10 Crazy Laws That Could Get You In Trouble When You Travel
Contributed By Lisa Miller, Huffington Post.
You know the basics when it comes to staying safe and out of trouble while traveling.
But there are some pretty crazy ways to break the law abroad that probably have never crossed your mind.
1) Chewing gum in Singapore
Singapore likes to keep its street clean. Chewing bubble gum has been banned in Singapore for over two decades. While the only penalty is a fine, it's probably best to respect the city's wishes and keep your gum at home.
2) Dying in Sarpourenx
We're not exactly sure how this one is enforced... In the village of Sarpourenx, in southwest France, Mayor Gerard Lalanne has forbidden residents to die. In 2008, he issued an ordinance stating that "all persons not having a plot in the cemetery and wishing to be buried in Sarpourenx are forbidden from dying in the parish" and if they do, "offenders will be severely punished."
3) Feeding the birds in Venice
While it was once a tradition for tourists to turn themselves into human bird perches by holding out a handful of birdseed, the practice is sadly illegal. According to Europe Up Close, those who violate the rule can be fined up to $700.
4) Getting comfy in Buenos Aires
The Argentine government doesn't want you to get too comfy. Featherbeds were officially made illegal because lawmakers believed "such an indulgence induces and encourages lascivious feelings," according to the Argentina Independent. Apparently all other beds are safe.
5) Lighting up in Bhutan
If you're a smoker, don't plan on buying cigarettes in Bhutan -- or bringing them in either. The small Himalayan country is notoriously harsh when it come to the nation's smoking ban. There is a 100% tax on tobacco products at customs and smoking in public will cost you a hefty fine. Selling tobacco products is grounds for imprisonment.
6) Running out of gas in Germany
The autobahn highway famously has large stretches with no posted speed limit, allowing drivers to go as fast as their hearts desire. But don't use all your gas up and get caught with an empty tank. While it's not technically illegal to run out of fuel, it is unlawful to stop for any reason other than an emergency. Running out of gas is not considered an emergency.
7) Wearing heels in Greece
If you show up to an ancient Greek site in high heels, you'll have to tour barefoot. In order to preserve the sites, the government has banned shoes that could injure the monuments.
8) Eating during Ramadan in Dubai
It's a given that you should respect the local customs while traveling abroad. But if you plan on being in the United Arab Emirates during the period of Ramadan, you should plan on observing the holiday, which forbids eating during the day. Travelers who do not honor the tradition and choose to eat, drink or smoke in public will be issued a warning, and if the offense is repeated they could land themselves in jail.
9) Frowning in Milan
There's not much to be sad about in Milan -- there's prime shopping and plenty of pizza. However, should you feel down while touring the city, be warned, you should keep a smile on your face. It is a legal requirement in Milan to smile at all times, with funerals and hospital visits being the exception.
10) Going commando in Thailand
Thailand has a bunch of eyebrow-raising rules, but perhaps the strangest is the one that prohibits leaving the house without underwear on, so make sure you pack enough undies to last your whole trip. It's unclear how they enforce this, but we don't recommend finding out.