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

The Dive Shop, Sihanoukville, Mar, 2012,

by Elizabeth Crapo, ID, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 9 reports). Report 6634.

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

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp to Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 60 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 2 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments 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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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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