10 Countries with Weirdest Local Rules Which Don't Spare Even the Foreigners


Dear traveller, you better toe the line!

Photo of 10 Countries with Weirdest Local Rules Which Don't Spare Even the Foreigners by Anshul Sharma

Anyone who travels would be well aware of the hassles it brings along, especially when you are travelling in a foreign land with unfamiliar rules and customs that can not only seem absolutely weird but even hard to comply with! In fact, not knowing or ignoring such rules can even lead to dire consequences ranging from years of imprisonment to hefty penalties.

So, if you were ever left fuming by thorough scrutiny of your passport and other documents by the immigration officials, these strange and not-so-pleasant rules from ten different countries will make you sign in relief!

(c) Unsplash

Photo of Singapore by Anshul Sharma

You love nature and can't resist feeding those beautiful pigeons in the street during your holiday in Singapore. Well, you better not do that because feeding pigeons in Singapore is banned, officially. In fact, you may end up paying $500 for this offence.

Reason for ban:

Singaporeans believe pigeons litter places with droppings. Besides, the leftover food for pigeons can attract rats, which may lead to various health risks.

(c) Unsplash

Photo of Bhutan by Anshul Sharma

If you are a chain smoker travelling to Bhutan, you might want to know that smoking in public, or selling any kind of tobacco product in this tiny Himalayan country is a non-bailable offence and can land you in jail. You'd be better off just exploring this beautiful nation than smoking here in public or be ready to pay hefty fines, or even face imprisonment.

Reason for ban:

Well, Bhutan tops the list when it comes to Gross National Happiness index in the world. They believe that good health is most important factor in well being and happiness of an individual. And we all are aware of the ill effects of tobacco. However, you can still smoke as long as you are in your own private space.

(c) Unsplash

Photo of Thailand by Anshul Sharma

It's your first trip to Thailand and you feel like showing off a bit with that picture of yours wherein you can been seen stepping over Thai currency notes. If you're thinking something like this for your next Instagram post, you better drop the idea or risk getting imprisoned because defacing Thai currency in any manner is illegal in Thailand.

Reason for ban:

Thai king's face in printed on Thai currency notes and defacing them means direct insult to the Thai royal family which is this ban is in place.

(c) Unsplash

Photo of UAE - Dubai - United Arab Emirates by Anshul Sharma

If you're a food-loving non-Muslim travelling to the UAE during Ramadan, be sure to not give in to your hunger pangs in public anywhere in the UAE. Besides smoking, drinking, and chewing gum, eating in public is also banned in this country during the fasting hours of Ramadan. If caught defying, you may have to face imprisonment or end up paying up to Dh2,000 fine. However, non-Muslims don't have to fast and can eat and drink in the their own private places and some designated areas. Seems strange? Well, you might want to know the reason first.

Reason for ban:

The authorities who have put this law in place believe that anyone who eats or drinks in public during Ramadan encourages the act of consumption of the same while many others in the country are fasting during the holy month.

(c) Unsplash

Photo of Portugal by Anshul Sharma

Most of us have been through the situation when we had had a long day at beach and ended up taking a loo in a secluded area, thinking the vast ocean can easily take that tiny bit of our 'junk'. However, we must remember that it's not just us but many others like us. And even if we don't realise it, authorities in Portugal have already made it illegal to pee in the oceans and seas. Ignore it and you are in for a serious trouble. We are definitely with the Portuguese authorities on this one.

Reason for ban:

Obvious, isn't it? You shouldn't be going around peeing wherever you found open spaces unless it takes form of an emergency.

(c) Pixabay

Photo of North Korea by Anshul Sharma

Are you the traveller who desists the idea of guided tours and loves exploring places on your own? Well, you might have to make an exception if you're travelling to North Korea, for it's the best example of totalitarianism. And that's not restricted to its citizens but also to all who foreigners who travel to North Korea. Here, you have to forget about travelling independently.

One can 'explore' North Korea only after hiring a government-approved a tour guide. It doesn't stop here! In fact, your passport and phones will be 'deposited' with concerned authorities for security reasons. And you can only take pictures of the places that your guide permits. Any disobedience can land you in a very serious trouble in North Korea.

Reasons for ban:

Well, it's a very confined society. The government is barely short of dictatorship. So, such restrictions shouldn't come as surprise to you now.

(c) Unsplash

Photo of India by Anshul Sharma

Such is the diversity that travelling to India can leave foreign tourists with some of the most remarkable experiences ever, be it food, culture, people, landscape, transport, history, or even the local trends. However, if you are a foreigner travelling to India, you can't afford to always be insouciant, especially in the matters of following local rules and trends. Speaking of which, if you're found transporting Indian currency out of the country, you're well on course to land in legal trouble.

Reason for ban:

Indian currency is not fully convertible, which means that it is not accepted in many countries for legal conversion. So if you're planning to take Indian currency abroad for illegal purposes, this law makes sure you can't!

(c) Unsplash

Photo of Maldives by Anshul Sharma

The Maldives is home to spellbinding natural beauty that has long been attracting tourists from all over the globe. However, you'd better be mindful of not leaving your copy of Holy Bible, or sacred text from any other religion because the Maldivian laws prohibits such an act. However weird it may sound, you must abide by this rule because it's related to religious sentiments of the country.

Reason for ban:

Being an Islamic country, the Maldives is very particular about its laws that prohibit acts and materials which may be deemed contradictory to the teachings of Islam. The law doesn't exactly consider practicing your own religion unlawful as long as it's done within private confines.

(c) Unsplash

Photo of Greece by Anshul Sharma

If you're in Greece for a holiday and want to up your fashion statement, do anything but wear high-heeled shoes, especially when you're out to explore the famous tourist sites in the city Why? Because high heels are banned at the ancient tourist sites in Greece and any defiance may result in heavy penalties.

Reason for ban:

The Greek authorities placed the ban in 2009 because according to them, the sharp-soled shoes lead to the wear and tear of the historic sites and places that are considered national monuments.

(c) Unsplash

Photo of Caribbean by Anshul Sharma

Caribbean islands are home to some of the coolest and most beautiful beaches in the world. But if you're thinking you can go on to do (and wear) anything here, you're wrong. Wearing camouflage clothes is strictly forbidden for foreign tourists and non-military locals in some Caribbean islands like Barbados, Jamaica, and St Lucia by the law of land. On the lighter note, you may bare it all at the beach and no one would bother you!

Reason for ban:

It is reported that the Caribbean authorities don't want the civilians to mistake you for a military or police personnel. Fair enough!

So, that's it. Which one would you rate as the weirdest of all? Let us know in the comments below.

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