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Dive Review of The Dive Shop, Sihanoukville in
Other Locations/Cambodia

March, 2012, an Instant Reader Report by Elizabeth Crapo, ID, US
Sr. Reviewer   (9 reports)
Report Number 6634
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Guam, Palau, Yap, Chuuk, Bali, Hawaii, French Polynesia, Fiji, Manado,
Sipadan, Thailand, Dominica, Bay Islands, San Diego, South Carolina
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
  to    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
60   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  2 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars    
5 stars   
3 stars    
The Dive Shop is based in the coastal city of Sihanoukville, Cambodia, but
they operate mainly on Koh Rong Island, which is a 2.5 hour ride on a slow
boat across a channel that can be subject to swells.  Some people on the
boat got seasick during the crossing.  Most people stay on Koh Rong for at
least one night rather than make the round trip in one day. If you are
diving with The Dive Shop on consecutive days, you can stay in their
dormitory overnight for free. Otherwise, there's a backpacker party resort
called Monkey Island and a somewhat-quieter place called Paradise a short
walk down the beach. There's a few $5-10 places in the village too.  I
stayed in The Dive Shop's dorm and ate mostly at Monkey Island. Both were
good, especially for the price.  As far as the diving, it's OK.  You'll see
a decent variety of small tropicals. There's a good variety of nudibranchs
if you're into small stuff. The Dive Shop also runs a small live-aboard
that goes to some of the more distant offshore islands for 2 or 3 days. 
It's not 5-star (accommodations are mats on the top deck, which is covered
by a tarp) but the Cambodian family who ran it was really nice and helpful,
and the local-style food was good.  The diving was pretty similar to Koh
Rong. Sadly, there has been a lot of dynamite fishing going on in the area
where the live-aboard went. We heard blasts in the area while we were in
the water.  We had to abort one dive about 10 minutes early when it was way
too close. There was lots of gray coral rubble, so the highlight ended up
being unusual critters like nudibranchs and pygmy octopuses. Every once in
a while there would be a spectacular patch of reef, such as a patch of
amemones about 50 feet in diameter, and a half-football field of untouched
green coral interspersed with white bracnhing corals - a cruel tease that
showed what this place must have looked like before the fishermen got to
it. So, Cambodia is definitely not the latest undiscovered dive
destination. Those new to tropical diving will probably find it more
interesting than veteran divers. Don't come here if you require five-star
accommodations. If you are in the country anyway (it does have all kinds of
great topside attractions) and want to get a unique stamp in your logbook,
I'd definitely recommend The Dive Shop. The DMs (from Europe and South
Africa) were all a lot of fun and spoke good English. Koh Rong was a nice,
away-from-it-all place with nice beaches that I often heard compared to
Thailand as it was 20 years ago. Definitely worth checking out if you're in
the area.
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