Category Archives: Uncategorised

The remote reefs

Heading a couple of hours out to open sea you will find our outer reefs. Condor reef and Shark Island (Boratit) is among the absolutely best dive sites in the country, with year round great visibility, loads of marine life and some skulls and bones.

The boat trip is about 2 and a half hour each way, so prepare for a long day at sea.

Shark Island (Boratit)
Shark Island (Boratit) $120
condor_holywall_edit_small
Condor Reef $120

 

 

 

 

 

Please read our booking and cancellation policy here.

Condor Reef

Condor Reef is by many considered one of the absolutely best dive sites in Cambodia. This of shore reef is situated about 30 kilometers south of Koh Sdach and offers excellent visibility, a fantastic underwater scenery and on the right day reef sharks, turtles and hopefully a whale shark will swim by.

The holy wall
Giants kettles

The unusual natural architecture is amazing. You will find huge rectangle rocks which seem to have been man made (or is it the aliens again?).  Some forms terraces, others mini walls with giants kettles and at least one arch can be seen. Even though it might just be a geological phenomenon it will make you wonder. Was this Atlantis?

 


Departure: 7 am (the sailing time is approximately 2 and a half hour each way)
Return: We’ll try to be back before dark, so around 6 pm
Meals included: Breakfast (on board), lunch, snack and softdrinks
Number of guided dives: 2
Minimum number of divers: 2 (or one that pay double)
Maximum number of divers: 8
Price: $120 for divers, $60 for snorkelers

 

A reef that just pop out of the sea in the middle of nowhere, will of 15_04_30_condor_reef_alejandro_edit_DSC_9250course get a few shipwrecks, and so also on Condor Reef. Many Chinese junks sailed these waters the last thousands of years, and some of them ended their journey on Condor. Loaded with valuable porcelain and gold the value of the cargos must have been significant and this has attracted many treasure hunters to the area. Much has been salvaged and even some has ended up in the national museum in Phnom Penh. Even though most has been removed, you will still find porcelain, probably dating as far back as 1660, and you can still see the remains of an old junk on the east side of the reef. Please take a good look at what you might find, take a photo and leave it there. The remains of the Condor wrecks belongs where they are or in a museum.

Condor reef
Condor reef

In a country with such a long modern war history you will find evidence of it. On Condor you might find bomb shells, quite a few undetonated. Our rule on how to behave around these are easy: No touchy touchy or it go boom boom and that might bring ouch ouch.

So we’ve got alien architecture and 350 year old wrecks, and that’s before we mention the marine life. Corals and anemones are spread all over the area. And loads of fish. The usual reef fishes and, because of the location, many pelagic big fishes, even whale sharks can be seen. Reef sharks and turtles are frequently seen. And all of it in year around great visibility.

Things of interest:

  • Shipwrecks and its cargo
  • Geological formations (or alien architecture, you choose)
  • Sharks and big pelagic fish
  • Amazing visibility

Diving depths: 10 – 40 meter (average 16 – 20meter)

The site is suitable for beginners as well as the experienced diver, but a stomach that can tolerate some sea is preferred. Excellent snorkeling.

In periods with big waves and wind, Condor reef can’t be reached.
Can be reached on daytrip or as part of our Shark Island and Condor Reef overnight trip.
Departure on demand. Minimum number of paying divers for departure: 2.

For booking, please send us an email or call us.

please read our booking and cancellation policy here.

 

The Water House

On our end of the island, dence jungle stretches all the way down to the sea. So we thought, wouldn’t it be cool to make a house with water under and the jungle over?
Two elements meeting.

So we buildt our little Water House betwen the rocks on the beach.

The rocks we built on also create a nice chilling area in front of the porch. So if you like a little morning swim, it’s just to jump.

For easy access we made a pier and a jungle path.

The house is about 30 square meters. In addition there is a connected bathroom with shower.

The house is normally set up with one double bed, but that can easily be changed to fit the needs of our guests.

Price: $45 per night icluded breakfast (price for 2 person. Additional person $15 per night)

From Siem Reap

There is a few options to get to our Island From Siem Reap, depending on your budget and time available. Please plan good time to travel,  and if you want us to arrange a private car for you. let us know in good time.

