A boat trip to the dive sites at Koh Prins will take about three hours south-west of Koh Rong Samloem. This is one of the furthest diving destinations that dive shops operate from the mainland.
This guide lists the best sites for scuba diving and snorkeling at Prins islands, and what marine species divers may see in this remote location in the Gulf of Thailand.
Travelers like to dive the islands near Sihanoukville for the warm water - averaging 26 to 30° Celsius (78-86 Fahrenheit).
This region in South East Asia usually gets the wet season from June to October and the dry season starts in November until May.
Even so, most scuba centres in Cambodia offer year round scuba diving and snorkeling lessons at the nearby islands.
Sihanoukville city is one of the popular destinations that backpackers and tourists choose when visiting the area.
There are twenty two (22) islands in the province of Sihanoukville, and a few of them have private ownership. Even so, many of the favoured diving locations have not yet been destroyed by any significant foreign investment.
The stunning scenery at Koh Tang Island creates an ideal escape from the noise and pollution of life in the city. So, visitors will make the short journey from the coastal city of Sihanoukville and enjoy a relaxing day trip around the sundrenched archipelago.
Koh Prins is the largest in a cluster of three. The land mass is mostly green vegetation with rocky shorelines. There are two small beaches and a tiny, yet functioning, fishing village.
The middle isle is Koh Moan (known as Chicken Island to the locals). The smallest, named 'Naked Island', is only a rocky outcrop.
Scuba divers and snorkelers can expect to experience water clarity ranging from ten (10) to thirty (30) metres for most of the year in this area.
Note: Most of the islands near Preah Sihanouk province remain uninhabited. Even so, reports suggest there could be plans to develop a Casino, golf course, and an airport in the future.
This area is mostly sandy on the ocean floor, but you will find large boulders smothered with hard and soft corals.
Its name suggests that it's a wall dive... and it certainly is! The vertical cliff drops below thirty (30) metres in places. The clear waters in this area attract barracudas, jacks, and large schools of yellow goatfish.
Note: If you like diving near steep walls, check out the Cobia Point dive site where you can swim among the large cobias that frequent the area.
This is one of the shallower dive sites at Koh Prins (starting at 6 metres in the bay). You will find the entry zone located between the big island and Koh Moan.
As you may have guessed already, it's a popular destination for divers who like sea anemones (Actiniaria) and there's no shortage of fish life here.
The notable features at this diving destination are the coral bommies and rock formations in the shallow water near to the shoreline.
As you descend deeper (westward) you'll get a good opportunity to see brilliant anemones as well as the usual brightly-colourful fish families.
Note: If you dive west of the island, you have the best chance of seeing eagle rays and requiem sharks (e.g. black-tip reef sharks).
This is another popular dive spot that nestles between Koh Prins and the middle island 'Koh Moan'. Divers can find several different routes with differing bottom times, based on their experience level (from 8 to 20 metres below).
The underwater vegetation and sporadic coral bommies first come into sight as you get close to the edge of the rocky beaches.
Note: There aren't many fish species that like to hide in bommies more than moray eels. So, get ready to sharpen your fish identification skills as you encounter white-mouthed moray, white-eyed moray, and the hexagonal moray.
You need to head west from the north of Naked Island to find the Shark Point dive site. It will be a gentle start hovering over a field of anemones in the shallows around five (5) metres.
Then, the route takes you past a rocky out-cropping as you move your way down to the seabed at thirty (30) metres. This will be your best opportunity to see black-tip reef sharks.
Note: Do you find it exciting to scuba dive or freedive near sharks? If so, keep your eyes peeled near the cleaning station and time your visit right (December or May) and you might get a glimpse of mighty whale sharks.
The visibility at Koh Prins dive sites doesn't get much better than this area to the east of Naked Island. As you head south, you can follow the rocky outcrops all the way down to the ocean floor at 30 metres.
For several reasons, this is an excursion better suited to divers with some previous experience in deep and current diving.
Note: Check out our sea life and marine animals section for further information about spotted eagle rays (Aetobatus narinari).
This is one of the most diverse dive sites at Koh Prins. The average depth limits vary between six (6) and eighteen (18) metres.
Even so, divers should feel unlucky if they don't see boxfish, schools of fusiliers, and porcupine fish taking shelter around the rocks, and blue-spotted sting-rays hiding in the sand.
Note: Another section contains a comprehensive list of Sihanoukville dive sites that are popular day trip destinations by boat from Koh Rong Samloem and from the mainland.