Scuba diving in Cambodia is mostly centered around the coastal city of Sihanoukville and the Gulf of Thailand. This is where PADI dive schools run daily boat trips out to the nearby islands.
This guide contains a comprehensive list of Cambodia diving sites with information about the marine creatures that divers and snorkelers may find in this region of Southeast Asia.
Cambodia is a big country. Even so, the only destinations for scuba and snorkeling are at Kampong Som (Sihanoukville).
It is the capital of Preah Sihanouk Province, and you'll find it at the end of a peninsula in the south-west of the country.
So, what is there for scuba divers to explore, and when is the best time of year to go for a visit?
Typically, the Cambodia wet season arrives in June and it runs through to October. It rains most often in the afternoons.
Thus, the dry season starts around November and then the climate will stay hot and sunny until May. That said, the local dive shops run scuba trips all year round. You can expect annual water temperatures to be 28-30° Celsius (82-86° Fahrenheit).
The tropical waters in this part of the world are packed with marine life diversity and vibrant macro fauna. You can find various vertebrates and invertebrates clambering for shelter in the coral reef formations that sprawl out along this stretch of coastline, such as.
Some dive shops also organise snorkeling tours and the PADI Skin Diving course - both are extremely popular with holidaymakers. In fact, marine tourism is an expanding industry in this part of the world.
If you are wondering what to do, can you imagine a better way to cool down during the scorching summer months than in the under-explored waters of Cambodia?
Plunging into the water around the islands gives you the best chance to see the coral reefs and underwater marine life in this part of the southern Gulf.
You will find the best places to scuba dive and snorkel at the small, uninhabited islands a few hours boat ride away.
Even though daily wind and sea conditions will determine which spots you can visit, here is a comprehensive list of the islands for scuba divers in Sihanoukville (some are shallow enough for snorkelers):
Note: The Cambodian Khmer language uses the word 'KOH' as an introduction before the full name of each island.