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Koh Rong dive center. Aaron Bradford / Creative Commons

A two- to three-hour boat journey off the coast of Cambodia’s popular beach destination Sihanoukville, Koh Rong is one of South East Asia’s tropical island paradises that you never want to leave. It boasts 43 kilometres of white sandy shores, brilliant turquoise waters, and enough elbow room for you to find many deserted beaches for a quiet escape (or a party-till-sunrise setting in the southern part of the island, depending on what you’re looking for).

Koh Rong’s jewels, however, don’t just lie above water. The surrounding waters are teeming with diverse marine life and colourful reefs. The Koh Rong reefs have shallow depths that make for great diving and snorkelling, where you can spend your dive next to a reef wall at around 8 to 12 meters and come face to face with puffer fish, blue spotted rays, and schools of barracuda.

There are several reliable dive operators in the island and nearby Sihanoukville. Koh Rong Dive Center, a 5-star dive centre, operates in the island and offers a full range of PADI diver training classes. If you’re making Sihanoukville your base, Scuba Nation is Cambodia’s first PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Centre and Cambodia’s first National Geographic Dive Centre that has accommodated thousands of beginning and experienced divers.


Sokha Beach, Sihanoukville. Image courtesy of the Ministry of Tourism Cambodia.

Similar Southeast Asia Experiences
There’s an embarrassment of riches for divers in Southeast Asia: the trick is knowing where to start. Other key diving destinations include Indonesia’s part of the Coral Triangle; Tubbataha and Apo Reefs in the Philippines; Sipadan in Malaysia; and Phuket in Thailand.