Because there’s nothing better to beat the heat than an ice cold beer!

Beer might not be the first thing you think of when you’re planning your SE Asian backpacking adventure, but there’s no denying that this particular region of the world is packed with many different brands of beer and lager, perfect for cooling down in the sometimes intense heat and humidity that is synonymous with the countries which make up this cultural region.

Just like every country in the world generally has a national drink, most countries in SE Asia have a brand of beer, or two, which is hugely popular and generally sold in supermarkets, small shops, restaurants, and bars throughout the region it is connected to. Check out these five beers on your travels, perfect for cooling down after a long day of exploring.


If you’re heading to Cambodia this will be one of the first drinks you see, simply because it’s practically everywhere! A great accompaniment to high heat, with a high alcohol content at 5.5%, Angkor has been made in Cambodia since the 1960s, so there’s no escaping it.


Despite the rather questionable name, Klang is another Cambodian brew, with a stronger content at 6% – not one for the faint hearted! This is a pale lager, a strong one at that, and is particular popular on the islands where overall heat is at its highest.

Bir Bintang

Indonesia’s number one beer is without a doubt Bir Bintang, and you will find it everywhere. The 4.7% alcohol content hits the spot, and when served ice cold, it is certainly great for a cool down. In partnership with Heineken, you can expect a grainy, malt-like beer, with a slight overtone of honey and citrus.


Famous in Thailand, and cheap too. Chang is strong, at 6.5%, and has a malty/grainy flavour, although slightly sweet. Again, ideal for cooling down, but also great on a night out or as an accompaniment to a meal, simply because it’s so cheap.


Everyone knows Tiger, even served all over the world in Chinese and Asian restaurants. The 4.7% alcohol volume is moderate, but the light flavour is what sells it. You’ll find Tiger beer sold everywhere in Singapore, with its iconic malt flavour. Again, cheap enough.

These five choices should certainly whet your appetite for a cool beer in the intense SE Asian heat.

Photo Credit: Takao Chiba

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