It’s always a good idea to check out the laws of a country before visiting. You especially need to know what you are permitted to take in and out of the country in question. But every country has laws that you could easily be unaware-of. Here are some foreign laws you should know about before you begin traveling the world.
Feeding Pigeons in Venice
Tourists used to flock to St. Mark’s Square in Venice to feed the pigeons. But if you give food to the birds these days, you will have to pay a fine of at least 50 euros. The ban of feeding pigeons in Venice began in 2008, due to the feathered creatures eating away at the city’s iconic buildings and marble statues. Pigeons were pecking to reach scraps, and over time, that was creating a lot of damage. Stewards now patrol St. Mark’s Square and other historical sites to enforce the new law. You are also prohibited from laying out a picnic, drop food wrappers or walk around bare-chested in Venice.
Gambling in New Zealand
If you want to visit a casino in New Zealand, you must be at least 20 years old, and the government must authorize the casino you enter. There are four classes of gambling categories. Each one has maximum prizes they are allowed to payout, so you may be able to win more at some casinos than others. For sports betting, you must be over the age of 18. There are also many online casinos which allow for real money casino gaming in NZ via jackpot, slot and table games. You can deposit, play and withdraw in New Zealand dollars.
Buying Alcohol in Thailand
With its Full Moon beach parties and a plethora of bars, you might think there are few laws concerning alcohol consumption in Thailand. What many travelers do not know is it’s illegal to order any alcoholic drink outside of the hours 11 am to 2 pm, and 5 pm to 12 am. So, you won’t be able to grab a mid-afternoon cocktail, and you won’t be able to continue drinking in clubs after midnight. Vendors found selling alcohol outside of the designated hours can be fined hefty sums and even be imprisoned for up to two years.
Smoking in Singapore
If you’re a smoker who is planning to visit Singapore, you may have done an online search and discovered smoking in public is not illegal in the country. However, you may not have found out that the places where you can smoke in public are very limited. You cannot smoke in carparks or playgrounds, or at bus stops. Furthermore, you must stay at least five meters away from all building entrances. If you light up in a place where smoking is prohibited, you will have to pay a large fine.
Wearing High Heels at Ancient Greek Sites
A trip to Greece is not complete without visiting its’ world-famous historical sites like the Acropolis of Athens. But make sure you wear the right footwear, or you could find yourself breaking the law. Sharp-soled shoes were beginning to contribute to the wear and tear of the country’s national treasures. So, to preserve ancient sites, in 2009 Greek officials placed a ban on wearing high heels at various tourist destinations. Wear sandals or other flat shoes to avoid breaking the law and receiving a fine.
Driving in South Africa
If you are planning on hiring a car to drive around South Africa to see tourist destinations like the Cape of Good Hope, Kruger National Park and Robben Island, you need to master the art of driving on the left side of the road. Although driving on the right is the norm within the Middle East and the majority of the world’s countries, driving on the left is the law in various other African countries, as well as countries like Australia, Thailand and Guyana. Operating a car from a driver’s seat on the right can take some getting-used-to. So, ease yourself into driving in South Africa and other countries where you must drive on the left side of the road.