The budget friendly way:
Take a regular bus to Phnom Penh, there are many bus companies operating the route Siem Reap-Phnom Penh, so find the one that suits you best.  From Phnom Penh you can either take the local shared car (note they only leave once a day; 08.00 in the morning check our Phnom Penh section for details ) or take a private car from Phnom Penh $80

The comfortable way:
Private car all the way from your hotel in Siem Reap to the mainland opposite our Island Koh Sdach. $150. Change of car and or driver in Phnom Penh

The speedy way:
Take a plane to either Sihanoukville or Phnom Penh and from there go for the local shared morning car or we can arrange with a private car to pick you up at the airport.

Welcome to Octopuses Garden

Hello!

You are about to visit Koh Sdach and our little dive center, Octopuses Garden
Here we have gathered a some information for you, with links to our webpage and the answer to many FAQ

Please do not hesitate to ask us if you have further questions!

koh_kong_areas_cityGetting here
Koh Sdach is a bit off the grid, thats how we like it, and probably why you also chose to visit our Island.
There is basically two ways of getting here, either by private car which is comfortable and fast. Or by local shared car, a budget friendly adventure.
On our website we have added useful information, phone numbers and contacts so you can get to us the easiest way.

Note that in most cases there are no bus terminals, tickets or route tables.  The local food on the food stops is very good and safe.
Let us know if you need a private car, we will often get you the best price.

Also, the bigger organized bus companies do not go to Koh Sdach,  they only travel between the bigger cities.
And no matter what is listed on other web pages: Sorry, there are NO ferries from Koh Kong, Sihanukville or Koh Rong/Koh Rong Samloem
If you are not totally sure where our island is: We have a overview map for you here

The DivingHege Shark Island
If you have signed up for a diving course, you should have received a PADI medical statement. You can also find it here.
Please read it and if you must answer yes to any of the questions, you must see a doctor and bring the doctors statement with you, in order to be cleared for diving.
If you have signed up for fun diving, we have all the equipment you need. If you bring your own equipment; our tanks are ready for joke and DIN regulators.

bungalow_base_kate_west_watermarkwebStaying with us
We have cool, special bungalows and a mezzanine available for Bed & Breakfast.
Our accomodation is mainly recerved for divers, so be prepared for lots of dive stories around the kitchen table.
Our rooms have mosqito nets, linens, towels and fans and we can host up to 11 people.

Food and Drink Drinks
Please let us know if you have any dietarian requests, allergies, dislikes or favorites.
We have communal breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. We like good food and cook western, fusion and Khmer.
We also have a nice selection of wine, proper coffee, beer, lemonades and fruit shakes.
There are a few restaurants in the village and we buy most of our food, fruit, vegetables, fish and meat from the local marked on the island.

riel and dollarMoney
Cash is king here in Cambodia. We accept both Dollars and Riel. The going exchange rate in most markets, shops and cafés are fixed $1 to 4000 Riel. In the bigger shops and exchange offices, they mostly follow the official exchange rate. (Tip: Save the small 100 riel bills for the first beggar you meet every day)
Note there are  NO Atm’s on the Island, actually finding a cash machine outside the bigger cities as Koh Kong, Sihanoukville, Phnom Penh, Battambang, Siem Reap, Kep and Kampot is close to impossible.
So bring enough cash for your rural travels. We can in some cases accept bank transfers for an additional Island fee.
The smallest local shops might have a problem to split your $100 bill so bring small money.
But when you change, make sure that the dollar bills you get are not torn or discolored, some shops refuse to take damaged dollar bills. The Riels are no problem, they can be torn, crumbled and taped.
In house altars it is normal to put stacks of $100 dollar bills, these are of course fake copies, but sometimes they do end up in circulation, and you will see the locals check very closely for fakes, so should you.

Wifi and Phonesmart phone
To get the best connection on the island you get a Smart simcard $1/2 (available everywhere) and you refill your balance as needed.
(The others phone companies do not really work on our tip of the island)

In the end, Cambodia is in general a very safe and fun place to travel. Be polite, say a friendly no to tuktuks, haggle with a smile and enjoy your stay!

Phew.. that was a lot… hopefully it was a bit of useful information.

We are looking forward to see you here!
Now enjoy your travels, don’t panic and always travel with a towel!

Best Regards
Octopuses Garden

+855(0)86 41 33 80 or +855(0)86 41 24 32

Ohns Pier

DSC_2673_batfish_ohns_pier_webWe have a small and “secret”pier on the mainland, only a short boat trip away. At first glance, this looks just like any other lonely pier reaching out in the ocean from the sandy shore. But put your head under water, this is critter paradice no.1. If we are really lucky we might see elephants walking along the shore.

