“There are some totally bizarre and ‘out there’ laws and customs still in place around the world,” says Fabio Passalacqua, director of Jetcost.co.uk. That being said, it’s surely worth knowing some of them to avoid jail time during your vacation.
Though most tourist knows it’s an absolute must to be sensitive to local customs, some laws are just too odd that even the most diligent of travelers can suffer from dire consequences. From food and flowers to colors to hairstyles, you won’t believe the things governments forbid these days.
Here are some of the forbidden stuff that could get an unknowing holidaymaker behind bars:
Suspiciously holding a salmon in the UK
The UK Parliament’s famous Salmon Act of 1986 states that it’s illegal to hold a salmon under suspicious circumstances. Whatever suspicious circumstance, that is.
Chewing gum in Singapore
When heading to Singapore, leave the Juicy Fruit at home. It may save you a trip to the detention center at the very least.
Naming your baby something weird in Denmark
Did you know that some countries have official child naming guidelines? Denmark has so if you want to name your baby something other than the 7,000 approved names, government approval is required.
Recklessly biking in Mexico
Bikers are not allowed to lift their feet off from the pedals since 1892 as a way to protect riders. However, no hands is still fair game.
Hiking naked in Switzerland
The Swiss kindly ask you not to hike in the nude after a naked German man walked past a family picnicking in the Alps in 2009.
Being a bird perch in Venice
A fine of up to $700 is set in place for anyone who feeds the pigeons in Venice’s St. Mark’s Square. The city banned the feeding of the birds, citing it as a health hazard.
Whistling in Canada
The city of Petrolia in Ontario has a law that limits excessive noise which includes yelling, shouting, whistling, and singing at any time.
Having your chickens cross the road in Georgia
If you own any chickens in Quitman, Georgia, it’s illegal to let them cross the road or even let them loose.
Wearing high heels in Greece
If you’re planning on sightseeing around Greece’s historic cities, make sure you leave your high heels at home. They are, after all, a threat at certain ancient monuments.
Naming a pig Napoleon in France
The law used to state Napoleon specifically, but it’s changed. Now, it’s only illegal to offend the heads of state by naming your pig after them.
Running out of gas on the autobahn in Germany
Going as fast as you can on the road is thrilling, but running out of gas isn’t. In fact, it only leads to fines — as any self-respecting German should know.
Peeing in the ocean in Portugal
It’s unclear whether someone has actually been caught, but come on, pay a little respect to other life forms.
Getting someone too drunk in Australian pubs
It’s a bit counter intuitive, but in the land Down Under getting patrons too drunk at a pub is heavily fined.
Using water guns in Cambodia on New Year’s Eve
The practice started in 2001, when Phnom Penh governor Chea Sophara banned the sale and import of all water guns for fear of social unrest during Khmer New Year celebrations.
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