- Unsplash/Frank Kohntopp
Every country and culture has its own quirks that are often completely overlooked by outsiders.
However, sometimes these quirks are so extreme that they can land you in trouble if you’re not aware of them.
Airport transfer company Hoppa has compiled a list of quirky and peculiar laws from across the globe that could get naive holidaymakers in trouble.
As pleading unaware of some laws doesn’t seem to work as a get out of jail free card, the list of laws hopes to educate jet-setters before they make any costly or consequence-heavy blunders.
From crossing the street to packing paracetamol in your suitcase, scroll on to discover 13 peculiar things that could get you in trouble when travelling abroad.
Buying alcohol mid-afternoon in Thailand.
- Unsplash/Tomasz Rynkiewicz
Thailand is known across the globe as a partying hotspot thanks to its Full Moon beach parties and party resorts. However, what many travellers don’t realise is that it’s illegal to order any alcoholic drinks throughout the country outside of the hours of 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. or 5 p.m. to midnight.
This means no 4 p.m. cocktails on the beach or late night beverages while out clubbing into the small hours. Any clubs, bars, or vendors caught selling alcohol outside of these designated time slots can be fined 4,000 Baht (£92) or even face a prison sentence of up to two years.
Dancing after dark in Japan.
- Unsplash/Matty Adame
Dancing after midnight is illegal in Japan due to a law introduced in 1948, put into place to regulate the sex industry.
The law was changed in 2015 after campaigners asked for the ban to be lifted. Now, dancing after midnight is allowed, but only if the lighting is at least 10 lux (that’s 10 lumens per square metre).
Smoking in public in Singapore.
- Unsplash/George Gvasalia
Although smoking isn’t illegal in public in Singapore, regulations on where you can smoke in public places are extreme.
Bus stops, playgrounds, and carparks are all strict non-smoking zones. Smokers must also stay at least five metres away from all entrances to buildings, bus shelters, and common areas while holding a lit cigarette, or face fines of up to S$10,000 (£5,600).
Jaywalking in the US.
- Unsplash/Frank Kohntopp
In the US, Iran, and Singapore, crossing the road anywhere that isn’t a designated pedestrian crossing can result in fines, a court appearance, or even a prison sentence.
Texting while walking in Honolulu.
- Unsplash/Saulo Mohana
In an attempt to make pedestrians share responsibility for road safety with drivers, texting while walking has recently been banned in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Anyone caught texting – or looking at any sort of electronic device – while crossing a road can be slapped with a fine of up to $99 (£75).
Swearing in public in Australia.
- Unsplash/Dan Freeman
Banned in three Australian states – New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland – swearing in a public place can get you slapped with an on-the-spot fine of anything between AU$100 (£58) and AU$240 (£140).
Wearing swimwear in the city in Spain.
- Unsplash/Annie Spratt
Despite the sunbathers clad in bikini tops that line Spain’s beaches in the summer, failing to wear appropriate clothing away from the beach could result in happy-go-lucky tourists being slapped with a semi-nudity charge and a fine between €100 and €200 (£90 and £180).
Taking painkillers into the United Arab Emirates.
Drug laws in the UAE are extremely strict – many over-the-counter remedies common in the UK and around the world are seen as serious narcotics, especially anything containing codeine.
Travellers are safer to leave their painkillers at home, as possession of a banned substance – or even traces in the bloodstream – can result in a prison sentence of up to four years.
Feeding Venice’s pigeons.
- Unsplash/Igor Ovsyannykov
Feeding pigeons in Venice was made illegal in 2008. The law was brought about in an attempt to minimise the number of bird droppings on Venice’s famous monuments and ornate buildings.
Driving without headlights in Sweden.
- Unsplash/Mattia Righetti
No matter the time of day, all moving vehicles must have their headlights switched on when driving through Sweden and Norway.
In the depths of winter, Stockholm only has between five and six daylight hours. Meanwhile, Swedish summers can see upwards of 20 daylight hours.
Due to the vastly ranging figures, it’s safer to ask all drivers to keep their headlights on at all times.
Wearing high heels to a Greek historic site.
- Unsplash/Mike Wilson
High heels have been banned from many ancient monuments across Greece due to the additional wear-and-tear they’re deemed to cause on the historic sites.
The law was passed in 2009. At the time, the Director of Greek Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, Eleni Korka, told the Daily Mail: “These monuments have a skin that suffers and people must realise that.”
Stopping on the motorway in Germany.
- Unsplash/Jon Flobrant
Germany’s motorway network, called the autobahn, has a very strict “no stopping” policy. Drivers causing a block in the traffic from staying still could be fined anywhere between €30 and €70 (£27 and £63).
Wearing pink shorts on Sundays in Victoria, Australia.
- Flickr/Joshua Kehn
Due to an old law still around from the Victorian era, pink shorts are banned in Victoria, Austraila, on Sunday afternoons.
The reasons why this law is in place are unclear, but strutting your stuff in pink shorts from midday onwards will see you committing a literal fashion crime.