This pier is not often in use, and it is situated a bit up the coast away from people, so many critters find their little haven here, around the protective pillars and in the fine sand.  When you put your critter eyes on, and stick your head in the sand, you can find octopuses hiding in shells and on the sand. Seahorses on, behind and around DSC_2364_seahorse_ohns_pier_webalmost every pole. Colorful and yet unidentified nudibranchs and flatworms crawl around. Carry crabs wandering around with planks, leafs and other fancy decorations. Juvenile batfish and sweetlips are wobbling around in between debris.
Milk Spottet puffers swim up to you and wonder what you are doing. Toad fish and rays hide in the sand. This dive is all about gliding slowly back and DSC_2378_toadfish_ohns_pier_webforth, maintaining perfect buoyancy control, peeking around and under things and being amazed at what suddenly pops up. At the right time of year this is THE cuttle fish mating area. If you are lucky you can see cuttle fish doing their mating dance, laying their eggs and just hanging out.

DSC_2354_ohns_pier_cuttlefish_web
Cuttlefish

 

Departure: 8 am
Return: around 13 pm
Meals included: Lunch, snack and soft drinks
Minimum number of divers: 1
Maximum number of divers: 8
Price: $85 for 2 local dives, $25 for snorkelers

Things of interest:
Seahorses, juveniles, critters, octopuses, more critters and cuttlefish

Diving depths: 0,5-5 meters

For booking, please send us an email or call us

From Koh Chang/Trat

From Koh Chang and Trat, Cambodia is only a bus ride away.

There are departures to Koh Kong almost every hour from Trat bus terminal.
Price is from 140 THB pr. person and the trip to Koh Kong takes about 3 hours +/-.

If you have arrived from Koh Chang to Trat and it is getting close to dark we suggest to spend the night, (try out Artist Place).

On the Cambodian side of the Thai/Cambodian border there are many people trying to help you with passports, visa, taxis etc. and they all want a piece of your money.
Haggle the best way you can, always with a smile, that helps.

On the border you can get a private car to us (if any of the drivers know where Koh Sdach is) $60 is a good price and the trip takes about 3 hours.
Or you can get a tuktuk/shared car for a few dollars to Mr. Ritthy in Koh Kong and he can help you with a shared car to Poi Yopon for $10 pr person. Note the local shared cars only leave Koh Kong once a day, around noon.

From Bangkok

Getting to us from Bangkok
Depending on your budget and available time, there is a few ways of getting to us from Bangkok.

You can either take a plane from Bangkok to Phnom Penh or the most scenic and budget friendly way is to get here by bus.

The most exiting way is to do it yourself:
Here is how to #1
From Bangkok Ekamai Bus Terminal there are at least two bus companies with departures almost every hour going to Trat, Which is on the way to Koh Kong. (NB: Koh Kong is the name of the border city between Thailand and Cambodia, but also an Island and a province).
You get to the Bus terminal either by taxi or use the SkyTrain, Sukhumvit line to Ekamai station.
The price is from about 240thb per person and the trip to Trat takes about 6 hours +/-.

From Trat bus terminal you take the bus to Koh Kong.
There are departures to Koh Kong almost every hour.
Price is from 140Thb pr person and the trip to Koh Kong takes about 3 hours +/-
If it is getting close to dark, we suggest to spend the night in Trat (Try out Artist Place).
How to get to us from Bangkok, Kao San area by bus
How to #2
Go to a local ticket office in Kao San and buy a ticket to Koh Kong
about $20 pr person and the trip takes a full day, with some changes from tuktuk/moto, to big bus, to small bus, to tuktuk and back to small buses again.
Trust the system and bring some snacks and drinks.

On the Cambodian side of the Thai/Cambodian border there are many people trying to help you with passports, visa, taxis etc. and they all want a piece of your money.
Haggle the best way you can, always with a smile, that helps.

Get a private car from the border to us (if anyone of the drivers know where Koh sdach is) $60 is a good price and the trip takes about 3 hours.
Or get a tuktuk/shared car for a few dollars to Mr. Ritthy in Koh Kong and he can help you with a shared car to Poi Yopon for $10 pr person. Note the shared cars only leave once a day around noon.

Prices at a glance

Come explore the underwater splendors of Cambodia with us.
We arrange diving and snorkeling trips for the experienced diver and the novice

Fun Diving


PADI DSD (Discover Scuba Diving) $ 95
Have you ever wanted to explore the wonders of the underwater world?
This introduction to scuba diving gives you a small taste of what diving is all about.
Dive theory introduction, a confined water session and one fun dive.
Equipment rental, lunch, coffee, tea and water on board is included in the price.

