Part of the allure of travelling to a new country is how unfamiliar it is. But sometimes that can be a downside, for example when tourists unknowingly break the law or make a huge faux pas.
Here are a few of the lesser-known rules in place in some countries:
It’s well-known that chewing gum is punishable in Singapore. But people who annoy others around them with music or other noises can face fines of up to S$1,000 (RM3,000).
For “obscene songs or ballads”, the punishment is three months in jail.
Note: It is the same in Malaysia: Under the Penal Code Section 294, anyone who “(a) does any obscene act in any public place” or “(b) sings, recites or utters any obscene song, ballad or words in or near any public place”, may be punished with imprisonment for up to three months or fined a certain amount, or both.
Have a bad habit of staring at your smartphone while walking in public? In Lithuania, crossing a street while also using a mobile device could cost you up to €12 (RM54) in fines.
Military-inspired camouflage gear in all colours and styles is forbidden by military law in Trinidad and Tobago. Whoever brings it into the country, buys it or wears it must pay a fine – and the clothing will be seized, warns Germany’s Foreign Office.
Note: If you’re planning to visit any district located within the Eastern Sabah Safety Zone (Esszone), do refrain from wearing camouflage outfits or security forces attire. A total of 10 districts, namely Sandakan, Kinabatangan, Lahad Datu, Kunak, Semporna, Tawau, Kudat, Kota Marudu, Pitas and Beluran are in the Esszone.
Don’t be caught without any clothes in the canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden, in the Swiss Alps. There, the canton can fine nude hikers for a “gross violation of customs and public decency”. Is going naked worth potentially paying 100 Swiss francs (RM420)?
Don’t think about bringing a soft drink into Nigeria – it’s one of several everyday items on the customs office’s long list of banned objects. Also on the list are ballpoint pens and soap.
Heading out for a road trip through Germany? Be sure to always have enough petrol in the tank before getting on the Autobahn (highway).
Parking or stopping on the German highway can mean fines – and an empty tank, which can be avoided, is not recognised as a breakdown. – dpa