The streets of Singapore are extremely clean, and the number of laws concerning this point helps a lot. They have huge fines for littering, smoking in public areas, and spitting. In fact, the selling of chewing gum in the country is banned – you can get a hefty fine for trying to import it. Only certain chewing gums, which are allowed for medical purposes, can be found in pharmacies.
2. Wearing Improper Clothing
In most Muslim countries, in order to not attract unwanted attention in public places, you should dress modestly, especially if you’re a woman. Clothes should cover the tops of the arms and legs, they should be loose, and underwear should not be visible. Iran and Saudi Arabia demand that women fully cover their arms and legs, and wear a headscarf. In Iran, if you don’t follow this dress code, you’ll just be asked to cover up. However, in Saudi Arabia, you may end up in prison.
3. Stopping on the Autobahn
You’re not allowed to run out of gas on the Autobahn in Germany, a highway system controlled by the government. You cannot stop there for any reason either. Walking is also strictly prohibited for your own safety. Doing all of these things will cost you a fine for endangering yourself and other drivers.
Some native plants in Arizona, USA, are protected under state law. If you cut them down, it’s considered theft and it can get you a few years in prison. Cactus theft is pretty high, and it takes many years for them to grow, so these measures are necessary to protect native flora from being destroyed.
Jogging in groups was banned in the East African country of Burundi, based on the argument that people use the activity as an excuse to organize “uprisings” and to plan subversive activities. You can jog alone, but two people constitute a group. You can end up in prison if you break this law.
6. Living Together Before Marriage
The United Arab Emirates has a strict law that prevents people from living together until they’re married. If you break these laws, the police may come to your home and put you in prison. Furthermore, you can’t stay in a hotel room with your partner unless you have a marriage certificate.
7. Celebrating Valentine’s Day
Saudi Arabia and Pakistan banned Valentine’s Day because it’s not a Muslim tradition, and it focuses on love that’s not directed towards God. Valentine’s Day cards, any kind of advertisements, and internet memes are strictly prohibited and are punishable by imprisonment. Rallies against celebrating Valentine’s Day were also held in 4 cities in Indonesia.
Kissing in public can get you in trouble if you’re in Iran, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, or the United Arab Emirates. In these places, it’s considered socially unacceptable behavior and is punished with fines and imprisonment. You should also avoid publicly displaying affection in India, Indonesia, and Thailand.
9. Eating in Public
During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims are not allowed to eat or drink anything during daylight hours. In the United Arab Emirates, a person who publicly eats or drinks during the day in Ramadan, or encourages the act of eating or drinking publicly, can face a fine or even imprisonment, even if they’re not a Muslim.
10. Insulting the King
Avoid talking disrespectfully about the Royal Family when you’re in Thailand. The King is worshiped there in a way that Westerners could never understand. The definition of an insult is not really clear, so even dropping or stepping on money with the King’s image on it may land you in jail.
11. Drinking Alcohol
Alcohol is against the principles of Islam, so before going to any Muslim country you should check out their laws. For example, in Saudi Arabia, it’s completely banned. Checking of baggage at the airport is very strict to ensure that no one brings alcohol into the country. It’s also impossible to buy it anywhere. If you’re caught drinking, you’ll face a long-term prison sentence.
There are also severe restrictions on consuming alcohol in Bangladesh, Iran, Libya, Kuwait, the Maldives, Sudan, Yemen, and some parts of India.