Drinking Age in Cambodia
There is no minimum drinking age in Cambodia, meaning if you can put your money on the counter, you can buy it and drink it. This has caused a bit of concern for the government recently due to the number of youths going on binge drinking adventures. As a traveler, it will be up to you to decide whether or not your children drink and keep them under control.
Drinking in Cambodia
You do not need to have any special reason to drink in Cambodia. It is practically the national past time. Locals drink beer instead of water, saying it is more dehydrating in the hot, humid climate. In fact, the World Health Organization recommends you drink at least one beer for every two hours you are outside to remain sufficiently hydrated. Of course, this is in part due to the fact that the water is not safe to drink.
Gin and tonic is another very popular drink in Cambodia with a medical reason behind it. Tonic contain quinine, which will keep you from getting malaria. You could drink just the tonic, but locals say it tastes better with the added gin.
Cambodia is a very poor country, many people rely on alcohol sales to sustain their families. You can buy beer and other beverages at a much cheaper price than paying for clean drinking water. The number of people who have jobs that are somehow related to the alcohol industry is staggering; from bar owners to the truck drivers that deliver the stuff. Many families will make their own beer or gin and sell it to make the rent money.
Life in Cambodia and Alcohol
For many people, there is nothing to do in Cambodia, there is not even decent television to watch and enjoy. Instead of sitting in the house and being bored after working or looking for work, most people head to the local pub to talk about sports, politics and everyday life.
The problem with alcohol consumption in the country is the fast growing number of children who are doing it. While parents used to be able to keep their children busy and entertained, it has gotten to the point where there is just nothing to do. The adults are out drinking, so the kids do their own. This has led to a huge increase in the number of traffic accidents and deaths in the country.
As it becomes more popular for young people to drink and get drunk, new laws are being discussed and considered. If you are going to be traveling to Cambodia, it would be wise to see if there have been any changes made in the alcohol laws. While it is highly unlikely that you will no longer be of legal aged to drink, if you are taking your family, some members might not be able to do so in the future. Of course, you may not allow your children to drink no matter what the law says so it might not be an issue at all.