Travelling can be stressful at the best of times, with language barriers, working out public transport, dealing with shonky wifi connections, just to name a few.
And lets not even get started on exchange rates.
But what about navigating the myriad of overseas laws and cultural practices of each country you visit?
Did you know that it’s forbidden to wear yellow in Malaysia? And you could go to jail for jogging in Burundi?
Researching local customs and laws is an essential part of travelling abroad, but it’s also a good way to have a giggle at some of the more bizarre laws.
Lucky for us, Smart Limur have put together a list of the most obscure laws out there, to help you avoid a serious faux pas.
1. Chewing gum is banned in Singapore
If you’re a chewing gum lover, you might forget it when you’re in Singapore. The cleanest city in the world has a strict ban on chewing gum imports since 1992.
This means you aren’t allowed to import and use chewing gum inside Singapore. Wondering what is the penalty?
Not a symbolic one to say at least. Fines are up to $100,000 or even a prison sentence! So better check your backpack before that long-awaited flight to this island country in Southeast Asia.
2. Wearing high heels on ancient sites is against the law in Greece
When travelling, it’s very important to pick the right shoes – and it seems that this rule is especially true when you’re in Greece. In 2009, authorities in Greece introduced a ban on wearing shoes with high heels at important archeological sites.
This is because high heels are more likely to damage monuments. Does this sound a little bit odd for you? Luckily, there are plenty of stylish and comfy travel shoe options. Your feet and historical monuments will thank you!
3. It’s verbotento run out of gas on the Autobahn in Germany
“Don’t worry, there are many gas stations on the way” doesn’t apply on the Autobahn in Germany. This highway is famous for having no speed limit.
A dream come true for speed lovers! Unfortunately, it’s illegal to stop unnecessarily on the Autobahn – even if you run out of gas. This might land you a fine of $100.
Is Germany your next stop in Europe? Fasten your seat belt and make sure your gas tank is full!
4. Western men’s hairstyles are banned in Iran
Oh yes, it’s quirky as it sounds. The story starts in 2010, when Iran’s authorities introduced a very specific “hairstyle policy.” According to the law, it’s illegal for men to walk on the streets of Iran wearing ponytails, mullets, and other long hairstyles.
Iran can boast of rich history and stunning architecture, but today it’s not the best place to travel with Johnny Depp-inspired hairstyles.
5. Flip flops are banned in Capri, Italy
Are you planning a trip to idyllic island of Capri? Don’t forget to take your sunscreen and sunglasses, but it’s better to leave those comfy flip flops at home.
The local government in Capri decided to ban noisy and squeeky footwear in order to protect the peace and quiet, so valued by the local residents.
If somebody tried to rate the funniest ways to get fined, this one would surely be in the top 5.
6. Yellow clothing is banned in Malaysia
If yellow is your favorite color, it won’t make a fashion statement in Malaysia, unfortunately. In 2016, the Malaysian government banned yellow clothing after thousands of protesters wearing yellow T-shirts flooded the streets of Kuala Lumpur and demanded the resignation of the Prime Minister.
Since then, anyone wearing yellow can be arrested under the assumption that they are protesting the government.
7. It’s against the law to feed pigeons in Venice
Feeding pigeons might be a fun thing to do on a lazy afternoon in St. Mark’s square, but being hit with a hefty fine probably isn’t most people’s idea of a great time – unless you think that a fine of around $100 is just a slap on the wrist, compared to the joy of throwing crumbs to a group of fluttering pigeons.
Since 2008, this very common practice is banned to protect city’s marble statues and buildings.
8. Jogging in Burundi might land you in jail
It might seem like a joke, but jogging in tiny Burundi might be considered a criminal offence. Since 2014, Burundi’s president Pierre Nkurunziza might consider your daily exercise to be a subversive protest against his government.
No matter how sad, but fabulous inland beaches of Burundi will not see joggers for an indefinite amount of time. Also, every travelling nomad should know that visiting the country is currently not advised due to the unstable political situation.
9. It’s illegal to have a snowball fight in Aspen, Colorado
If you’re planning a trip to the beautiful mountain town of Aspen – a popular destination for winter sport enthusiasts from around the world – please try to refrain from snowball fights.
It’s illegal to throw a snowball in Aspen, because they are considered a form of missile. So it’s a strict no-no for an otherwise playful activity.
10. Stepping on cash is illegal in Thailand
If you accidently dropped some of your cash, at least try not to step on it. Such act is illegal because the Thai baht – the official currency of Thailand – has images of the King of Thailand, who is deeply respected by the nation.
So, when going around the Land of Smiles, keep in mind the risks involved.
Find out about more strange laws on Smart Lemur’s site.