Cambodia is mainly known for its beautiful temples, such as the world-famous temple complex Angkor Wat. Others see Cambodia mainly as an excellent country for backpacking. But Cambodia also has another face, which can only be seen underwater. Apply for your Cambodia visa in time and dive into the magical underwater world of Cambodia.
Among tourists and even experienced divers, Cambodia is still relatively unknown as a diving destination. The advantage of this is that the many dive sites in Cambodia are still largely undiscovered. The waters of Cambodia are characterised by their clarity and the diversity of marine life found in the coral reefs. The waters in Cambodia are excellent for swimming. The water temperature is between 27 and 30 degrees Celsius, and the dive sites are not very deep. The waters also have relatively few currents, allowing you to explore the underwater world at your leisure.
Sihanoukville is usually the best place to go diving in Cambodia, as the best dive sites in the country can be reached easily from this city. To reach Sihanoukville, you can take the bus from the capital Phnom Penh, a 3 to 4-hour drive. The online Cambodia visa also allows you to arrive at the tiny airport of Sihanoukville, but there are few direct flights landing at this airport. The most common option is therefore the bus from Phnom Penh.
Once you arrive in Sihanoukville, you have the choice of several beautiful dive sites.
Koh Tang is perhaps the best known dive site in Cambodia. The boat trip to this island takes about 4 hours. Koh Tang is especially known for the very clear water, which makes it possible to see up to 15 metres into the distance. In Koh Tang you can find big barracudas, eagle rays and many species of colourful migratory fish.
Koh Pring is the largest island of a small archipelago consisting of Koh Pring, Koh Doung and Koh Trangol. Koh Pring is famous for the Drop Off, a dive site where the rock face goes down to 30 metres. At Shark Point, you can admire impressive reef sharks from a safe distance.
Koh Rong Samloem
The island of Koh Rong Samloem is an excellent dive site for beginners. Although unlike Koh Pring there are few large fish to be found here, there is an abundance of smaller marine life such as starfish, scorpion fish and sea snails. With a bit of luck, stingrays can also be spotted. As in Cambodiaʼs other waters, visibility is excellent here.
Like the other dive sites in Cambodia, Condor Reef has warm waters and diverse marine life. But what makes this location so popular are the shipwrecks that can be found there. The Condor Reef route used to be very popular with Chinese traders. They often transported valuable goods, such as gold and porcelain. Most of it has been recovered by the Cambodian government and placed in museums, but certainly not all. This makes Condor Reef especially popular with treasure hunters, who hope to find remains of the valuable cargo.
Before departure: Cambodia visa application
If you cannot wait to discover the magical underwater world of Cambodia, you should arrange the right paperwork before you leave. For British and Irish travellers, this means applying for a Cambodia visa. If you plan to stay less than 30 days in the country, it is possible to apply for the visa entirely online. This means you do not have to visit the embassy, which is a major advantage.
To apply for an online Cambodia visa, your passport must be valid for at least 6 more months from the moment you arrive in Cambodia. The visa must also be printed out twice, once for entry and once for exit. The visa is approved in 1 week on average. If you are travelling on short notice, you can submit an urgent application. These are usually approved within 24 hours.