Sunday, May 20, 2018

Laws You Don't Want to Break When Traveling

1. Wearing Camouflage

Where You Can't Do It: Several countries in the Caribbean, including Antigua, Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago. It's also forbidden in Oman and for those on an African river cruise or safari tour organized by a cruise line. It’s illegal to wear camouflage clothing in countries like Zimbabwe.

Why: Camo patterns can be trendy in the U.S. but leave them behind when you venture out in these countries. Laws ban civilians from donning gear or outfits that could lead to other people thinking that they are with the military or law enforcement.

2. Public Displays of Affection

Where You Can't Do It: United Arab Emirates (Dubai, Abu Dhabi); Egypt; India; Indonesia

Why: Countries with a strong state religion, such as Islam or Hinduism, often see kissing as a violation of their decency or obscenity codes and foreigners have been fined, deported and arrested for making out in public. Even in countries where it's technically not illegal, like Jordan or Morocco, you'll attract angry looks. 

3. Forget to Flush the Toilet

Where You Can't Do It: Singapore

Why: Singapore has a host of laws intended to keep its busy city-state clean (although contrary to popular opinion, you can chew gum in public -- you just can't deposit the gooey mess anywhere outside a trash can, as littering is also against the law). And we're not exactly sure how they would enforce this one, which applies to public facilities. But Singapore has a low tolerance toward rule-breakers.

4. Unusual Bike Riding

Where You Can't Do It: Mexico; Austria

Why: In Mexico, keep both feet on the pedals or else; one-footed bike riding is illegal. In Austria, both hands have to be touching the bike.

5. Post a Photo of Your Beer

Where You Can't Do It: Thailand

Why: With a strong Buddhist culture, Thailand is extremely strict on drinking, at least on paper; laws prohibit drinking in the daytime, outside of lunch hours and there are many places you can't drink, including public parks and places of worship, including temples. But perhaps the weirdest law prohibits the advertisement of drinks and alcoholic brands -- including on social media.

6. Snacking on Church Steps or Monuments

Where You Can't Do It: Florence and Rome, Italy

Why: These places are so beautiful. Pretty obvious the cities don't want tourists leaving litter.

7. Feeding the Pigeons

Where You Can't Do It: Venice, Italy; San Francisco

Why: For many years, it's been illegal to feed pigeons in St. Mark's Square, as the city tries to rid itself of what many describe as "flying vermin." 

8. Wearing Stilettos

Where You Can't Do It: Greece

Why: Pointy-heeled shoes are forbidden at ancient monuments and sites in Athens and elsewhere in Greece, the reason being that the sharp tips dig into the fragile marble. And if you have a walking stick, make sure the rubber tip is on ... for the very same reason.

9. Using Facebook

Where You Can't Do It: China

Why: China is a huge tourism destination. But the government still has iron-clad control over the internet, and popular sites such as Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and YouTube, among others are forbidden.

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