The most common reason why a person wants to travel is to learn more of other cultures. The world is comprised of billions of people and each one of them is unique. It’s only natural and common sense to assume that each and every country also has their own cultural differences. And if this is how it is with each other’s culture, what more with each other’s laws?
One of the most important things to remember when traveling is to research about the rules and regulations of the place you’re flying off to. Face it. What’s legal at home could be extremely illegal elsewhere. Other laws may sometimes come across as baffling but it is what’s being enforced by the authorities and tourists definitely have no say in it.
Here are some of the unusual laws you may need to keep in mind:
No wearing of high heels in Greece
If you’re planning to explore ancient monuments and infrastructures in Greece, remember to toss your high heels aside. Using stilettos and the like on historic sites is prohibited as it can affect preservation efforts.
No Winnie The Pooh in Poland
Tuszyn, a small town in Poland, banned Christopher Robin’s pal Winnie the Pooh from a play area. Apparently, the local council prohibited the character because of its questionable sexuality and inappropriateness.
No stepping on money in Thailand
It is hugely offensive to step on banknotes in Thailand. As the highly revered royal family of Thailand is featured on their currency, it is considered as a display of inconceivable disrespect to the monarchy.
Thailand’s lese majeste laws is deployed by a military government that made defending the monarchy’s exalted status its highest priority.
No running out of fuel on the autobahn in Germany
Driving along the autobahn in Germany is a breeze because there’s no speed limit on most parts of it. You can drive as fast as you want to. However, make sure to top up your fuel tank. Surprising as it may be, running out of fuel on the autobahn is a finable offense.
No peeing at the beach in Portugal
Although it is unclear how this is implemented and enforced, urinating at sea is definitely against the law in Portugal.
No Buddha tattoos in Sri Lanka
Keep your Buddha tattoos to yourself when in the island of Sri Lanka. Several tourists have already been arrested and deported for sporting a tattoo of Buddha on their body. Strict actions are taken against perceived insults to Buddhism in this part of the world.
Not flushing the toilet in Singapore
Apart from its famous ban of chewing gum, spitting, and the like, Singapore also prohibits people from not flushing the toilet after use. Fines can reach up to $190 which is really steep.
No loitering around churches in Florence
Italian cities have observed a common behaviour of tourists, which includes eating while sitting on fountains or steps of a church to rest or take in the view. This is an offence and also applies to public buildings.
These are only a fraction of the unusual laws that you may encounter. There are surely several more. It is after all a really big and diverse world! Because of this diversity, remember that respect for others and their country can be shown by following laws. Even if it is the silliest law you have ever heard, so what? It is their land and tourists are just visitors.
So before you go dilly-dallying, make sure to do your part on learning the things you should and shouldn’t do. Further secure your safety by availing a travel insurance in the Philippines to make sure you are covered in case of emergency situations.