro life is what diving’s all about here. We told our divemaster that we move slowly and for the most part, he was willing to wait patiently as we stopped to ogle a nudibranch or creepy marine worms, the likes of which we’d never seen before.


Anyone know what kind of worms these are?
This remora tickled our legs for a solid 30 minutes.
Marbree wanted to hug this anemone

gulf-thailand-coralThere were only seven people on our boat: four staff and three paying customers. As the other diver was completing his Open Water certification (congratulations, Andrew!), we only saw him and his instructor on the boat. Having dive sites to ourselves was wonderful and I’m grateful to the folks at Scuba Nation for knowing so well where to take us.

Honeycomb grouper
Butterfly fish








Inside of a coral?
Java rabbitfish
Sea urchin and reef fish
So many anemones!



Giant cup mushroom coral


Spiral wire coral

If you’re headed to Cambodia and looking to dive, I’d recommend spending a night on the water. The views of the islands are stunning; sleeping on deck with plenty of rain protection but no mosquitos is restful; and surface intervals are a pleasant time to eat, chat, sun yourself, or take a nap. And if you’re lucky, you’ll make a new friend or two.

2 thoughts on “Diving in Cambodia

  • July 2, 2014 at 10:37 am

    Your photographic skills continue to impress and your abilities to find and report on unique adventures is very resourceful. Please keep up the great posts.

    • July 3, 2014 at 4:25 am

      All photo credit goes to Jen! If you keep reading, we’ll keep posting.

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