One day local diving 2 dives $ 85
Come join us exploring the archipelago. There are many small islands with beaches and
wonderful dive sites. Only for certified divers.
Equipment rental, lunch, tea, coffee and water on board is included in the price.

House reef diving without guide $ 35
We have a beautiful house reef just outside our bungalow. Here you can spend hours watching the clownfishes, anemones and our juvenile batfishes that hang around the pier.
For the experienced and certified diver, you and your buddy can enjoy our house reef on your own. (After you had a check out dive)

Remote island diving Shark Island and Condor reef $ 120 (min. 2 pers)
A few hours away we have the beautiful and famous dive sites Shark Island and Condor reef.
Come with us for 2 dives on either Shark Island, or Condor reef. Only for certified divers.
Equipment rental, lunch, tea, coffee and water on board is included in the price.

Night Dive 65 $/ House reef $50
Enjoy the magic of diving in the dark.
Equipment rental, tea, coffee, water and a snack on board is included in the price.

Diving courses

PADI Open Water $ 400
Do you want to take the step and become a certified PADI diver?
You get 4 days with diving and theory, 5 confined dives, 4 open water dives, final exam and the PADI certification fee. Equipment rental, lunch, coffee and water on board is included in the price.

PADI Advanced Open Water $ 360
Evolve as a diver. 5 dives in 2 days. The Deep dive, navigation and night dive are the core dives of the course. The 2 other dives you chose with your instructor. PADI certification fee,
equipment rental, lunch, coffee and water on board is included in the price.

PADI Rescue Diver $ 375
Scuba divers describe the PADI Rescue Diver course as the most challenging, yet most rewarding course they have ever taken. Why? Because you learn to prevent and manage problems in the water, and become more confident in your skills as a diver, knowing that you can help others if needed.

PADI Divemaster $ 1260
Go pro! Become a Divemaster!
Including equipment rental, staff lodging and all meals for 1 month.
Divemaster course training materials and PADI fee are not included.

Extra day of the course $ 50
Need an extra day on your course? No problem
Adventure dives and other PADI programs are also available upon request!

Bed & Breakfast

Mezzanine/Dorm $15 per person per night
In our main building, on stilts in the sea, you will find our cozy mezzanine. Here we can sleep up too eight people on comfortable mattresses. For your privacy the room is divided with curtains. Included breakfast, coffee, tea and fruit through the day.

Tree house $35 for 2 persons
Does houses have to stand on the ground? and do they need to be square?
No. of course not.
Since our coastline is quite steep and difficult to build on we decided to hoist a cabin up in the trees. Included breakfast, coffee, tea and fruit through the day.

And we are building, so new alternatives never seen by man will soon arise.

Other Excursions

Snorkel trip $ 25 half day (min. 2 persons or together with other fun divers)
Equipment rental, lunch, tea, coffee and water on board are included in the price

Spend a night at a deserted island $ 50/pax
We will provide you with what you need to stay the night at one of the beautiful deserted
islands around Koh Sdach.
We pack you a nice food basket and supply you with cooking utensils. We drop you off on the beach, and pick you up the next day.
A small “off island mini bar” with wine and beer will be available.

Jungle trips and other excursions with or without boat are available on request!
For booking call +855 (0)86 41 33 80/+855(0) 86 41 24 32 or mail@octopuscambodia.com

The boat

For our local and remote dive trips we use our traditional longtail boat.  The boats name is Sabai Sabai.Sabaisabai_sailing_1

We use this kind of boat because it’s made for these waters. It will cut through even big waves like there’s nothing.

And it’s quite fast. Propelled with two 1700 cc 3 cylinder diesel engines from Iseki it will give us 10 knots or about 18 km/h. And with that speed the remote reefs aren’t that far away. The two engines also works as a safety. If there is problems with one, there is always the other.

It’s shallow. A traditional longtail boat only needs about 40 cm of water to float and that makes it possible to go into lagoons and even into the mangroves.sabaisabai_interion_1

It’s the right size for us. We really don’t want to fill our boat with 20 divers and make you dive in big groups. That’s not what we do. We comfortably fill the 15 meter long boat with up to 8 divers, and if there is more people, they will have to wait for another trip.

We are Norwegians, and the traditional longtail boat resembles a traditional viking longship. And of course that makes us feel even more like Norsemen.

The boat is rigged for diving with consoles for tanks, O2 equipment onboard, ladders and so on. Safety equipment like life jackets is of course onboard.