Diving Cambodia’s uncharted waters is a colourful experience, all the better for the lack of other divers. In places visibility reaches up to 20m, and, with a wealth of islands to choose from, operators can offer itineraries ranging from reefs encased in coral to an almost overabundance of marine life, including barracuda, puffer fish, moray eels, giant mussels and parrot fish. Closest to Sihanoukville at just two hours away, Koh Rong Samloem is the most popular day-excursion; trips include a couple of dives, a lazy lunch and a spot of beachcombing on its gloriously white sands. You could also stay overnight. Further afield, more experienced divers might prefer overnight trips to Koh Tang and Koh Prins (each a 5–7hr boat ride away), with reefs, coral bommies, a wreck or two and better visibility in their deeper waters.

Diving operators

The Dive Shop

Serendipity Beach Rd 034 933664, diveshopcambodia.com. Friendly German-owned PADI five-star dive centre – HQ is at Robinson’s Bungalows on Koh Rong Samloem. Offers two-dive day packages ($80), two-night liveaboard trips ($295) and three-day Open Water courses ($320) with free dorm accommodation on the island, plus a number of speciality courses.

EcoSea Dive

Between the Golden Lions roundabout and Serendipity Beach 034 934631, ecoseadive.com. Another experienced outfit running PADI courses, fun dives, day-trips and overnights including accommodation in dorms, tents or bungalows, from their base on Koh Rong Samloem.

Scuba Nation

MoHaChai guesthouse, Serendipity Beach Rd 012 604680, divecambodia.com. Fully insured five-star PADI outfit with highly qualified instructors and some of the most advanced courses in Cambodia; options include four-day Open Water courses ($445), day-trips ($85) and overnighters ($220–325) – including night dives – on their tailor-made boat; the pricier trips make for Koh Tang.

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