10 Strange Travel Laws That Can Get You Into Trouble
Whatever you do - don't step on Thai currency ever
26 January 2017
Globetrotting is exciting but breaking the local law without even knowing about is —well, plain unfortunate.
Most of us know the basics when it comes to staying safe and out of trouble while travelling but cultural clashes can happen in the most unexpected ways. From a harmless hug to lighting up a cigarette outdoors, these are the strange travel faux pas that you should avoid:
1. Don’t wear high heels in Greece
When in Greece — stay comfy. Authorities in the ancient country have banned female tourists from wearing stiletto heels at some of the country’s key archaeological sites for fear that they are damaging the monuments.
2. Don’t chew gum in Singapore
Becoming the cleanest country calls for some major sacrifices. In Singapore — it’s illegal to chew gum in public transport, on roads or in public locations. Smokers too, face tough regulations. Lighting up in public—in restaurants, on the street, in a park—will earn a stiff fine in this Asian country.
3. Don’t step on Thai currency - EVER
Whatever you do, don't step on Thai Baht ever - it's against the law, and you could be arrested. Plus, it would be a very difficult thing to explain why you stepped on a note anyway.
We are not done with Thailand yet. It is a crime punishable by law to go commando in Thailand. Also, no matter how hot it gets - don't drive a car without a shirt.
4. Keep your PDA behind closed doors in Middle East
Attention passionate couples who can't keep their hands off each other: Public displays of affection — kissing, hugging, holding hands should be avoided while travelling to any of the Middle Eastern countries, including UAE. Tourists have been arrested and thrown in jail for kissing in public.
5. Don’t feed the pigeons in San Francisco
This feel-good gesture comes at a hefty fine in San Francisco. The Golden Gate city is filled with pigeons that are blamed for spreading disease and damaging property. If you’re caught providing food to San Francisco’s pigeons, know that some loyal citizen will report you to the city’s police department.
6. Never run out of gas in Germany
Well, it’s technically not illegal but the Autobahn Highway in Germany is famous for large stretches with no posted speed limit, allowing drivers to go as fast as their hearts desire. It is unlawful to stop on the highway for any reason other than an emergency. And running out of gas is well, just lazy.
7. Smile in Milan - all the time
Fighting siblings, angry couples — don't go to Milan. It is a legal requirement to smile at all times, except during funerals or hospital visits. Frowners could face a hefty fine.
8. Don't dance or wear short clothes in Saudi Arabia
We all know alcohol is banned in almost all Muslim countries but dancing, celebrating non-Muslim festivals or wearing short clothes will lead to flogging as punishment.
9. Wearing military fashion items will land you in Ugandan jail
No matter how trendy — it is a crime to wear military related attire in Uganda. Civilians are to hand over any army related clothing items to the efence authorities. (Hoping Rihanna reads this before her Ugandan concert.)
10. Vicks inhalers are banned in Japan
Unless you're seriously ill — in which case you won't be travelling, any over-the-counter allergy/sinus medications that contain the ingredient pseudoephedrine such as Vicks inhalers are banned under Japan’s strict anti-stimulant drug laws. Travellers risk being detained at the airport and being fined.
- travel tips