Koh Rong - Diving with Sharks & Nudibranch in Cambodia

Koh Rong Diving with Sharks Nudibranch in Cambodia Koh Rong Cambodia Diveoclock 9

Flabellina nudibranch at Koh Rong, Cambodia

Have you ever heard of Bamboo and Coral Catsharks? You can find them around Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem Island as well as some incredible nudibranch species. Cambodia offers a different kind of diving in the Gulf of Thailand!

If you think of Cambodia you might think of the incredible Angkor Wat temple complex or the horrible things that happened at the Killing Fields. What you might not think of is tropical islands and SCUBA diving, but it is all there and it is interesting!

From the island of Koh Rong, in the North-Eastern part of the Gulf of Thailand, you can dive to a large variety of dive sites. Both islands (Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloen) are still ideal backpacker places with white sandy beaches and beach bars/restaurants.

Right at the jetty where you arrive from Sihanoukville there is a dive shop called Koh Rong Dive Center. We went on a 2-tank dive trip with them to the Corner Bar.
Country Cambodia
Dive area name Gulf of Thailand, Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem Island
Dive center Koh Rong Dive Center
Famous for Coral reef with Bamboo & Coral catsharks
Price 2-tank guided boat dive about $80,- including gear rental (no wetsuit or computer), lunch, tea, coffee and water on board.
Hotel recommendation Sok San Beach Resort


Koh Rong Diving with Sharks Nudibranch in Cambodia Koh Rong Cambodia Diveoclock 2

Coralcat shark hiding under a rock at Koh Rong, Cambodia

Koh Rong Diving with Sharks Nudibranch in Cambodia Koh Rong Cambodia Diveoclock 6

Nudibranch at Koh Rong, Cambodia


Reef CREATURE Identification
Paul Human

Tropical Pacific
(South-East Asia
South Pacific
& Australia)
1600 Animals!



Bamboo and Coral Catsharks are small shark species that you can find resting on the bottom. Coral Catsharks have cat-like eyes and white spots on their dark colored body. They grow to a maximum size of about 70 cm and they like to swim around and hide in rocky caves and crevices. Although Bamboo sharks can have spots as well they are easily recognized by the dark bands on their body. We found both species hiding under the rocks, pretty hard to take some nice photos.

Apart from the small shark species there were many nudibranch around. Especially the Flabellina nudibranch is an eye catcher with the long colorful spines and bright colored body. The visibility was not so good, up to 10 meters, making the area look greenish. The colorful barrel sponges and anemones with anemone fish were easy to spot from a distance because of their beautiful colors. The marine diversity is good, we were just unlucky with the visibility.


Comparing dive destinations

* The transparent boxes are the things I have seen down below and / or are spotted on almost every dive in that area.
* The dark blue boxes are the 'things' that are unavailable - things I have not seen and/or that are uncommon in that area.
Click here for more information about comparing dive destinations.
Bottom structure Reef structure Pelagic
(big stuff in the blue)
Big reef
(bigger stuff on the reef)
Macro
(small stuff on the reef)
Current
(stream)
Flat bottom with bumps/big rocks/pinnacles Hard corals tree-shape
(not moving)
Sharks Turtles Nudibranchs
(snails)
No current
Slope (going down slowly) Soft corals tree-shape
(moving)
Rays Eels/snakes Sea horses Small
(you can easily swim against it)
Wall
(steep but you see the bottom)
Table-/fan-shape Trevally/Jacks/Tuna Groupers Scorpion/frog fish Medium
(you can swim against it for a little while/higher air consumption)
Drop off
(steep and you can't see the bottom)
Anemones Barracudas Lobsters/crabs Octopus/squid Strong/reef hooks
(you cannot swim against it)
Blue
(no reference)
Sponges Sardines/herrings Puffers Shrimps Pumping/washing machine/OMG/hold your regulator
(superman)


Impressions of diving around Koh Rong

Koh Rong Diving with Sharks Nudibranch in Cambodia Koh Rong Cambodia Diveoclock 3
Koh Rong Diving with Sharks Nudibranch in Cambodia Koh Rong Cambodia Diveoclock 4
Koh Rong Diving with Sharks Nudibranch in Cambodia Koh Rong Cambodia Diveoclock 7
Koh Rong Diving with Sharks Nudibranch in Cambodia Koh Rong Cambodia Diveoclock 8
Koh Rong Diving with Sharks Nudibranch in Cambodia Koh Rong Cambodia Diveoclock 10
Koh Rong Diving with Sharks Nudibranch in Cambodia Koh Rong Cambodia Diveoclock 11
Koh Rong Diving with Sharks Nudibranch in Cambodia Koh Rong Cambodia Diveoclock 12
Koh Rong Diving with Sharks Nudibranch in Cambodia Koh Rong Cambodia Diveoclock 13

Impressions of diving around Koh Rong

Koh Rong - Diving with Sharks & Nudibranch in Cambodia

About the organization of Koh Rong Dive Center

Koh Rong Dive Center is a shop you can not miss, they have a big diving center on the jetty. There were many staff member around to help out and many new divers were around for their PADI Open Water course.

We went diving with their spacious boat which had a used look, typical for the Gulf of Thailand. The boat has plenty of space to set up gear, a large dry area inside and a top deck for sunbathing and relaxing. In between the dives we had lunch on Koh Rong Samloen. It was nice to walk around and check out the other island, it is quite different.

If you go to Koh Rong, make sure to bring cash! There was no ATM on the island when we were there.

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Marlies
Dive o'clock "It's dive o'clock somewhere!"
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Koh Rong Diving with Sharks Nudibranch in Cambodia Koh Rong Cambodia Diveoclock 15
Koh Rong Diving with Sharks Nudibranch in Cambodia Koh Rong Cambodia Diveoclock 1
Koh Rong Diving with Sharks Nudibranch in Cambodia Koh Rong Cambodia Diveoclock 16

Koh Rong Dive Center





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